DIPLOMA IN FAMILY LAW SUPERVISION
This three-part modular training - believed to be the first of its kind in the UK or elsewhere - will qualify successful candidates to provide individual supervision to other family lawyers – both solicitors and barristers.
Chris is a psychotherapist, family consultant and supervisor. He believes that knowledge of what contributes to healthy and conscious relating provides the bedrock for excellence and success in the work of family law.
Chris has been in continuous private practice as a psychotherapist since 1993, working with individuals and couples. Since 2006 he has also worked in interdisciplinary settings alongside family lawyers, attempting to improve the experience of divorce and supporting the healthy reshaping of post-divorce families. As a clinical supervisor, he is the first in the UK to offer psychologically-based supervision to family lawyers. He is the author of The Complete Guide to Divorced Parenting (Camedia Books, 2014) and a regular contributor to the Annalisa Barbieri column in the Guardian Family section.
Why Family Law Supervision?
The idea that we can work continuously with other people’s conflict while remaining unaffected and unscathed ourselves is now widely discredited. For many professionals working repeatedly with psychological trauma and human distress, supervision is mandatory.
Effective care of the practitioner is seen as a prerequisite to effective care of the client. But this is not the case in the field of family law, despite growing awareness of chronic stress, workaholism and burnout among family lawyers.
At Family Law in Partnership in London, Partners and Associates have been receiving individual supervision for several years. Founding partner Gillian Bishop has described it as ‘one of the best decisions I have made in my professional life.’
Generally though, in terms of self-care, the family law profession is playing catch-up. This diploma is driving that change. You could be at the forefront of it.
Become a family law supervisor
Now, in order for more family lawyers to be able to access supervision, more supervisors are needed from within the profession. Could you be one of them?
The answer is ‘yes’ if you’re compassionate, curious, fascinated by difference, intuitive, courageous and, above all, a great listener who would like to become an even better one.
The hunger for what supervision offers is evident. Not only is it a primary source of pastoral care, but also an ongoing educative tool. Through the medium of the supervisory relationship, it builds the practitioner’s awareness of the key role played by emotional dynamics in all the stakeholder relationships in family law: between client and client, client and children, client and lawyer, lawyer and lawyer.
Our training is tailored around the understanding that many family lawyers, by their very nature, are fascinated by what makes people tick. It is clear, though, that most basic family law trainings cover only the legal parameters of the work, overlooking the vital insights into effective practice that can be gained from also applying a systemic psychological perspective.
Self-care and client care are the dual building blocks of this perspective and form the core of our supervision model.
What does the course include?
At the core of the training delegates attend three two-day modules, taken over a period of 15 months. These will prepare candidates to submit for the FLiP Faculty Supervision Diploma - a qualification that we envisage becoming the quality kitemark for supervision in the field of family law.
In addition to the training days you will be receive your own supervision. The costs of the course include for 2 supervision sessions between Modules 1 and 2, then a further three sessions between Modules 2 & 3.
You will also be encouraged and helped to find a maximum of two volunteer supervisees to form a training contract with.
Each training group will be small - a maximum of 15 candidates - and will work as a mutually supportive learning community.
The teaching is highly experiential from the start, using personal experience and role play to introduce and explore the theory of supervision and to forensically examine what the process does, how it works, and how each delegate can personalise it by learning to practise it with their own ‘voice’ and in their own idiom.
Key Learning Points
The Family Law Supervision training will teach you how to:
understand and implement safe and appropriate boundaries;
recognise the overlap and differences between counselling, coaching and supervision;
work within the limits of your role and ability and to forward refer when necessary;
give and receive accurate critical feedback with your supervisees;
manage confidentiality in different contractual settings;
listen to, trust and use your intuition effectively;
challenge over-compliance or over-defensiveness in your supervisee;
effectively apply empathy, and distinguish it from sympathy;
problem-solve by facilitation rather than control;
deal effectively with impasses, breaks and crises in the supervisory contract;
understand the nature of trust, attachment and vulnerability in the supervisory relationship;
negotiate possible multiple roles you may have in your supervisee’s life;
keep effective process notes;
use the supervision you receive as a critical template for the supervision you provide
Achieving the Diploma
To be awarded the Diploma you will require successful completion of a period of at least ten sessions with one volunteer supervisee, an essay, an assessment of session process notes, and a three-way appraisal protocol contributed to by you, your supervisor and one volunteer supervisee.
To continue to practice as an accredited FLiP Faculty Family Law Supervisor you will also be required to sign up and adhere to our Code of Practice and Ethics for Supervisors.
By the end of the course you will be able to...
Form, grow and maintain supervision contracts with individual family lawyers, according to the FLiP Faculty Code of Practice and Ethics for Supervisors.
Book your place...
The price for the full Family Law Supervision programme will be £1,800 + VAT
3 x two day training modules
5 x individual supervision sessions
3 x course assessments (an essay, an assessment of session process notes, and a three-way appraisal protocol)
1 x year's inclusion on the FLiP Faculty register of accredited Family Law Supervisors