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Reflective Supervision/Consultation

Reflective supervision/consultation is a professional development practice that helps infant, early childhood, and family practitioners provide best-practice, high-quality care and services to families. It is a key component of infant mental health practice and a requirement for the Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health® (RI-IMH-Endorsement®) through the Rhode Island Association for Infant Mental Health (RIAIMH).

Early learning happens in the context of relationships

Reflective supervision/consultation is distinct from administrative or clinical supervision. It focuses on relationships—much like the infant mental health field as a whole. 

During reflective supervision/consultation, practitioners and their supervisors examine relationships at different levels, including those between the practitioner and supervisor, practitioner and parent, and parent and infant/toddler. They strive to understand how each of these relationships affects the others. They also look at how the practitioner’s work is affected by the emotions he or she experiences when working with infants, young children, and families.

Goals

  • Form a trusting relationship between supervisor and practitioner.
  • Establish consistent and predictable meetings and times.
  • Ask questions that encourage details about the infant, parent, and emerging relationship.
  • Remain emotionally present.
  • Teach/guide.
  • Nurture/support.
  • Apply the integration of emotion and reason.
  • Foster the reflective process to be internalized by the supervisee.
  • Explore the parallel process and allow time for personal reflection.
  • Attend to how reactions to the content affect the process.

Best practices

The Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health has developed best practice guidelines for reflective supervision/consultation.

Get started

1. Review the reflective supervision/consultation requirements for each level of RI-IMH-Endorsement®. These are detailed in  RIAIMH’s Infant Mental Health Competency Guidelines.

2. Review the guidelines for vetting providers of reflective supervision/consultation. In order to receive credit for reflective supervision/consultation hours as part of your application for RI-IMH-Endorsement®, ensure your supervisor is approved by RIAIMH to provide this service. Contact the RIAIMH Endorsement Coordinator to learn more. (Please note: Emails are monitored on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.)

RIAIMH is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

RIAIMH is a founding member of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health.


RIAIMH is an affiliate of the World Association for Infant Mental Health.

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