Understanding Supervision

The ABNLP requires Clinical Members to participate in a minimum of 10 hours of Clinical Supervision per year. This is reportable to the ABNLP at the time of renewal each year by 1 July.

In 2004 the ABNLP began to align with other allied health modalites where therapists, counsellors and coaches are required to receive Clinical Supervision to gain experience and develop skills as a Clinician. Most NLP trained professionals do not receive extensive training about working specifically with individuals, administrative and reporting requirements for working with clients, aspects of tranference and client skill development. Generally, NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner teaches tools to use with clients but not necessarily when to use those tools.

The purpose of this requirement is two-fold

1) to ensure the ABNLP Clinical Members are held to a high standard of quality training and ongoing development and

2) to align and adhere to standard practice of mental health regulations in Australia should the time come for NLP to be a recognised modality by the government or health funds or if the government begins to regulate the fields of therapy and coaching.

Clinical Supervision in the field of NLP is quite uncommon, therefore the ABNLP is leading the trend to create a more unified practice and help clinicians to create a better practice for themselves and their clients. Supervision is essential for clinicians to:

  • Develop new skills and to receive guidance, assistance, and protection when starting to work in a therapeutic area.
  • Ensure that they are maintaining a high level of practice, including how they address ethical considerations raised in therapy.
  • Reduce burnout by reviewing difficult cases.
  • Provide the best possible service to their clients.
  • Identify potential transference and counter-transference issues with clients.
Perhaps a better word for some NLPers instead of a Supervisor is a Mentor. Someone to help you grow your skills with clients personally and professionally. Even seasoned NLP Clinicians require supervision for Clinical Membership and continual growth of their skills.

A Clinical Supervisor is someone who is trained specifically to help mentor individuals and groups who work therapeutically with others - and for the ABNLP this person is trained and skilled with the tools of NLP.

Clinical supervision is an asset to a clinician and can result in an increase in your professional credibility. At the very least, undertaking supervision is an indication of your commitment to professional development and to providing your clients with effective and appropriate therapy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Clinical Supervision?

The short answer - Clinical Supervision is a fantastic way to learn tools, gain experience and get professional input that will help you to be a better Coach or Therapist. Most NLPers do not get trained on what specifically to do with their clients - this comes with time and experience, however with the use of a Supervisor this can often be fast tracked.

We will answer this with a few questions.

  • Do you want to be the best NLP Coach or Therapist that you can?
  • Would it be useful for you to have a skilled and experienced NLP Clinician to assist you to navigate how to best use your NLP tools with clients?
  • Would you benefit by having someone to ask specific questions about the client work you with NLP?
  • Do you want to develop good practices and habits with your clients?
  • Do you want to have someone to ask about business and administrative aspects of working as a Coach or Therapist?
  • Do you want to gain unconscious competence of using your NLP skills with others? 
  • Would it be useful for an objective person to help you identify possible transference or counter-transference issues?  
  • Have you ever identified an issue your client presents to you as an issue in your life?
A Supervisor will help you with all of the above. This can become a very strong and beneficial relationship. Your Supervisor will help you to be the best NLP Practitioner you can be, therefore assisting your clients in the best way you can.

What happens in a Supervision Session?

Some people think Supervision means that someone is sitting beside you while you are working with a client - this rarely happens.

Generally you will meet with your Supervisor and discuss your clients in a confidential manner. Your Supervisor will help you to identify patterns to work on with your clients, NLP tools to use and how best to get the best outcome for your clients. You may also discuss business issues such as administrative tasks, marketing, scheduling and time management. From time to time, your Supervisor might conduct some NLP processes with you to ensure you are in the best state of mind to work with clients.  

A Supervisor may ask you to video or audio record a session with your client so you can both review your skills and the client needs.

Ultimately, what happens in the session is largely up to you and your Supervisor.

How is Supervision conducted?

Supervision usually takes form in an one-on-one meeting between the Supervisor and the NLP Practitioner, in person or via distance. However, supervision can also take place in a group setting where a number of NLP Practitioners discuss their client cases and learn in a group setting.

How will I benefit from Supervision?

There are a number of benefits you will receive through supervision. Having an independent person to discuss client cases with and having a dissociated point of view will help you to have another set of eyes look at your work and will help you to further learn and develop your NLP skills and use with others. Additionally, you will benefit by:

  • Critical incident stress debriefing (eg after a crisis session, suicidal client, disclosure of abuse etc)
  • Monitoring around self care and client loads
  • Support around ethical and legal obligations
  • Skills ‘top ups’ if needed
  • Business and administrative mentoring
  • Clinical Supervision and direction
  • External motivation and support
  • Feedback from an accredited professional

I'm a new Coach/Therapist, when should I start getting Supervision?

Once you are working with clients regularly this would be a good time to start Clinical Supervision. Although Supervision is only required for ABNLP Clinical Members, it is highly recomended for anyone using NLP as a Therapist or Coach to work with a Supervisor to help gain skills and learn good practices and habits.

I've been a Coach/Therapist for many years and I don't feel that I need it. Do I still have to get Supervision?

If you want to maintain your Clinical Membership with the ABNLP, yes. Supervision is not just for those who are new to NLP Coaching and Therapy. 'Limiting Habits' can form in even the most experienced practitioner and without a 'feedback' mechanism, the practioner may be none the wiser. This can in turn impact on client service and care. 

Supervision is a quality control method which helps promote best practice standards. Even experienced NLP Practitioners are advised to receive Supervision.

I already receive Supervision through a different modality, can this count toward my 10 hours?

The ABNLP requires 10 hours of Supervision related to NLP and requires a Supervisor who is qualified as an NLP Master Practitioner. If your other Supervisor is not NLP Trained and cannot assist you to develop, use and refine your NLP skills then no, the Supervision you already receive will not count.

Who can I choose as my Supervisor?

The ABNLP recognises two types of Supervisors:

1) A Certified Supervisor - this Supervisor will have a minimum of 5 years of NLP clinical experience, be trained to a minimum of NLP Master Practitioner and will have completed an approved Supervision Training Program. 

2) An NLP Trainer - this Supervisor will have a minimum of 5 years of NLP Clinical experience, be trained to a minimum of NLP Trainer Certification and will be an active Trainer of NLP Certification courses.

Can I choose a Supervisor not listed on the ABNLP website?

As long as the Supervisor you choose meets the above requirements this is fine. If you have questions, email us at membership@abnlp.org.au

How often will I need Supervision?

The ABNLP requires 10 hours of Supervision each year between 1 July and 30 June. If you choose to complete all of these hours with a Clinical Supervisor it is recommended to work with your supervisor for 1 hour 10 months of the year.

Do Peer Group or Practice Group participation count toward my Supervision hours?

Yes. 5 hours of attendance at Peer Groups or Practice Groups can count as Supervision hours.

Will I always need a Supervisor?

As long as you desire to keep your ABNLP Clinical Membership active, yes you will require a Supervisor.

More Questions? Email us at membership@abnlp.org.au


Australian Board of NLP Inc.

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P: 1300 137 046
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