What is the purpose of mindfulness-based supervision?

Mindfulness-based supervision is subtle and complex. It can provide you with an invaluable opportunity to reflect and dialogue on your teaching and mindfulness practice with an experienced mindfulness-based teacher. A key aspect is that everything that happens within supervision is held within a container of mindfulness and then brings the inquiry process into the exploration of the supervisee’s experience. For further information about our model of mindfulness-based supervision, please click here.

Who does the mindfulness network offer supervision to?

The mindfulness-based supervision offered through the Mindfulness Network is specifically for those training or already trained to teach MBSR/MBCT. Before applying for supervision, we suggest that you have completed training to Level 1 or equivalent with a training organisation who is a member of the UK Network for Mindfulness-based Teacher Training Organisations (with the exception of students on University Masters programmes who are embarking upon Level 1 training and require supervision during Level 1 training).

Many teachers also deliver other mindfulness-based programmes in addition to MBSR/MBCT. Some of our supervisors have knowledge and experience in these other programmes, and/or could support your teaching with the foundational aspects of mindfulness that you bring to your teaching.

What skills can I expect my mindfulness supervisor to have?

All of our registered supervisors adhere to the UK Network Good Practice Guidelines for Teaching Mindfulness-based courses. They are all deeply experienced as mindfulness-based teachers, and have had specific training to develop their skills as mindfulness supervisors. Many are involved in training mindfulness-based teachers. They also meet our own requirements, which you can read about here.

How do I choose a mindfulness supervisor?

Before you choose a supervisor, it is important to know what you want to get out of supervision. We recommend you read through all the information on our website so you are familiar with what is offered so that you can see if our supervision meets your requirements and you meet the criteria.

To choose a supervisor, please go to the Our Supervisors page where you will see a list of all our supervisors and their availability, or you can search for a supervisor with a specialism by clicking here. Clicking on each name will enable you to read their profile.

What is the process of arranging supervision?

After you read each FAQ, you can then choose a supervisor and complete your application form. Please complete the application with as much detail as possible. The information you give us helps supervisors decide if they are able to supervise you at application stage. We require the payment of the registration fee at this stage.

Our supervision coordinator will oversee the process of your application so there is no need for you to make direct contact with supervisors.

Once your chosen supervisor receives your application, s/he will contact you for a brief chat to make sure that you have compatible schedules. This is a time to ask further questions and for you both to ensure that you are a good match.

If your chosen supervisor doesn’t have availability when you need it, or there are other incompatibilities, we will ask you to select another supervisor from our list. In the rare instance where we can’t allocate a supervisor to you, we will refund your registration fee in full.

Once matched with a supervisor, your supervisor will then refer to the information on your application form during the first contracting session to explore the finer details of how you work together rather than going through lots of background information.

How often will supervision sessions occur and for how long?

During your first half-hour contracting session, you and your supervisor will discuss your intentions and needs and how you will work together so that you can draw up a contract for future sessions. Some people choose to have sessions weekly, monthly or every other month, for either 30 minutes or an hour.

You can discuss the frequency of sessions at any time depending on your supervisor’s availability. We recommend that when you are teaching your first few classes that you arrange to have several supervision sessions before and during the classes. As your experience develops, you may decide to space the sessions out so that they are regular and ongoing rather than linked to specific teaching commitments.

Is supervision face-to-face or can it be done by telephone or Skype?

Unless you live or work near your supervisor, supervision generally occurs via telephone or Skype. If you are unfamiliar with these methods of supervision, it may seem a little strange to begin with but it does offer advantages over face-to-face supervision in terms of convenience and because you can choose a supervisor from anywhere in the country. Your supervisor will be familiar with offering supervision in this way and will guide you through. You will be responsible for making the calls and any others costs that occur.

How do the sessions themselves work?

Generally, you will set the agenda of the sessions, what material(s) to bring, and how to apply the learning gained. The supervisor may wish to be emailed in advance with a provisional agenda for the next supervision session in order to make the best use of time. All of this can be discussed in the initial session. The supervision process will aim to encourage investigative dialogue and exploration around the issues brought to supervision or arising in the session. This is very much a two-way learning process, though guidance may be offered as appropriate.

What are the costs and how does invoicing work?

Please click HERE to see our recommended fees for supervision.

Payment terms and fees for your sessions will be agreed and arranged directly with your supervisor. The supervision contract is also arranged directly with the supervisor, the Mindfulness Network acts as an advisory body and supports signposting to quality supervisors.

Although we do not charge to match you with a supervisor, we welcome donations to our Cindy Cooper Bursary Fund. Our bursary fund aspires to make mindfulness-based supervision accessible to mindfulness-based teachers, particularly those working with hard to reach populations or those with temporary financial difficulties.  This is a limited resource that we wish to use wisely, ensuring that the bursary funds we offer will be used in a way that most closely aligns with our Mission Statement. At the heart of the bursary fund is the generosity of teachers and supervisors who make donations to the fund from their own pockets, having worked to set up their own sustainable mindfulness business, and wanting to help support other teachers.

What if I have to cancel a session?

Please ensure that you give your supervisor as much notice as possible. Your supervisor may charge you for a missed session, so please check your contract.

Do your supervisors offer clinical supervision?

In most circumstances, our registered supervisors do not provide clinical supervision. The supervisee will be expected to have a separate arrangement for this if this is required. This does not preclude supervisees from using the process to explore their mindfulness practice with different client groups and in different settings, but mindfulness-based supervisors cannot take responsibility for direct clinical work.

How do your supervisors protect confidentiality?

During your first half-hour contracting session, you and your supervisor will discuss issues around confidentiality, but we suggest that the following areas be covered:

  • Discussions in the sessions will normally be held in complete confidence.
  • If you wish to use audio or video-tapes as part of the supervision process, you must get your client or clients’ explicit written consent for recorded material being used for this purpose. You are also responsible for ensuring that any recordings are consistent with the policies of their employing organisation where applicable (e.g. NHS Trust). Mindfulness-based supervisors cannot accept any liability in respect to any such recordings.
  • Your supervisor may take any appropriate issues arising from the supervision to his/her own supervision process, in which case all reasonable care will be taken to ensure your anonymity and maintain confidentiality.
  • Confidentiality may be broken if your supervisor is sufficiently concerned about a matter with serious ethical, medico-legal or criminal implications told to him/her (including concerns about fitness to practice). The supervisor reserves the right to break confidentiality by discussing this with another responsible person (such as his/her professional manager). This would never be done without informing you and making every effort to discuss it first.

Whom do I contact if I have a complaint or am having a problem with my supervisor?

Some problems can be resolved by speaking with your supervisor first. However, if you have done this already (and your issue hasn’t been resolved) or don’t feel able to talk to your supervisor, please feel free to contact us at supervision@mindfulness-network.org. Our Admin Team will either be able to help you or will triage your email to our Supervision Lead.

We always welcome feedback regarding ourselves and our supervisors, so please don’t hesitate to contact us at any point.

Is my data safe?

Your supervisor may keep process notes of the supervision sessions as a reminder of what was discussed. During your first half-hour contracting session, you and your supervisor will discuss and clarify these arrangements.