Reflective Supervision/Consultation (RS/C)
Reflective supervision/consultation (RS/C) is a relationship-based supervisory approach where an infant mental health professional explores their thoughts and feelings about their work with infant/very young children and family with a qualified RS/C Supervisor. RS/C offers professionals the experiences of being heard, validated, and affirmed. RS/C is distinct from administrative supervision and clinical supervision due its focus on all of the relationships involved, including the relationships between professional and supervisor, between professional and parent, and between parent and infant/toddler. It is critical to understand how each of these relationships affects the other. RS/C for a manager/supervisor/or team leader would focus on the relationships with their staff and colleagues, and all of the other relationships related to their child- or family-serving work.
FAIMH believes that RS/C is essential for all infant mental health professionals in all levels of service from promotion to prevention, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment and in program and policy leadership. IMH Professionals who regularly engage in RS/C are better prepared to offer the same level of reflective support to their colleagues, supervisees, and the young children and families they serve.
Because words matter, we wanted to clarify the “slash” in RS/C - what is Reflective Supervision and what is Reflective Consultation? The Best Practice Guidelines for Reflective Supervision/Consultation (Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health, 2018) clarifies the difference between Reflective Supervision (and a reflective supervisor) and Reflective Consultation (and a reflective consultant):
Reflective Supervision is when a professional receives RS/C from a qualified supervisor within their agency or program. It is recommended that the supervisor schedule a meeting devoted to reflective supervision separate from administrative and clinical supervision.
Reflective Consultation is when an outside consultant is hired to provide RS/C to an individual or group.
Requirements for Endorsement
As Florida builds its infant mental health professional capacity, FAIMH is committed to ensuring the quality of the professionals who provide RS/C.
To count towards your Endorsement® application, RS/C must be provided by an Endorsed Reflective Supervisor/Consultant (a professional who is Endorsed as an Infant Mental Health Mentor-Clinical or Infant Mental Health Specialist) or a provider who has been vetted by FAIMH.
What is Vetting?
Vetting is a formal review process where RS/C Providers submit their resume and/or curriculum vita for review by the FAIMH Reflective Supervision/Consultation Vetting Committee. After providers' qualifications are reviewed, providers will be asked to complete a telephone or Zoom interview with selected members of the FAIMH Reflective Supervision/Consultation Vetting Committee. This vetting process is meant to ensure that providers are familiar with infant mental health competencies and with the Best Practice Guidelines for Reflective Supervision/Consultation, thereby allowing them to make an informed recommendation of the individual being considered for Endorsement.
RS/C Providers who are not Endorsed must successfully complete the vetting process through FAIMH in order for the RS/C to count towards Endorsement®.
Contact our Endorsement Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about vetting or more general information on RS/C.
Note: FAIMH offers RS/C in small group format through our Training Academy; visit our online calendar for upcoming RS/C small group cohorts. Contact our Training Academy at email@example.com with any questions about small group RS/C.
The PDF linked below describes the RS/C requirements to earn Endorsement
The PDF linked below is a listing of Florida's Reflective Supervisors
The components of reflective supervision/consultation include:
Forming a trusting relationship between supervisor and practitioner
Establishing consistent and predictable meetings and times
Asking questions that encourage details about the infant and parent as well as the emerging relationship
Remaining emotionally present
Teaching and guiding
Nurturing and supporting
Integrating emotion and reason
Fostering the reflective process to be internalized by the supervisee
Exploring the parallel process and allow time for personal reflection
Attending to how reactions to the content affect the reflective process
The Florida Association for Infant Mental Health is member of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health.