Role of the Clinical Supervisior Continued
In an agency context, both must contend with multiple roles and multiple realities. Supervisors need to be aware of their own roles at different agency levels such as administration, supervision, and the provision of direct service. The agency supervisor has to contend with the realities of the client, referral sources, the agency, the supervisory relationship, the supervisee, plus the supervisor’s own reality. Isomorphism becomes a key concern for the systemic agency supervisor. Juggling multiple realities also places the systemic agency supervisor in the sometimes uncomfortable role of having to decide which reality will prevail to provide the best client care.
Systemic supervision requires continually evaluating the supervisory relationship as well as assessing how the supervisory relationship fits into the larger agency context. Understanding and applying the concept of isomorphism is central to supervision in an agency context. The multiple levels and realities of the agency context make isomorphism easier to observe. Isomorphism refers to the replication of similar patterns at all levels of a system.
Managing Multiple Realities: Agency supervisors must deal with multiple realities. Assists supervisees in negotiating clients’ realities, as well as managing the documentation and case management realities called for in agency guidelines. If conflicts arise within these realities, supervisors must determine which reality will prevail.
Wearing Two Hats – Administrative and Clinical Supervisor: Agency supervisory relationships frequently are dual relationships. This clinical supervisor is being asked to be both a peer and a supervisor to other team members. To be able to function adequately in both roles, the agency needs to include supervisors in administrative decisions that affect supervisors and their supervisees. If this does not occur, supervisors may not be perceived as having authority sanctioned by the agency.