My first degree was in Younthwelfarework in the Netherlands which focussed on looked after children and children with various disabilities. I then moved to the UK to train as a dramatherapist and group psychotherapist in the 1980s. My clinical practice over the subsequent 30 years was with traumatised children, adolescents and adults in the NHS, education, social services and charities. As a migrant I was particularly interested in intercultural practice. My intergenerational experience of war trauma led to developing work with refugees post the ex Yugoslavia wars, both adults and young people designated as unaccompanied minors.
Supervision was an integral aspect of my work to process difficult feelings and organisational pressures and to continue developing the therapeutic relationship with clients. In parallel to receiving it I also started supervising other practitioners. I worked in universities providing postgraduate education to arts therapists which included trainee supervision and developed dramatherapy supervision training for experienced practitioners with my colleagues. I was part of the professional association supervision committee accrediting supervisors and researched the impact of supervision on dramatherapy practitioners (Jones and Dokter eds 2011 Supervision of dramatherapists. London: Routledge).
My experience and philosophy of supervision is to focus on supporting the practitioner so that they can help the young people they work with in their continuing development at whatever pace is right for them to achieve confidence in their abilities. A point of attention is the work life balance for the practitioner. Over the last twenty years I combined university masters course leaders posts with a clinical lead arts therapies post in adult mental health. Supervision was crucial in maintaining my own ability to develop and also to know when to stop. I have now retired from this combination and since 2017 concentrate on my private practice providing therapy, supervision and training to a range of practitioners working in health and education.