It is the responsibility of each mindfulness teacher to organize their own supervision, in the way that is appropriate and beneficial in developing their teaching practice. The guidelines below will help teachers to choose the right supervision for them. The supervisor will give a Working Agreement document to the supervisee, which will be filled in to decide and agree the terms of the supervision. This document will serve as a statement of Intention and Motivation for the shared supervision process.
The use of the word supervision in this context is intended to convey a collaborative partnership. The intention is to create an alliance between the supervisor and supervisee which enables open and creative exploration of personal practice, how this interweaves with teaching practice and the integration of mindfulness in work.
Supervisors do not have authority over the teaching practice of the supervised teacher. However the supervisor has a responsibility to communicate with their supervisee about any concerns they may have regarding the safety of those being taught. On rare occasions it may be appropriate for the supervisor to communicate concerns about safety to another responsible person (see details below).
The supervisors on the MA’s list have demonstrated to the MA that they met the MA Supervisor Good Practice Guidelines. However the decision to enter into a supervision arrangement is made by the supervisee and supervisor in discussion with each other and it is their responsibility to act in accordance with the supervision agreement made between them.
The supervisor will allow the supervised person (usually by e-mail) to circulate feedback about his / her own feelings about the supervision session. Surveillance sessions are not psychotherapeutic, personal counseling or therapy sessions.
The UK Network for Mindfulness Teachers guidelines have the following requirements for supervision and teachers delivering MA courses, including the MBLC, are expected to meet these guidelines.
Engagement in processes which continue to develop mindfulness-based teaching practice:
– ongoing contacts with other mindfulness practitioners and teachers, built and maintained as a means to share experiences and learn collaboratively;
– regular supervision with an experienced mindfulness-based teacher including:
I. opportunity to reflect on/inquire into personal process in relation to personal mindfulness practice and mindfulness-based teaching practice;
II. receiving periodic feedback on teaching through video recordings, supervisor sitting in on teaching sessions or co-teaching with reciprocal feedback.
2.What to expect from supervision
1. A supervision session is a mindful conversation around the personal practice and teaching practice of the supervisee. Issues, experiences and ideas are explored mindfully, without judgement and without a need to fix. The supervisor may offer some advice as well as facilitating mindful inquiry, depending on the needs of the supervisee. This mindful conversation is based on the principles of mindful dialogue, including regular pauses and trusting emergence.
2. The content of the sessions will be usually determined by what each supervisee brings. The supervisee will, therefore, be responsible for choosing what material to bring and will also be responsible for what learning they take from the supervision and how that learning is applied. The supervisor will be responsible for offering facilitation, guidance and support and will periodically refer to the requirements in the UK Guidelines for Mindfulness Teachers (for example asking the supervisee about CPD and any retreats they may have planned).
3. From the FAQs document which accompanies the UK Guidelines:
What does ‘regular supervision with an experienced mindfulness-based teacher’ mean?
The regularity, length and type of supervision should be negotiated with a more experienced supervisor with reference to the extent of teaching work being undertaken, the level of experience of teacher, and the requirements of the agency. As a general guide, an inexperienced teacher might agree to use a minimum of three hours supervision over the period of an eight week course. It is recommended that experienced teachers who teach regularly should have mindfulness supervision at least monthly during the periods that they are teaching.
Peer supervision should be supplemented by having a named supervisor who has a role in monitoring quality.
(from Evans et al: A Framework for Supervision for Mindfulness- Based Teachers: a Space for Embodied Mutual Inquiry, 2014).
4. Stages of supervision
For teachers wishing to be on the list of MBLC teachers certified by Mindfulness Association Poland and on the list of the Polish Mindfulness Association as well as the European Mindfulness Network (EMN) database.
For these teachers, conducting two 8-week MBLC courses are required, and at each of these 3 hours are the subject to individual supervision (6 hours in total). Supervisor must be appointed by the Mindfulness Association UK or Mindfulness Association Poland.
2) For teachers already being on the MBLC Mindfulness Association Polska certified teachers list and on the list of the Polish Mindfulness Association as well as the European Mindfulness Network (EMN) database.
