Dialogical Mindfulness in Supervision Role-play

Dialogical Mindfulness in Supervision Role-play is an approach to clinical counselling and psychotherapy supervision. The primary intention of  Dialogical Mindfulness in Supervision Role-play is to enhance therapists’ empathic understanding of their clients.

Dialogical Mindfulness in Supervision Role-play has similarities with the “empty chair” technique traditionally used in Gestalt therapy, as well as with techniques utilised in other mindfulness-based psychotherapy approaches. Nevertheless, it is a unique operationalisation of role-play in integration with ‘dialogical mindfulness’, and it opens up new perspectives in clinical supervision.

Dialogical Mindfulness in Supervision Role-play offers the supervisee an opportunity to access subtle details of information about the client (and also about the therapist, and the relational dynamics between them); information which is already present, but not readily available to the supervisee’s awareness.

The approach was developed as part of a research project in my Master of Mental Health degree at the University of Queensland. Mindfulness approaches to counselling and psychotherapy had already been applied in many forms, and a number of research studies have validated mindfulness as a valuable component in therapy. The utilisation of mindfulness in supervision was, and still is, a poorly researched field.

Article: Dialogical Mindfulness in Supervision Role-play

A peer-reviewed article based on my research was published in December 2010 as “Dialogical Mindfulness in Supervision Role-play”. An extract from the article abstract reads as follows:

Aims: This exploratory pilot study investigated Mindfulness-based Role-play (MBRP) supervision to find out how therapists would experience the approach, and to what extent they would find it useful, particularly in relation to empathy toward clients.

Findings: Participants predominantly had positive emotional and cognitive responses to their supervision experiences. The main supervision outcomes were empathy with the client’s emotional experience, enhanced awareness of functioning as a therapist, and thoughts about how to proceed in therapy. A subset of participants also reported observed effects in therapy with clients.

If you are a practising counsellor/psychotherapist and you are interested in experiencing the benefits of Dialogical Mindfulness in Supervision Role-play as part of your clinical supervision, either individually or in a group setting, please contact me today.

If you are a clinical supervisor, or part of a group of supervisors, who would like to learn how to incorporate Dialogical Mindfulness in Supervision Role-play in your supervisor skills set, I am also available to provide training in this approach.