Support and Supervision for Helping Professionals

When you look for support and supervision, what do you need to know?

The theoretical orientation of the possible supervisor? What kind of person they are? What 'model' of supervision they offer?

Perhaps something that Clive recently wrote will help answer the first and last questions. Combined with the rest of the webpages, it may help to answer the middle one.

Ava and Clive—A Supportive Partnership


  We offer support and supervision grounded in our integration of Person-Centred Counselling, Experiential Focusing, Expressive Therapy and 30+ years combined experience.

  We support each other, sharing knowledge, ideas, and experience and are told that we are very similar to work with—although we are certainly distinct individuals.

  We say that we offer professional support rather than clinical supervision because whatever is relevant to a helping professional working to the best of their potential is relevant to the supportive relationship.



Trained as a Person-Centred Supervisor

  Holds Post Graduate Diplomas in Addiction Studies, Person-Centred Counselling, and Process Experiential Psychotherapy as well as an MA in Counselling Research

  Has extensive experience working as an insitutional and agency counsellor in  BC, the UK, and Yukon, and as a supervisor to counsellors-in-training

  Is experienced working with domestic violence and abuse, in supporting women, and working in First Nations settings


  A philosopher and ethicist as well as a counsellor

  Holds Post Graduate Diplomas in Person-Centred Counselling and Process Experiential Psychotherapy plus an MA in Counselling Research 

  Spent 10 years developing and directing University counsellor training program integrating Person-Centred Practice with Experiential Focusing

  Has extensive experience working with long-term clients facing deep and difficult issues

  Never formally trained as a supervisor, Clive first learned his craft from his own supervisor at the time—Professor Brian Thorne of the University of East Anglia—and from the many students he worked with

  Has experience working with his dogs in the counselling room


  What one of us hasn't experienced in the counselling room, the other usually has.

  What one us doesn't know, the other usually does—or they know where to find out about it.

  And we do support each other. We share our knowledge, our experience, and training.

Contemporary, Innovative, Person-Centred Counsellors

We think of ourselves as (contemporary, innovative) Person-Centred counsellors. We prize non-directivity.  But ‘Person-Centred’ is becoming misunderstood. It is often used in quite meaningless ways—perhaps because 'non-directivity' is getting lost.

We have Diplomas saying we are ‘Process-Experiential Psychotherapists'—very similar to 'Emotionally Focused Therapists’—but we want therapy to look like ‘normal’ human conversation and interaction. ‘Focusing-oriented’ is a term popular with therapists who practice Experiential Focusing, but it feels too indecisive.

Alongside non-directivity and ‘Person-Centred’ relationship, we value process. Effective, lasting change is due either to changes in the client's environment—which a counsellor has little to say about—or to process.

Therefore, the therapist’s job is to provide conditions, support, and activities which maximise process. That's why there is a Person-Centred recipe for relationship. That's why there is Experiential Focusing. (Clive has argued in various places that Person-Centred Counselling and Experiential Focusing are two sides of one coin.) Hence, too, the rich ecology of apparently equally effective counselling ‘approaches’. Counsellors and clients vary, and what is facilitative within one therapeutic relationship can be less so in another.

We offer sandbox, play, psycho-drama, lots of chairs, accessing dreams… Sometimes Clive's work as a philosopher becomes relevant. We support somatic therapists who understand our way of offering counselling and supervision as very embodied and akin to ‘body psychotherapy’. Others have likened it to ‘Core-Process Therapy’. And we do get called 'Very Person-Centred'.

Person-Centred relating is flexible. As Person-Centred Counsellors we seek to meet each person where they need to be met with what facilitates their process. We call that 'empathy'.

Person-Centred Supervision is equally flexible, addressing what needs attention here and now. It's purpose is to help the supervisee be the most effective they can given their current clients, their current job-description, and consistent with their theoretical understanding.