194 – The Shadow Self

194 - The Shadow Self

Parallel Process in Supervision – Peek into Practice with Tamara Howell

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In episode 194 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, you can hear presenters Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly talking about Carl Gustav Jung’s concept of the shadow self in ‘Student Check-In’. Then, in ‘Focus on Supervision’, they discuss the parallel process in the supervisory relationship. The episode closes with experienced online therapist Tamara Howell offering us a peek into her practice.

The Shadow Self (starts at 1.40 mins)

Carl Gustav Jung was a contemporary of Sigmund Freud; they shared a close association until they fell out over different theoretical views.

Jung believed that we all have a shadow self, which is the part of us we find unacceptable. We often deny our shadow self, pretending even to ourselves that it does not exist.

Ken and Rory talk about:

  • how you can spot your and other people’s shadow self
  • why it is helpful to understand the shadow self
  • how the shadow self affects relationships with others
  • how to face and accept the shadow self

Rory provides an example of what he sees as his shadow self, and how he has tackled this.

You can download a handout on Jung and the Shadow Self here.

Parallel Process in Supervision (starts at 12.20 mins)

Parallel process is a phenomenon that you will likely be familiar with through your counselling training. In the context of the therapeutic relationship, it describes the situation when what you have going on for you has strong similarities with a client’s situation. In this context, you may well need to refer such a client to another counsellor.

Parallel process can also occur in the supervisory relationship, with the supervisee paralleling a client’s feelings about therapy when describing their case to the supervisor.

Ken and Rory provide examples of this phenomenon and explain how it links with transference and countertransference. They also discuss the knowledge and skills that supervisors need in order to be able to spot and work with parallel process in supervision.

Counselling Tutor has recently developed a level 6 certificate in online supervision, which looks at the parallel process in supervision in detail.

This is mapped to the supervision competences set by ACTO, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and National Counselling Society (NCS). You can read more about it on the Counselling Tutor website.

Parallel process is a topic that arises frequently in the Counselling Tutor Facebook group. If you aren’t already a member, do come along and join over 37,000 students, qualified practitioners, tutors and supervisors interested in the world of counselling and psychotherapy.

Peek into Practice with Tamara Howell (starts at 27.40 mins)

Rory talks with Tamara Howell, who was an early adopter of working online as a therapist, following her move abroad over ten years ago.

Topics covered in this interview include:

  • how Tamara felt about online working initially
  • her view of training in online counselling
  • differences between face-to-face and online working
  • changes she has witnessed over the time she has been working in this way
  • expectations of clients with regard to online working
  • benefits for clients
  • how online working can help counsellors, too.

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