Supervision for practitioners who work directly with clients is definitely something that can be done more. In my years of supervising staff and interns, I have had the privilege of listening to the challenges and struggles of these practitioners. So here are some of my inputs for the many practitioners who are giving their best to their clients about supervision.


  1. Supervision is to be enjoyed

I don’t know what your experience is like currently about supervision but one thing I’ve learnt for myself is that I grew more as a practitioner when I started to enjoy supervision sessions with my supervisor. During my earlier days, I dreaded supervision sessions because I felt I was appraised and judged constantly. And to make things worse, my supervisor wanted me to present the most challenging case that I’m handling at that time. So guess what that did to my stress levels and confidence level after each supervision session??

So today, I believe that if we are to grow, we need to be at ease and comfortable in our own skin in front of our supervisor. We need to sense that unconditional acceptance that no matter what we did in our cases, it is still ok. No biggies!


2. Supervisors don’t know it all

There’s a belief that supervision is actually “super-vision” where supervisors have that ability to see through all that cloud and mess. And somehow when we present the most complicated situations to our supervisors, they will have that ability to cut through the crap and zoom in to the 3 steps to a breakthrough for the case.

Well, maybe some supervisors do have that ability due to their experience and training but honestly, I don’t. And I don’t because I truly believe that we are no experts in solving the clients’ problems. Instead, the real expert is the client themselves and we are just people who happened to be there to facilitate certain changes and actions with them.

So my role and job as a supervisor would be to reflect together with the practitioner through supervision on how they can explore creative and different ways of engaging with their clients to bring out the best of the client through future sessions.


3. Match and fit of supervisor and supervisee is crucial

Often in many agency settings, practitioners are being assigned a supervisor whom they have to work with “all their life”! But just like any other setting in life, fit is important. We are all humans after all with different personalities, beliefs and backgrounds. There will definitely be times where we simply can’t click with someone and we don’t know how to explain. Likewise in supervision, we also have to accept that even when a supervisor is assigned, it doesn’t mean that match is perfect.

So as practitioners, we need to adapt that mindset that we can have many supervisors at any point in time. Some supervisors might be useful for certain aspects of our practice while some might be more helpful in other aspects. And do bear in mind that seeking and receiving supervision is for our own growth and development where ultimately we should be responsible for our own growth.


Hope the above pointers are helpful for anyone who is working in different settings with your clients. And I would also like to share a resource for youth work practitioners in Singapore that you can tap on for supervision! In Youth Work Association Singapore, there is a supervision scheme where youth workers can tap into and gain access and funding support.

So for all those youth workers who would really like to have that extra boost of inputs and supervision, do check it out for yourself yea? Personally, I’m one of the appointed youth work supervisors in this scheme. So if you would like to explore supervision with me, please feel free to reach out to me as well.

Wishing you all the best in your journey with your clients!