Ep 17 - The Intimacy and Aliveness of Clinical Supervision with K Hixson

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When you hear the phrase “clinical supervision” what do you think of?

For me, the first thing that comes to mind is stacks of paperwork - or whatever the electronic version of that is. I think of the years-long slog of racking up hours while marching towards that finish line of professional legitimacy: licensure.

It's not a very alive-sounding phrase, is it - “clinical supervision?” It sounds, well, clinical. And then - “supervision,” not really most people's idea of what sounds like a great time. It conjures up visions of surveillance, of being put under a microscope. Or from the supervisor's side, of being the teacher with the whistle on the playground who has to watch all the kids at recess and make sure nobody cracks their head open falling off the monkey bars.

But if we extricate ourselves from the trap of looking at clinical supervision through the lens of bureaucratic hoop-jumping and box-checking, if we divest from centering risk management in our clinical and supervisory relationships, if we can tolerate our anxiety about someone falling off the monkey bars here and there, if we can do that, we can see something more profound in the space that's left.

In this dance of apprentice and mentor, we are building professional lineages that will shape the culture of our profession potentially long after we are no longer around.

So what kind of culture do we want to shape?

Today I'm speaking again with my dear friend, colleague, and mentor Dr. K Hixson about clinical supervision.

Dr. Hixson has made clinical supervision and training supervisors a cornerstone of their practice, and the conversation you're going to hear us having today is born out of a shared vision for what clinical supervision has the potential to be.

Listen to the full episode to hear:

  • The power of good clinical supervision to help early career therapists learn and unlearn, and repair relationships to power post-grad school
  • Why clinical supervisors need to let go of their perception of themselves as the expert in order to develop excellence
  • Why risk tolerance–not risk aversion–is an essential quality for clinical supervisors
  • Why supervisors need to consider the impact they have in shaping the culture of early career and future therapists

Learn more about Dr. K Hixson:

Learn more about Riva Stoudt:

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