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Guest Blog Series - Being A First Time Supervisor - Part 2

Today I am excited to bring you Part 2 in our series on being a first time supervisor. Here, US music therapist Faith Halverson-Ramos provides an update to her original post, detailing some of the questions she has at the beginning of her supervisory role. Have you ever had similar thoughts come up in your supervision practice, or can you answer some of Faith’s questions from a student’s point of view? We’d love to hear your thoughts. – Natalie

Confronting Myself

While it has been a few weeks since I started supervising two music therapy practicum students, we are still at the early stages of the work in which they are shadowing me. What has been most striking for me in this process so far is the self-consciousness and insecurity about my clinical skills that I feel when I’m being observed by someone who is still in the midst of school. Self-critical questions can arise, such as:

  • “Am I doing this right?”

  • “Am I appropriately representing the field of music therapy?”

  • “Am I missing something totally obvious that they’re seeing?”

  • “How will I respond to critical feedback they may have of me?”

  • “What are they going to tell their professors about me and the work that I do?”

Another interesting component that I’m noticing about the supervision process is the difference in experience between observing a client or patient as the practicing therapist, versus observing as a supervisor, with the clients being treated by a student music therapist. I’m still figuring out how best to facilitate post-session follow-up as well because, again, questions come up, including:

  • “What kind of observations should I expect a music therapy student to be making?”

  • “How can I best provide guidance while still promoting the student’s autonomy and self-development as a professional (and a person?)”

  • “How can I best provide feedback so that it will be effectively heard by the student?”

  • “In what ways do I need to sharpen my own observational skills when observing another therapist-in-training?”

So many questions… but now that they’ve been asked, I can begin to uncover the answers. – Faith

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