chapter  8
Bodies in conversation: an approach to body-focused supervision
ByJO BOWNAS
Pages 13

This chapter is about a practice I refer to as body-focused supervision. I will describe how the practice began for me, how I have thought about it and how it has developed. For those who would like to work with these ideas in their own supervision, I offer a practice ‘guide’: suggested steps in this approach to inviting our bodies into conversation in supervision. My own theoretical orientation in my work is systemic, a relational approach to therapy which often involves working with more than one person ‘in the room’, attending to patterns of communication and to the multiple layers of personal and societal context that shape our lives. I am inÀuenced by social constructionist understandings of the world, and our experience within it, not as ¿xed ‘found things’ but as constructions that constantly evolve in language between people in social interaction. I am also drawn to narrative practices, in which we think of ourselves as constituted by the stories we tell and the stories that are told about our lives and identities. These approaches take account of relationships of power and of how dominant societal discourses shape individual experience. My own orientation and theoretical preferences will be visible in the supervision practice I introduce in this chapter, but the practice evolved somewhat at the margins of what was familiar to me and later found connections with my preferred theoretical language as well as drawing on texts that were new to me. I invite you, the reader, to engage in a similar process: to encounter the practice I offer, being open to resonances with your own experience, making connections with your own preferred theoretical language, and feeling free to discard or develop aspects of the practice in whatever way is useful to you. The practice evolved for me in the context of supervision of systemic therapy, but I think it has applications in supervision of any professional practice that has to do with human encounters.