An experiential, relational model of Compassion Focused Therapy Consultancy
Hi, I’m Sarah Benkwitz.
I offer Compassion Focused Supervision (CFS), a richly experiential and relational way of supporting you with your practice. By applying the ‘Compassion Focused’ model to the process of supervision itself, we:
- Cultivate your ‘Best Therapist Self’ (your wise, courageous inner therapist);
- Deepen your learning of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) case conceptualisation and competencies in an experiential, embodied way;
- Care for the human being you are, so you feel fully supported and sustained.
I warmly welcome you
I invite you to take a pit-stop for a moment to reflect.
What do you need from your supervision, as both a therapist and a human being?
Are you someone who:
- Cares deeply about your work and recognises you want to feel supported with it?
- Wants to feel meaning in what you’re doing, and would like the opportunity to grow your skills and practice so that you can flourish?
- Has times (like everyone) when you’re not sure what to do or doubt yourself, and you need some guidance and a cheerleader?
You are also a human being, and I believe you are valuable in your own right. You have your tricky brain, and your work’s emotional labour is big. You need to know someone cares for you, and you’ve got a safe place to work through things.
In our supervision, I’m on your team. Together, we can apply the CF model to our alliance to enhance how we recognise and respond to your needs, to benefit you and your clients.
What is Compassion Focused Supervision?
Compassion Focused Supervision (CFS) is a layered process, and the foundation of this is our compassionate supervisory relationship. You don’t need to talk about all your stuff, but we do orient toward the fact that you are a human too. I want to offer you support and a secure supervisory attachment relationship. We work on embodying compassion relationally between us.
Your ‘Best Therapist Self’
This approach helps to cultivate your ‘Best Therapist Self’. When you feel safe and supported, your soothing system and compassionate self are activated, allowing you to tap into the wisdom, courage and warmth you hold within you. Often you already know deep down what to do with your work; you merely need the support to tune into and trust it.
Developing CFT Competencies and Case Conceptualisations
We build on this with the mentorship of your professional development of Compassion Focused Therapy-specific knowledge and competencies, and practical help with your case conceptualisations and clinical dilemmas. We keep it interesting using various methods, including role-plays and research discussions.
It includes understanding the relational processes between your clients and you, and your therapist processes. We cultivate courageous relational interventions – so that you can use your direct access to your clients’ presentation in the room with you as a powerful vehicle for change. This is when your CFT practice comes alive, as a relational, experiential therapy that goes beyond manualised Compassionate Mind Training (CMT).
We also work experientially using CMT exercises, such as starting sessions with centring rhythm breathing or cultivating your compassionate inner supervisor. It helps you feel safe, grow your capacity to offer compassion to your clients, and develop authentic, procedural (vs declarative) knowledge of CFT. As Prof Paul Gilbert says, you have to get in the driver’s seat if you want to learn to drive (Introduction to Experiencing CFT from the Inside Out, 2018)
Who facilitates Compassion-focused Supervision?
I am Sarah Benkwitz, and I’m an experienced Compassion Focused-ACT therapist and supervisor, trained in CBT, FAP, EMDR and ‘parts work’.
I completed an MA in Psychology from the University of Oxford in 2009, then spent some time in the community mental health field and academic psychology research before qualifying as a BABCP accredited therapist. I worked in NHS primary and secondary care, and I now work primarily with trauma and complex cases with adults in private practice.
I am trained as a supervisor by the University of Birmingham and in CFT-specific supervision through the Compassionate Mind Foundation (CMF) and extensive further training in CFT. I get regular consultancy and ‘supervision of supervision’.
From my experience of supervising and training many other practitioners, I am developing a ‘Compassion Focused Supervision’ model.
I fell in love with CFT as it resonated with me as a person prone to shame and getting out of balance myself. Clinically, I found it offers a more profound way of working with my complex clients for more meaningful change.
What’s my style?
Each day I try to show up with courage and authenticity, engage with what matters most, and foster meaningful relationships with myself, my family, and my clients and colleagues. Whatever matters to you, I invite us to travel some of your journeys together. It’s my privilege and joy to be there with you.
In supervision with me, you’ll find someone who listens to what you need from our space. My CFT friends joke that I have a voice for the radio sounding gentle and warm. I also have a playful side, and I will be honest and challenge you when needed. As well as your coach, I’ll be your fan, cheering you on and recognising your accomplishments.
What I found most helpful about Sarah’s clinical supervision was her unconditional support, which I felt even while she was giving me constructive feedback. I really appreciated that her focus was 100% on me and my work with my clients. Sarah has tremendous insight and I always felt very respected and seen by her. I learned so much from Sarah and I am grateful for her time, skill, and authenticity. Thank you, Sarah!
Cindy Fox, LCSW
When can I start?
I offer supervision online or in-person in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham. Individual sessions cost £95 per hour. Please get in touch with me for more information about group supervision.
Get in touch!
Please send me an email! Let’s talk about your needs and how we can work together. You’ll find a friendly welcome waiting for you.