Recently, attempting to create some order in my life – or rather my loft room – I went through 27 years of journals, removing articles worth keeping, and binning the rest. I came across ‘Relationship Serenity’ by Michael Neill, looking at relationships between clients and coaches in face-to-face work. He quoted that wonderful prayer of Niebuhr, commonly called ‘The Serenity Prayer’. A friend had just given me a bookmark with it on, so I began to be curious about its application to Online Supervision.
The starting point was acknowledging that I’m at my best as an online supervisor when we’ve co-created a good relationship. This isn’t as easy online as it is f2f, as perhaps more time is spent f2f paying attention to relationship building. In synchronous supervision, there can be pressure to ‘get on with it’, or asynchronously, a feeling that boundaries may be crossed if I make enquiries that appear more personal in an email response. Yet if I don’t do this, how do I really get to know my supervisees, support and hold them, or know when there may be ‘buttons’ touched? So I need to have the ‘wisdom to know the difference’ between what is purely ‘nosey-ness’ on my part and what is genuine relationship building, enhancing online supervision and therefore benefit the client.
This article first appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of TILT Magazine ~ Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology.
Click here to read the entire PDF version of the Serenity in Relationships in Online Supervision article.
Anne Stokes is based in Hampshire, UK, and is a well-known online therapist, supervisor and trainer and Director of Online Training Ltd. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
Access TILT Magazine archives: http://issuu.com/onlinetherapyinstitute/docs