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The National Council of Psychotherapists

Est. 1971

Supervision and Peer Group Support

Pat Doohan MNCP

A member of the NCP recently contacted Headquarters seeking guidance in respect of a potential client. The person in question wanted our member to see her twelve-year-old daughter but, having met the child, it was obvious that she needed more specialised attention and our member was unsure of what her next step should be.

As the wife of the Membership Secretary, and a member of the Council myself, I was able to advise her on what I considered to be the best of the options she had put forward, which she duly followed with a marked degree of success. Rather than work with the daughter, she offered to work with the mother, considering that most of the child’s presenting problems had been inadvertently caused by family circumstances. This proved to be the case and, although the mother took our member’s advice and also consulted other professionals, the child improved as her mother’s behaviour towards her changed.

Our member admits that, had she not had the support and advice of the NCP behind her, she would have referred this case elsewhere, as she would not have felt able to cope with the complex issues which were involved.

Many therapists work alone and it is very easy to become isolated. It is, therefore, extremely important for members to have regular supervision and, where possible, to meet with peer groups several times a year. If this is difficult because of a shortage of therapists in your particular area, please feel free to telephone Headquarters for advice or just to discuss anything you may feel you need some support with. The telephone is not manned but, if you leave a message, someone will ring you back, usually within the hour, as the phone is regularly checked. Alternatively, we could supply you with the phone number of another member in your vicinity, whom you could telephone for mutual support and advice.

If you would like to instigate group meetings in your area, please contact headquarters for a list of NCP members local to you. Meetings need not take place more than once every two or three months and need not last more than two hours, but it is important for therapists to feel they are not out on a limb with no support. The help is there – please make use of it.


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