What you resist, persists
The human mind is our fundamental resource
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment
The energy of the mind is the essence of life
There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in
Why attend professional supervision?
There are many other helping professionals including social workers, counsellors, psychotherapists, occupational therapists, teachers, police, paramedics, firefighters, funeral directors etc. Research has been conducted across a range of these professions that shows that there is a risk of negative adverse effects from exposure to the trauma and the suffering of others (vicarious trauma or secondary traumatic stress). This can include emotional, psychological and physical effects with symptoms of tiredness, irritability, poor sleep, anxiety, intrusive memories and ruminations, avoidance, compassion fatigue and burnout.
Whilst many organizations now provide support to employees to try and address these issues, sometimes it can be helpful to meet with someone who is not connected to that organization. Also, for those who are self-employed there can be a lack of awareness of the need to address these issues until they are causing significant impairment.
There are a number of strategies that are thought to be able to reduce the impact of exposure to trauma and other work stressors, including the elusive work/life balance and various self-care strategies. One of the most effective tools is regular supervision, a practice that is well recognized, but is under utilised in many helping professions.
What is professional supervision?
Supervision involves meeting on a regular basis with a suitably qualified professional. This provides a confidential space in which to explore issues within the work place and the impact that they may be having both professionally and personally. As a forensic psychiatrist, Dr Helen Austin is aware of the cumulative effects of work-related stress and of regular exposure to traumatic material and to other peoples suffering and distress in the medico-legal field. As a medical practitioner she is also well aware of the issue of confidentiality and the expectations that arise as part of being a professional.