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Mindful Clinical Supervision. Dr Julia Bowman Leadership Unit, Health Education & Training Institute . By the end of the presentation participants will: Understand how mindfulness is related to clinical supervision?

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mindful clinical supervision

Mindful Clinical Supervision

Dr Julia Bowman

Leadership Unit, Health Education & Training Institute


By the end of the presentation participants will:

  • Understand how mindfulness is related to clinical supervision?
  • Understand how they can apply mindfulness strategies to clinical supervision?
  • Be aware of the benefits of using mindfulness as a tool for clinical supervision?
  • Have had the opportunity to practice a mindfulness strategy.
c linical supervision

The provision of guidance & feedback on matters of personal, professional & educational development to facilitate appropriate & safe patient care

(HETI, The Superguide, 2013)

Clinical supervision
aim of clinical supervision

Supervisors assist their staff/students:

  • In the transition from dependent novice to autonomous practitioner
  • To use their experience as a springboard for further learning
  • To become reflective practitioners
Aim of clinical supervision
m indfulness clinical supervision

Clinical supervision ismore than a cognitive process

  • Requires awareness of ones:
    • Emotions
    • Intuitions
    • Sensations
    • Bodily experiences
  • Reflections need to resonate with the heartas well as the head
  • Enhances the supervision experience for both the supervisor & supervisee

(Carroll, 2009)

Mindfulness & clinical supervision?
what is mindfulness

A technique that people use to become purposefully awareof their thoughts,feelings and decisions in the present moment in a non-judgmental way

(Carroll, 2009, Eggers, 2007, Kabat-Zinn, 1994)

What is mindfulness?
use of mindfulness the supervisor

Before supervision

    • Self-awareness
    • Preparing the environment
  • During supervision
    • Being present
    • Focusing attention
    • Non-judgment
  • After supervision
    • Reflection
Use of mindfulness: The supervisor
before supervision

As a supervisor it is important to:

  • Prepare yourself
    • Stop what you are doing
    • Clear your mind
    • Reflect on your thoughts, feelings & motivations
  • Prepare the environment
    • Quiet & private space
    • Free from distraction & interruption


Before supervision
seven mindfulness working principles

Before commencing supervision recall:

  • Begin all work in stillness
  • Separatecomponents of work with pauses
  • Work until work is finished
  • Meet our working need
  • Allow our instrument to do the work
  • Focus on wherework is taking place
  • Let work flow

(McKenzie, 2013)

Seven mindfulness working principles
mindfulness activity

The STOP exercise:

  • S– stop & pause
  • T – take a breath (take a moment)
  • O – observe
  • P – proceed with your agenda
Mindfulness activity
during supervision

Being present

    • Slow down
    • Stay in the moment
    • Accept things the way they are
  • Focusing attention
    • Give yourself time & space
    • Consciously direct your awareness
    • Attend to the present experience
    • Notice what is going on right now
  • Non-judgmental awareness
    • Observe what is happening
    • Have an open mind
    • Avoid assumptions about behaviour
    • Have empathy
During supervision
mindfulness activity1

Mindfulness of sounds

    • Sounds are mostly out of our control
    • Good subject to learn to just “be” with
    • Unlikely to be able to influence or alter
    • Things we can just experience
  • In this exercise you are invited to:
    • Be aware of sounds as sounds
    • Not labeling, not naming, not judging
    • Noticing when sounds are arising
    • Noticing the presence of the sound
    • Noticing when sounds are receding
    • Noticing the constant change in the sounds you are hearing

(Tobler & Herrmann, 2013)

Mindfulness activity
mindful communication

These principles can be used to enhance a supervision session:

  • Understand what you believe & why. We are motivated by our beliefs!
  • Practice non-attachment to our own views
  • Accept that your perceptions are limited
  • Bring empathy to every communication
  • Bekind – everyone is carrying a burden
  • Be respectful
  • Genuinely connectwith people
  • Be fully engaged
  • Recognisethe role your judgment plays in how you communicate

(Arpa, 2013, McKenzie, 2013, Nhat Hahn, n.d., Tobler & Herrmann, 2013, Schoeberlein, 2009)

Mindful communication
mindful listening

Listening to what is both said & un-said

  • Listen withoutjudging
  • Listen without reacting
  • Listen without interrupting
  • Listen without distraction (email, texts, etc.)
  • Let the person know they are truly being heard
Mindful listening
after supervision

Reflecton the supervision experience:

  • Turn your focus & attention to the experience of supervision
  • Immerse yourself in the remembered events
  • Be sensitive to what happened
  • What new knowledge has come through to you?
  • What are you taking away in terms of insights, feelings, thoughts?
  • How can you integratewhat you have learned?
  • What have you learned from that experience about yourself? About others?About work & practice?

(Carroll, 2006, Carroll, 2009, Dray & Wineski, 2011)

After supervision
benefits of mindfulness

Improve focus & concentration

  • Increase self-awareness
  • Reduce the impact & influenceof stressful thoughts & feelings
  • Facilitate better relationships
  • Catching self-defeating behaviours& substitute with more effective ones
  • Become aware of self-defeating

thought processes & let them go

(Tobler & Herrmann, 2013)

Benefits of mindfulness

Improved performance

Reduced stress

Greater satisfaction in work & life

In a…

Altman, D. (2011). One minute mindfulness. Novato, California, New World Library.

  • Arpa, M. (2013). Mindfulness at work: Flourishing in the workplace. East Sussex, Leaping Hare Press.
  • Carroll, M. (2006). Key issues in coaching psychology. The Coaching Psychologist, 2(1), 4-8.
  • Carroll, M. (2009). From mindless to mindful practice: Onlearning reflection in supervision. Psychotherapy In Australia, 15(4), 40-51.
  • Dary, B., & Wisneski, D. (2011). Mindful reflection as a process for developing culturally responsive practices. Teaching Exceptional Children, Sept/Oct, 28-36.
  • HETI (2013). The superguide: A guide for supervising oral health professionals. Sydney, HETI.
  • McKenzie, S. (2013). Mindfulness at work. Wollombi, NSW, Exisle Publishing.
  • Nhat Hahn, T. (n.d.). Work: How to find joy and meaning in each hour of the day. Berkeley, Parallax Press.
  • Schoeberlein, D. (2009). Mindful teaching and teaching mindfulness. Boston, Wisdom Publications.
  • Tobler, A., & Herrmann, S. (2013). The rough guide to mindfulness: The essential companion to personal growth. London, Rough Guides.