Clinical supervision is an essential part of working therapeutically with clients be they adults or children. The purpose of clinical supervision, as compared to line management supervision, is for the supervisor to help the supervisee become more effective in helping other persons ie the children in the case of play therapy. The role of a Clinical Supervisor is to provide support and advice upon issues that arise during the therapist's clinical work. These may be matters of therapeutic techniques, therapeutic relationships, difficult problems, ethical decisions or issues that impact personally upon the therapist caused by the therapeutic process.
One of the main constraints upon the growth of therapeutic play and play therapy in the UK is the shortage of experienced play therapy supervisors. PTUK accredits Play Therapy Supervision training programmes and encourages experienced practitioners (at least 450 hours clinical practice) to develop their career in this direction. Sometimes practitioners will have to use supervisors who have experience of the therapeutic use of the creative/expressive arts or who have supervised counsellors of children.
It is important to form a clear contract for every supervisory relationship, stating length of contract, responsibilities and fees.
Certified Supervisors are those who have taken the APAC Supervisor course and are on the register. They see any members from trainees to accredited.
Trainee supervisors have done the APAC supervisor course but may only work with certificate and diploma course (in-training) play therapists and must do supervision face to face.
Approved supervisors have not done the APAC/PTUK accredited supervisor course but can work with any members including trainees who have taken the APAC/PTUK/PTI accredited play therapy courses.