Supervision: Working in the Spaces In Between

We are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.
And we are the mirror, the reflection of someone else
Moments of Being 
Virginia Woolf

The seven-eyed model lays out the perspectives we must hold in supervision - the client's world, the therapist's interventions, the relationship between them, the therapist's inner experience, the supervisory relationship itself, and the supervisor's interiority. A series of concentric circles mapping the terrain. And, if I've learned anything, the most vital work happens in the spaces between those delineated realms. The ellipses where identities blur and collapse, roles come unmeared, and power dynamics pulse. When you recount your client's narrative, I hear more than just the story's content. I'm attending to the elliptic spaces where their words disrupted your received roles and cultural scripts. The fissures that opened between you at that moment are portals to the unconscious of the historied self and others. As you speak, I try to hold multiple perspectives to see simultaneously into your client's world, your interventions, your relationship's co-constructed realities, and your roiling interiority. But I also seek the disruptions, the points where those ordered categories ruptured and something else emerged in the heat of your encounter, for it's in those elliptic spaces that our work exceeds its boundaries. It's where we meet as renegotiated subjectivities, haunted by the cultural ghosts and mythologies we've ingested. The therapeutic third, that relational analytic unfolding, spirals out from those vertiginous planes of mutual recognition and undoing.

In supervision, we aim to create openings into those ellipses you travelled through. To resist the "myth of sameness" that can lull us into imaginings of neutrality or innocuous roles. Instead, I want us to bring the whole anthropological density of our identities and worlds into the space between us, that charged hyphen where our stories arc and collide. Only then can we bear witness to the dynamics at play - to heal, unsettle, and re-encounter one another into new becomings. Only in the unmapped territories of the ellipsis can we map the furthest reaches of our intersubjective terrains.

Siddique, S. (2017). Ellipses: Cultural reflexivity in transactional analysis supervision. Transactional Analysis Journal, 47(2), 152-166.
Siddique, S. (2011). Being in-between: The relevance of ethnography and auto-ethnography for psychotherapy research. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 11(4), 310-316.




 “When a flower doesn't bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” 
                                    Alexander Den Heijer

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