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Delscey Burns


Both as a supervisor and a supervisee, my experience of supervision is of a creative, rewarding, light-hearted, shared collegial venture, with learning at its heart.


I’m an independent supervisor and coach based in Cheltenham. I qualified as a coach in 2005 and as a supervisor in 2007, after a 20 year career in education, the last 11 years as a headteacher. I then retrained and worked for 5 years as a psychotherapist, before training as a coach. Currently all my coaching work is life coaching, and all my supervisees work with organisations.


I see ongoing and regular supervision as an invaluable aspect of continuing development for all coaches, its purpose being to develop supervisees’ competence and confidence, to protect their psychological well-being and the interests of the various stake holders in their areas of work, and to maintain professional standards, especially where the work is complicated and may give rise to ethical questions.

If we are to work together, I believe we need to establish a mutually respectful, equal, safe and trustworthy relationship within which you can review and reflect honestly on your work, without fearing judgement. In my own supervision, those things that I’m most reluctant to talk about often lead to the greatest learning!


The balance of power is an interesting issue in supervision. We are fellow professionals with, I assume, a shared belief in human beings’ inherent tendency to grow and in our own innate resourcefulness. As we engage in joint inquiry focused on your work, an Adult/Adult, open and equal basis of relating is essential.


There is, however, an extra aspect to my role and there may be times when, for the purposes of this relationship, I have been designated the ‘stronger and wiser’ partner. Part of my responsibility is to draw your attention to the wider context of your work, to offer theoretical and ethical perspectives, and to express honestly, and strongly, if I believe it necessary, any reservations I may have. I have to be able to stand behind your work, confident in your professional integrity.


It is my responsibility a) to ensure that our contracting is thorough and realistic, and that we are keeping on track during our sessions - essentially to manage the structural aspects of our work; b) to be fully present and listen empathically in ways that are deeply supportive, and to gain an understanding of your relationship with your work that enables me to encourage you to grow in the ways you aspire to, and c) to offer the challenges, and the invitations to widen your perspective, that will ensure that our work is stimulating and developmental in its direction.


It is your responsibility to have identified topics (not necessarily problems!) you wish to work with before a session and to have undertaken any preparation necessary.


I’m a Professional Credentialed Coach certified by the International Coach Federation and a Certified Supervisor, trained by Coaching Development, recognised by the ICF. I’m happy to work face to face, on the phone or on audio Skype.

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