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Course Summary 
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. 

Speakers - Christopher Mills, Zoe Barnes, Andrew Pearce or Catherine Rodger 

The line up of speakers will vary from programme to programme but will be form the following team: 
Chris Mills 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. 
Zoe Barnes has a passion for people’s mental health and well-being. Her journey began over 25 years ago when she volunteered for SSAFA supporting families within the military and then delivered alternative education programmes to children aged 9-16 who were at risk of or excluded from school. These experiences set Zoe on the path to becoming a qualified therapeutic counsellor and supervisor. She now has a private practice as an integrative therapist, with a focus on Coherence Therapy and seeing both UK and international clients. Zoe also works in the corporate environment where she delivers training, facilitation and therapeutic supervision, working in particular with Law firms, solicitors and barristers. 
Andrew Pearce is a Certified Trainer of NLP, UKCP Registered Psychotherapist with over 15 years experience and a Registered Supervisor. He also works as a personal and professional development coach often with senior managers & executives. With his broad spectrum of professional expertise and understanding, he works in a wide variety of areas (including public & private sectors), particularly facilitating change with individuals & groups. He is actively involved in Mediation, Critical Incident support and Collaborative Family Law. He has been interviewed on local & national radio and television on the subject of Life Balance and spoken at Oxford University & Newcastle MBA School about the impact of ambiguity & uncertainty on team dynamics and enabling resilience. His aim is to increase choice for individuals and teams who want the freedom to be authentically who they really are. 
Catherine Rodger is a Child and Family Systemic Psychotherapist, a Systemic Supervisor, an academic Tutor and Research Supervisor on systemic postgraduate trainings and an independent Trainer. She worked for many years as a Family Therapist in Child and Adolescent Mental Health services within the NHS in South London in a variety of outpatient and clinic settings. For the last 8 years she has moved into private practice in Kent in a low cost counselling charity. 

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. 

Course Details 

Pathway through the training: 

The training is a blend of: 
taught modules for the whole group; 
supervision practice undertaken by each trainee with volunteer supervisees; 
supervision and tutorials to support this; 
a graduation process that is timed to meet the individual needs of each trainee. 
There are three two-day taught modules, spread over roughly a year. 
Module 1 
This introduces the highly experiential bias of the training. Trainees are giving and receiving supervision from day one, discovering through practice what the discipline is founded on and what skills it calls on. It is through the direct experience of supervision that trainees come to understand the theory and philosophy of it. Module 1 prepares trainees to go out and find their first volunteer supervisee from among the family law community and to begin a sequence of monthly sessions with them. 
The trainees all receive two sessions of supervision with one of the course tutors between modules 1 and 2, and also between modules 2 and 3. These sessions may be face-to-face, if geography and Covid allow, or online. They are included in the course fee. If a trainee wants or is in need of more than two sessions, this can be arranged at a cost of £100 per hour session, the fee paid directly to the tutor. 
Module 2 
The aim of this is to pick up in much finer detail the particular learning needs of the group, based on individual trainees’ experiences of supervising their volunteers. Module 2 is largely responsive in this sense, built from scratch by the trainers and trainees together. The trainers will introduce theoretical and procedural points of learning as/when necessary. Trainees will do more live practice and will give each other detailed feedback. The trainers will also give demonstrations and involve themselves directly in the practice exercises where helpful. 
Between modules 2 and 3, a number of trainees will typically take on a second volunteer supervisee. This will be after completing at least five consecutive monthly sessions with their first volunteer. Adding a second volunteer usefully creates a means of comparing supervisees and the variety of skills and approaches that need to be drawn on to be successfully alongside different presentations and different personal idioms. However, the timing of adding a second supervisee is discretionary. The tutors will not recommend it until they feel it is timely for the particular trainee. 
Module 3 
As with module 2, this is a skills review and catch-up based on how trainees are doing and the learning edges they are on. Module 3 also addresses questions connected to qualification. For example: 
if/when/how to ‘transfer’ volunteer supervisees into paying ones; 
how to market supervision practice and where to look for supervisees; 
fee structures, contracts, codes of ethics and professional insurance; 
the difference between working for firms or for individuals. 
After module 3, trainees will continue to work with volunteer supervisees and some may have a third by now. They will require supervision for this which will be provided by one of the course tutors at the rate of £100 per session. This will continue until they have qualified, after which graduates start charging supervisees for the supervision they provide. Advisory guidelines on fee structure have been drawn up by the Association of Family Law Supervisors, but these are not mandatory. After qualifying, graduates will continue to have supervision for their supervision (for as long as they continue to practice) but this can be with any supervisor of their choice on the AFLS register. 

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 


There is no deadline for qualification. Some trainees are ready sooner than others, but speed is not an indication of quality. It is not a race. Readiness on the part of the trainee is the key factor. When the trainee feels ready to submit for qualification, they may choose to book a tutorial with one of the trainers beforehand, but this is not obligatory (tutorials, like supervision, last an hour and cost £100). Qualification requires: 
successful completion of a detailed but largely subjective questionnaire; 
submitting a set of ten consecutive anonymised session notes on one of their volunteer supervisees. 
These submissions will be read by one of the tutors who then arranges a tutorial with the trainee. This tutorial is included in the original course fee. At the tutorial the tutor informs the trainee whether or not they have passed. If they haven’t, the tutor will advise the trainee what still needs to be done to reach a pass standard and will give the trainee whatever help they need to achieve this. Any further tutorial help required from this point is chargeable to the trainee at the standard £100/hour rate. 


Graduation automatically confers membership of the Association of Family Law Supervisors and a place on its register. The voice, opinions and contribution of each graduate then become an invaluable part of the organisation’s growth and influence. 

Book your place... 


02 May 2024 Diploma in Family Law Supervision Info
Venue: London Venue Info | Speaker: Christopher Mills Info
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Course Pricing 

The price for the full Family Law Supervision programme will be £3,250 + VAT 
This includes: 
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 
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