Teachers delivering MBLC courses do not need to have a supervisor assigned by the MA, although it is recommended to have a supervisor with experience in MBLC courses and meeting the requirements of the „Good Supervision Practices”. In order to maintain their presence on the above-mentioned lists, MBLC teachers are required to attend at least one retreat deepening their practice per year, to undergo a supervision, and to have Liability Civil Insurance
5.Forms of supervision
A. Indyvidual (one to one) supervision
One to one supervision can be arranged according to the supervisee’s needs. A standard agreement might be 30 minutes monthly, however the supervisee may need more frequent supervision if they are new to teaching, especially when delivering their first MBLC course. They may also wish to have longer sessions if they teach mindfulness frequently.
Participation in a session or course run by a supervisor (MA weekend course or course or session outside the MA as part of an individual supervisor practice). The opportunity to participate in this event will depend on the supervisor and the teacher’s work schedule (for example, during weekend courses). Those who are supervised will be guiding the practice and sessions of inquiry under supervision.
The supervisee will cover travel and accommodation costs during the course, but no course fee will be required. They can participate as observers in the other sessions of the course. The possibility of participating in group seminars will depend on the supervisor and the group with whom he works. They may also be part of the team organizing the weekend meeting, although they will attend as observers (except for their own teaching practice). The group can be informed that during the weekend there will be observers present for training purposes during the weekend.
The feedback will be given immediately after the supervisor / phone / Skype session with a delay of several days or during the next supervision session.
Asking the supervisor to attend one of sessions during delivery of MBLC course. In addition to the costs of supervision, travel costs should be reimbursed and if necessary providing accommodation.
The supervising person organizes the recording of his lesson and transfer it on to the supervisor (the camera must record the teacher, not the group). The recording must last about 1 hour. The supervised person should obtain the agreement form of the recording group made available by MA and make sure that the participants agreeing to the recording do not thereby interfere with the policy of the institution and organization they work for. Video is created at the sole risk of the supervisee. Total liability for the creation and use of recordings rests with the person undergoing supervision. MA disclaims all liability for loss or damage of recordings as a result of their use.
B. Group Supervision Scheme
1. Teachers who want to take part in group supervision will be placed into or can find their own groups of three, and proceed with supervision under the guidance of a supervisor.
2. If possible a regular monthly time and date (eg. 3rd Thursday each month at 7pm) will be agreed for a 1 hour supervision session by group Skype (or by group phone call if the supervisor has access to a phone that can support this). Each supervisee will take approximately 20 minutes of this time. Every other supervision session will be facilitated by the supervisor and for the other sessions the supervisees will take it in turns to ‘hold’ the sessions. Therefore, over the course of a year supervisees will take part in six group supervision sessions with a supervisor and six peer supervision sessions.
3. It is then the supervisees’ responsibility to attend the sessions.
4. At the end of each year, supervisees have the option to move to different supervision groups with a different supervisor, with the aim of learning more from other teachers, if they so wish.
6. Costs of supervision by Mindfulness Association UK
A. Individual supervision:
30 minutes = 150PLN
1 hour = 250 PLN
B. Group supervision:
Annual fee: 600 PLN
Discussions in supervision sessions will normally be held in complete confidence. However supervisors may take aspects of the supervision experience to their own confidential supervision and if they do, will make every effort to maintain the anonymity of their supervisee.
If the supervisor has concerns about any matter arising from supervision which has or could have serious ethical, medico-legal, criminal and/or fitness to practice implications, they may need to discuss the matter with another responsible person. In those circumstances it may not be possible for the supervisor to keep all information confidential. However, supervisors will try to disclose only as much information as is necessary to consider their concerns properly with the other responsible person. A supervisor will go straight to another responsible person if the disclosure may affect the safety of another.
If a supervisor believes that a supervisee is working beyond their level of competency they should discuss this with the supervisee and if the supervisee does not respond so as to work within their competency the supervisor may decline to supervise them any longer. This should be brought to the attention of MA.
Responsible for the subject of supervision is Fay Adams firstname.lastname@example.org or Heather Regan- Addis email@example.com. Anna Zubrzycki firstname.lastname@example.org is a mediator for those who would like to explain these issues in Polish.
Complaints will then be discussed with members of the MA Board if further advice and action is needed.
The Mindfulness Association and the supervisors do not have authority over the teaching of the supervisee and therefore are not in a position to prevent someone from teaching.
8. Data Protection
Your supervisor may keep process notes of the supervision sessions as a reminder of what was discussed. These will also be kept in confidence and eventually destroyed.