Bespoke supervision handbook for EMDR practitioners
There is no shortage of books on psychotherapy supervision. Supervision texts that are allied to a particular model of psychotherapy are thinner on the ground and now we have the first one that is geared up specifically for EMDR supervision. Its arrival is surely testament to how mainstream and established EMDR has become and, as more and more EMDR therapists are trained each year, a handbook of EMDR supervision is extremely welcome.
Logie begins the book with some scene setting of what clinical supervision is before going on to make the case about factors that can make EMDR supervision different from other therapy supervisions. We are then introduced to three perspectives on supervision that form the theoretical and practical bases of the book: the functions of supervision, the modes of supervision, and the level at which supervision is pitched. Proctor’s (1988) normative, restorative and formative functions of supervision are re-branded as educating, enabling and evaluating supervision functions to align them with the content of EMDR training and an AIP perspective. Hawkins’s (1985) Seven-Eyed Model is used to understand the dynamic focus of supervision, for example on the patient, or the therapeutic relationship or on the therapist him- or herself. Stoltenberg and McNeill’s (2011) integrated development model of supervision is used to help us pitch supervisory needs according to who we are supervising, whether it is someone fresh from their basic training in EMDR or an experienced consultant. The educating, enabling and evaluating functions of supervision are each given their own chapter so they can be unpacked in more detail, and then there is a further chapter exploring ways in which these functions can be pragmatically integrated to make supervision a balanced, substantial and responsive process.
Logie goes on to discuss different supervision formats, such as different group formats or remote methods such as video calling, and common challenges that can be encountered, such as diversity issues, power imbalances and ruptures in the supervisory alliance. There are chapters pitched specifically at training facilitators and for the training of EMDR supervisors before closing with some useful appendices including a model supervision contract, a supervisee checklist and the EMDR Europe competency framework.
Logie draws on ideas that will be familiar to us as EMDR therapists, for example, an analogy to the window of tolerance applied to supervision to find the supervisees’ optimal state in which they can learn and thrive, as opposed to ’too anxious to learn’ (analogous to hyperarousal) and ’too laid back to learn’ (analogous to hypoarousal). Supervision as an adaptive information process is a recurring theme throughout the book so at no point do we feel that this is a generic psychotherapy supervision book that makes a few mentions of EMDR along the way. It is, instead, firmly grounded in the language and culture of EMDR.
Logie’s wisdom and experience shine through in this book. He is comfortable sharing bumps in the road he encountered during his own development as a supervisor but also offers up the learning he took from these with a gentle authority.
The tone of the book is collaborative and has an overall feeling of safety. Each chapter is clearly broken down into different sub-sections. The content therefore flows nicely with each section building up what has gone before, but it is also easy to find particular topics if you need to dip in and out. A real strength of the book is the way its ideas are explicitly grounded in theory followed by clear and practical suggestions for application, often illustrated with examples from the author’s experiences as a supervisor and supervisee.
Although probably aimed at EMDR Consultants (including those in training) this book would also be beneficial to supervisees, who usually don’t get any training on how to get the best out of supervision. This book offers a lot of theoretical knowledge and practical skills for enhancing both supervisory tasks and the supervisory alliance and I suppose it’s telling that, in addition to having some dedicated time to read this book with a reviewer’s eye, I often found myself reaching for it in my day-to-day work, which is surely proof positive of its value and yes, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Hawkins, P. (1985). Humanistic psychotherapy supervision: A conceptual framework. Self & Society, 13(2), 69-76.
Proctor, B. (1988). Supervision: A co-operative exercise in accountability. In M. Marken & M. Payne (Eds.) Enabling and Ensuring. Leicester: National Youth Bureau & Council for Education & Training in Youth & Community Work.
Stoltenberg, C. & McNeill, B. (2011). IDM supervision: An integrative developmental model for supervising counsellors and therapists. New York: Routledge.