Reflective Supervision Groups

Online via Zoom

What is Reflective Supervision?

This excerpt is taken from the Australian Association of Infant Mental Health (AAIMHI) website and provides a succinct overview and introduction:

“Reflective Supervision is now well established in the field of Infant-Early Childhood work as a tool for supporting practitioners in their therapeutic work with infants, young children and their families, maintaining practitioner skills, and ensuring a quality service is provided.

The primary focus of Reflective Supervision is “the shared exploration of the emotional content of infant and family work as expressed in relationships between parents and infants, parents and practitioners, and supervisors and practitioners” (Weatherston & Barron, 2009, p.63).

It is different to traditional supervision which is often instructional, directive and prescriptive where the supervisee can feel more of a passive participant. Clinical supervision is case-focused but does not necessarily consider what the practitioner brings to the intervention nor does it necessarily encourage the exploration of emotion as it relates to work with an infant/toddler and family.

In the supportive environment of a reflective supervisor who listens and waits, the clinician can make sense of their own emotional response, explore concepts and discover solutions. By attending to the emotional content of the work and how reactions to the content affect the work, reflective supervision relates to professional and personal development within one’s discipline (Best Practice for Reflective Supervision/Consultation Guidelines, MI-AIMH).

“When it’s going well, supervision is a holding environment, a place to feel secure enough to expose insecurities, mistakes, questions and differences.” (Rebecca Shahmoon Shanock,1992).”

Reflective Supervision is considered a core competency for working with a perinatal population

Reflection is one of the eight core competency areas identified by the Michigan Association of Infant Mental Health (MI-AIMH) and also endorsed by AAIMHI WA in their Australian version of the Competency Guidelines.

“Building competency in IMH requires the development of a unique knowledge base and skill set specific to infancy and early parenthood, as well as reflective practice supervision experience that leads to best practice.”  – AAIMHI WA Competency Guidelines for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health®

Our Reflective Supervision groups

Groups are offered on a weekly or fortnightly basis and we ask participants to make a commitment for 10-sessions.  This is important for predictability and cohesion within the group.  Groups will hold 3-4 participants.

The group content will concentrate on case presentations, with each group member taking turns to present.  We will focus on relational aspects of assessment, formulation and treatment planning with a view to holding all members of the family in mind. Even if we are working directly with only one parent, finding a way to reflect on the emotional experience of the infant and other family members is critical to this approach, and the long term emotional health of the family. Links between theory and practice will be made.

Participation and Expectations

This group focuses on case presentations. Participants are expected to provide written case material to the group prior to their presentation.  A case presentation pro forma is provided. All participants are required to read through notes prior to the meeting. in this way, all minds are oriented to the case at the beginning of the meeting allowing the meeting time to be used to explore themes and ports of entry to intervention.

In the first meeting, we will ensure technology is working, allow time for introductions, provide a framework for the cases and boundaries for the group. Cases are then presented from weeks 2-10.

Requirements: Computer with internet connection, camera and sound to participate in video conferencing via Zoom.

Attendance: Please note all sessions require live participation – our sessions are not recorded and if you cannot attend a meeting you simply miss out.  There are no refunds or discounts for missed meetings.


Completion of the PIMH Intensive training

Illustration representing the Reflective Supervision process – this illustration was contained within an explanatory poster and presented at the AAIMHI Conference 2017

Developed by Dr Bronwyn Leigh & Julie King

Find A Perinatal Psychologist Near You

From the Blog

Helping You Towards Parenthood