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Within their individual and group supervisions staff at Sapiens use a relational approach underpinned by the seven-eyed supervision model as given by Hawkins and Shohet (2006).


This model provides a systemic perspective to knowledge building and increased effectiveness. It was developed specifically for supervisors working with individuals, groups, and with organisations, in the Human Service professions and it takes a personal and social systems perspective.


Whichever ‘eye’ we look through we will see a different facet of the whole.

The seven ‘eyes’ are as follows:


1. The client's System

Here the focus is on the content of what happened with the client's system. The problem the client system wants help with and how they are presenting the issues.


2. The Supervisee's interventions

This looks at what interventions the supervisee made and alternative choices that might have been used. It might also focus on a situation that the supervisee is about to intervene in and explore the possible options and the likely impact of each.


3. The Relationship between the Client and the supervisee

Here the focus is neither solely on the supervisee and their system or the client, but the relationship that they are creating together.


4. The Supervisee

The focus is on the supervisee beginning to look at themselves, both what is being restimulated in them by the client's material, and also themselves as an instrument for registering what is happening beneath the surface of the helping system.


5. The Parallel Process

Here the focus is on what the supervisee has absorbed unconsciously from the client system and how it may be being played out in the relationship to the supervisor. The supervisee can unconsciously treat the supervisor the way their client treated them.


6. The Supervisor Self-Reflection

The focus for mode six is the supervisor’s “here and now” experience while with the supervisee and what can be learnt about the supervisee/ client relationship from the supervisor’s response to the supervisee and the material they present.


7. The wider context

The focus of mode seven is on the organisational, social, cultural, ethical and contractual context in which the supervision is taking place. This includes being aware of the wider group of stakeholders in the process that is being focussed on, these may the supervisee organisation and its stakeholders, and the organisation or professional network of the supervisor. The wider context may involve:


• Workplace

• Organisational dynamics

• Stakeholders

• Sector Dynamics

• Broader Business Issues

• PESTLE (political, technological, social, legal, environmental)



The purpose of the model is to aid the exploration of the various different influences on supervisory activity in the room. It is based on a systems understanding of the ways things connect, inter-relate and drive activity.



Model of supervision

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