Professional Supervision

Professional supervision is defined as “a self-reflective review of practice, to discuss professional issues and to receive feedback on all elements of practice, with the objectives of ensuring quality of service, improving practice and managing stress”  (NZ Psychologists’ Board)

Sam Farmer is an Accredited Coaching Supervisor with the International Society for Coaching Psychology and was the first in Aotearoa/ New Zealand to gain accreditation as a Coaching Supervisor from the Oxford Brookes Business School. He has over two decades of experience in providing professional supervision to both individuals and groups.

Along with a small group of diverse peers around the world, Sam is also part of the next generation of coaching supervisors who are challenging traditional supervision paradigms in order to enhance current reflective practices of coach professional development in ways that better contribute to the needs of the individuals, organisations, communities and ecological environments in which they work.

Sam’s practice is influenced by, but not limited to: the 7-eyed Supervision Model; Acceptance and Commitment, and Compassion-Focused approaches; consideration of te Ao Māori and other culturally informed perspectives; models informed by Adult Development, Change, and Motivation theories.  Having written, presented and read extensively on the subject, Sam prioritises four core functions within professional supervision:

  1. Development – increasing the knowledge, understanding and skills of supervisees in the application of their practice
  2. Accountability – providing space, and guidance where necessary, to reflect upon the diverse environments in which supervisees work; and to ensure best practice and client safety in line with relevant professional standards and ethical codes
  3. Support – in relation to supervisees’ diverse experiences, enhancing their self-awareness, professional confidence, courage and wellbeing
  4. Meaning – encouraging supervisees to reflect upon their individual and professional perspective and purpose and how it influences, and is influenced by, the work that they do.  This may include supervisees’ – and their clients’ – increasing concerns relating to social inequities and global ecological threat

The multi-systemic contexts and existential developments in which human change occurs often add complexity to reflection upon professional practice.  As a result, prior to starting work together, Sam will agree a written and regularly reviewed supervision contract with you.  Taking into consideration your particular experience, knowledge, clients and professional context, contracting includes discussion about your goals for your work together, supervision length, frequency and costs.  And to enhance your supervision experience further, several days prior to each meeting, Sam will email you a few questions to assist your preparation and reflection. 

Providing excellent outcomes for clients can be rewarding, exciting and challenging, as well as stressful and ethically demanding.  Sam recognises the courage and vulnerability that informs supervisees’ quest for professional growth and discovery.  As a result, it is his aspiration that the supervision that he provides you will be strongly informed by his:

  • Belief that most people have a level of discomfort or dissatisfaction with their practice about which they are curious and/or wish to enhance.
  • Purpose to enhance your focus and engagement, in order to build insight and self-honesty, in order to understand who you are and the perspectives you bring, in order to conduct your practice in ways that are both authentic and ethical
  • Process of supervision that facilitates a reflective working environment that: is both structured and psychologically safe; honours individual diversity and difference; encourages openness to try things out and acknowledge mistakes (both Sam’s and the supervisee’s); references recognised supervision and coaching perspectives that are both theoretically and/or research informed and culturally relevant.

All of the recognised Codes of Ethics, to which registered Psychologists and professional Coaches adhere, emphasise the essential contribution that regular supervision makes to ensuring the delivery of effective practice to the highest ethical standards.  As a registered psychologist, Sam receives regular supervision and is bound by the Aotearoa/ New Zealand Psychologists’ Code of Ethics.  For reference, you may also wish to view the Global Code of Ethics for Coaches, Mentors and Supervisors.

… Supervision helps me to maintain my own high standards of work, as well as create the time I need to reflect and consider my own approaches with clients. I chose to work with Sam because I liked the combination of his coaching skills and the rigor of his psychology background. I thoroughly look forward to [supervision with him] each month because I know it will stretch my thinking, challenge my assumptions and provide a supportive framework for my practice. I … highly recommend his work.
Sam provided my external supervision for a number of years. His insight, encouragement and gentle nudging helped me to grow in confidence, knowledge and skill, while remaining grounded in my values and passions, his support enabled me to take on new and challenging projects.

Quality Relationships                Meaningful Work                Inner Harmony