The Durham Centre

Clinical Supervision, Mentoring, Life Coach

Clinical supervision is a requirement for counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists and other allied health professionals.

Supervision is essential to ensure high standards of professional practice. Ongoing supervision helps practitioners to monitor and review the quality of their work as well as their client’s progress. Supervision also provides personal support and a process for practitioners to monitor their own ongoing mental health and emotional well being. This is crucial for ongoing professionalism in emotionally demanding work.

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Supervision is a form of professional self-regulation.

Counselling supervision is especially important for trainees. Counselling skills can appear deceptively simple to learn with few technical details or technical language.

Supervision has a special role in helping trainees move beyond basic forms of counselling skills to develop a more sophisticated and sensitive form of counselling expertise. Equally, counselling placements need careful management and structured support.

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The trainee experience should be encouraging and empowering rather than negatively demanding.

Supervision provides personal support and a solid base to help trainees make sense of their learning experiences and to facilitate their professionalism.




Anxiety is a multisystem response to a perceived threat or danger. It reflects a combination of biochemical changes in the body, the patient’s personal history and memory, and the social situation. As far as we know, anxiety is a uniquely human experience. Other animals clearly know fear, but human anxiety involves an ability, to use memory and imagination to move backward and forward in time, that animals do not appear to have. The anxiety that occurs in posttraumatic syndromes indicates that human memory is a much more complicated mental function than animal memory. Moreover, a large portion of human anxiety is produced by anticipation of future events. Without a sense of personal continuity over time, people would not have the “raw materials” of anxiety.

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It is important to distinguish between anxiety as a feeling or experience, and an anxiety disorder as a psychiatric diagnosis. A person may feel anxious without having an anxiety disorder. In addition, a person facing a clear and present danger or a realistic fear is not usually considered to be in a state of anxiety. In addition, anxiety frequently occurs as a symptom in other categories of psychiatric disturbance.


Although anxiety is a commonplace experience that everyone has from time to time, it is difficult to describe concretely because it has so many different potential causes and degrees of intensity. Doctors sometimes categorize anxiety as an emotion or an affect depending on whether it is being described by the person having it (emotion) or by an outside observer (affect). The word emotion is generally used for the biochemical changes and feeling state that underlie a person’s internal sense of anxiety. Affect is used to describe the person’s emotional state from an observer’s perspective. If a doctor says that a patient has an anxious affect, he or she means that the patient appears nervous or anxious, or responds to others in an anxious way (for example, the individual is shaky, tremulous, etc.).

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Practitioners have professional and personal experiences of anxiety and are skilled at helping clients manage these debilitating symptoms.
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