First let me say that I think having a supervisor for your EFT work is essential, so if you’ve been on the fence or waiting until you have more couples on your caseload – come join me on this side of the fence. Where there are supervisors. On this side of the fence there is help and wisdom and someone who helps you get better.
Figuring out the right supervisor for you can be tough when you’re starting out at EFT and each supervisor has a different style and slightly different way of approaching the model. That’s why I think it’s important to try out at least two to three different supervisors to get a feel for what might work best for you. That could sound like a lot if you’re focused only on the eight sessions required for certification, but I’m of the belief that it will take far more than eight sessions to help you feel confident about your work. Also, isn’t the mentorship such a cool part of learning this model? I love that we get to work with such brilliant therapists who coach us.
To me, there are two main components in supervision. First, this is a vulnerable process where you are going to start out kind of bad at this and have to show your tapes of being kind of bad. You have to watch your tapes of when the client walked out of the room or when you totally missed an important piece for your withdrawer (or maybe that’s just me). So you want a supervisor who you can feel ok being that vulnerable with. Second, you want to get really good at this model, so you want a supervisor who will challenge you enough and point out what you could have done differently.
In finding the right EFT supervisor fit for you, it might be helpful to think about the following questions. I’m sure most of you don’t have time to actually write out your answers, but I find these exercises most helpful when I actually take the time to think and write out my answers versus split-second answering them in my head.
1. How do you feel during the drive over or in the waiting room to see your supervisor?
2. How do you feel once you leave their office?
3. How sharp are they in conceptualizing your couple and asking you about their cycle? Do you find yourself going “Wow, that’s incredible!” when they conceptualize them?
4. Do they ask questions and talk about your work in concrete EFT language, to help you understand what step you are actually in? (this is so helpful when my supervisor does this for me, since I’m still fuzzy on what step I’m in)
5. How is their personality/energy/style as they sit with you? Does it fit with how you want to be with clients?
When I think of supervision, I can’t help but be aware of the parts of myself. I have an impatient driver part that wants me to get excellent really quickly, but this part can also leave me on the floor, frantic about why I suck at this so much. I also have a mellow part that says, “Hey, Wesley, relax, this is a process and you can’t actually get better by pure drive, there is an art to this that takes time,” but that part can make me fearful I’ll miss something. Then there is a human part that wants to be myself and authentic with my clients while I’m in the room without obsessing about the model all the time, but that part gets me scared I won’t learn the model correctly.
So in finding the right supervisor, I try to be aware of my parts and which of those parts the supervisor can speak to, since it would be rare to find one that could speak to all three. What are your parts? What do you need the most in finding the right mentor, or would you rather have an eclectic group of supervisors who you can go to at different times?
And as a side note, if you are a supervisor reading this, I encourage you to check in occasionally with your supervisees and ask them how they’re feeling in the room with you watching their tapes. It’s such a vulnerable process, it helps to have the anxiety let out of the tires a bit so they can absorb all your excellent feedback.