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Great conference!

Great Supervision Conference, Bristol

 We have just returned from the excellent Severn Therapy Supervision Conference, held this year in Bristol. Several CSA faculty and graduates attended. This conference attracts coaches and counsellors from all over the UK and beyond. It was simply gorgeous to connect with colleagues, old and new.

We had many illuminating sessions and discussions about supervision. I think that when a conference works, as this one did, it can be very enriching for all concerned. And if you need refreshment every now and then, I cannot recommend more highly, finding the right conference where you can be resourced and delighted all at once.

Coaching supervision has come such a long way in the last 20 years. CSA has been in the thick of that progress of course, but so too have many others. Michael Carroll, who will be retiring in December, has been at the heart of global supervision thinking and training for many, many years and he will be missed! He has shown the way to many of us and has been tireless in his desire to support supervision and supervisors in a variety of contexts. His outstanding work has always been thought provoking, his presentations intelligent and engaging. At Bristol, he gave his last keynote and I was delighted to be present.

Michael’s presentation on reflection included underlining that how we look is key and not what we see. An important distinction. Supervision requires that we are able to take many exploratory standpoints and that we engage supervisees in reflecting on their assumptions. Michael reminded us that reflection is a radical activity–that is to say, it challenges us to think differently from the roots up. With a skilled reflection practice, we think more imaginatively and open up new possibilities. He also noted the value of uncertainty– something that many coaches find challenging. Reflection disturbs certainty and therefore creates learning. I think that this is so true in our dialogues with coachees and with supervisees; when we hit a glitch during reflective dialogue, a place where neither of us knows the answer, we are inevitably pushed into a new place of learning.

There were many more excellent themes in this conference: we were looking at symbolic space in relational supervision, at understanding individualistic and collectivist cultures in supervision, at embracing diversity and at how much more the diverse worlds of coaching and counselling might have in common – more than we sometimes see. So it was a great conference and I return to work this morning refreshed!

I am also glowing from another notable event: CSA had a superb beginning to the 11th annual London EMCC accredited diploma in supervision, which took place over three days last week. We will tell you more about this in future blogs but if you’re interested in becoming a well-trained supervisor, able to compete in the supervision marketplace, then this elite, highly respected, global programme might be the one for you. If you are interested and/or want to have a conversation about the programme, do get in touch with us soon – coaches’ diaries fill up very quickly and many coaches have already expressed interest in the October, 2017 programme.

Edna Murdoch Director CSA, Oct 2016