Clients sometimes ask how confidential are their sessions. The general answer is that confidentiality is total and will not be broken without the client’s informed and explicit consent. The only time this may be contravened is where a therapist is directed by a court in the matter of criminal proceedings. A humanistic and integrative therapist will also tell the client that aspects of their sessions may be part of the therapist’s supervision. At this point the client may wonder what supervision means and will they be identified in such a process. To answer the second part, supervision is about the professional development of the therapist and not about the client’s issues, so the client is not identified. The idea is to work on the way the therapist ‘does therapy’ and to improve it. We hope the articles in this issue of Inside Out will help to answer the first part of the question.
We are happy to bring together a number of articles from the different branches of psychotherapy practised in Ireland. We believe it is valuable to have different fora so that practitioners from different backgrounds can get a feel of the way therapy is practised in other disciplines. We also believe that those who use the services of therapists benefit from the kind of discussion and exposition that Inside Out facilitates. It is important to note that these articles are written by individuals who work in the different styles of therapy and are part of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy but they do not necessarily represent current policy within the council or its constituent organizations. The reader will note there are different emphases put on the availability of supervision and this highlights the debate about whether or not there should be supervision, especially after qualification and commencement to practise.
There are questions too about the style of supervision. Should it be a kind of regulator of work, should it be consultative, where advice and direction are given, should it be interrogative in style, where the supervisor asks questions to help the therapist think through problems? We have included a report of a survey of humanistic and integrative psychotherapists conducted by Colm O’Doherty that looks at experience and trends in supervision. However, we won’t answer all these questions in this issue but we are pleased to highlight them and other important aspects of therapy supervision.
In previous years we have devoted the Summer issues to a Training Update. However many readers and subscribers have commented that while they have found the information valuable, it comes at the wrong time of the year since most training organizations interview for their courses in the Winter and Spring of the year. Therefore, we hare decided to move the Training Update to the Winter and we will publish it in December 1995.
As always we are happy to have feedback about the content of Inside Out and we encourage you to write to us. Regular readers know that we produce each issue on a theme but we also include other articles and reviews. If you would like to write an article on a subject that fires your imagination we would be glad to receive it for possible publication. Alternatively, you may have read a book you think is particularly good or been to a workshop you found helpful, why not let us have a review or a report? Thank you for your continued support. The Autumn issue will be on the theme of Bereavement & Loss in Psychotherapy. This will touch on broader issues than grief at the loss of a loved one.