Supervisor in Europa…the state of the art
An item in the monthly digital newsletter of the LVSC edited by the CIC (Committee of
International Contacts (CIC) of the Dutch LVSC)..
Trainer and supervisor, partner at consulting
company “Kitokie projektai”. Master of Education
science. Member of the Association of
Supervisors in Lithuania (2010 – 2012 chair of the
Association). Expert of non-formal and adult
education. Areas of expertise: training of trainers,
training of supervisors, leadership,
communication and co-operation, team work,
experiential learning, intercultural learning.
Currently supervises teams and managers of
business companies, provides group supervision
for school teachers and social workers, and consults non-governmental organizations. Has
20 years of experience in international training projects in more than 25 countries. Author of
practical handbooks on working with youth groups. He believes in people, their power, and
the group process. He knows that „wisdom sits in the group.“ He loves dogs, women,
children, friends and life. He is interested in dog behaviour, child rearing, Russian rock,
transactional analysis, gender relation issues. Assumes that „the best male chefs are men,
and the best female chefs – women.“
1. How long have you been working as a supervisor/coach?
I’ve studied supervision in 2005-2007. Since 2007 I work as supervisor and coach.
2. What was/is meaningful to you in your education as a supervisor/coach?
All studies of Supervision were meaningful for me. And they still are. Working with
my supervisees/coachees I often remember the words of my Supervision tutor. I am
glad to still use these attitudes and values, such as respectful relations to the client,
or saying that “all living creatures need love, warmth and recognition”. There are so
many things I’ve gained from my education as a supervisor and these are still
essential in my daily supervision practice: tolerance to ambiguity; awareness of
context; contracting; awareness of diversity; empathy; dealing with power, trust and
responsibility; confidentiality; using reflection for learning through experience; group
dynamic; empowerment, etc.
The most meaningful for me was the practical part of the studies – supervision
practice, peer supervision and learning supervisions (individual and in a group). It
helped me to get experience, to reflect on it and to integrate theory and practice.
The more I work as a supervisor, the more I realise that to study supervision was just
the starting point in my supervisory education.
At the final part of the supervision studies we asked our tutor (Bernd Jansen) “what
now?”, “how shall we develop ourselves further?”, “are we supervisors already?
“How shall we proceed?”. He smiled, and his answer was “look at the title of your
studies, read books, watch movies, observe people wherever you go (airport, café or
theatre), be interested in human relations, be interested in life; never stop doing it”.
At that moment we thought of him: “That foxy snake, as always he escapes from a
But now 11 years later I open my notes of the supervision study, and I see that the
title of the supervision education is “On becoming a supervisor”. For me it means a
never ending process, such as “On becoming a person”.
3. What is your theoretical frame of reference from which you work as a
Our lecturer of supervision was a supporter of the psychoanalytical school. But I
myself use the integrated approach combining the Systemic approach,
Psychodynamic, Gestalt therapy and the Humanistic existential psychology. My
background is youth work and youth non-formal education. I worked in the youth
field as a trainer and educator since 1996 and from 1998 I started long-term training
programmes for youth workers and for organisers of the international youth
exchanges. From 2000 onwards I started to coach teams of youth initiatives and then
turned to team coaching of NGOs, public and business organisations.
In the mean time I’ve passed many courses and seminars, became good in Group
Dynamics, Outdoor Experiential Learning, Forum Theatre and Intercultural Learning.
But the youth work experience always accompanied me, and I remained faithful to
the principles of Voluntary Participation, Specific Environment (safe to experiment
without judgement, where people can take full responsibility for their decisions and
actions, but also possibilities to test themselves), Active Participation in the learning
process, Holistic Approach, Learning Through Experience, Open and Authentic
Communication (space for learning from each other and for the mutual growth of
both educator and the learner), Creating a Non-competitive Environment and Group
4. If you are familiar with the ECvision glossary and matrix: how does it influence or
enhance your work as a supervisor/coach?
I am using ECvision Glossary and A European Competence Framework of Supervision
and Coaching in many cases. Checking competences for my own personal and
professional development, arguing and discussing minimum standards in the
Lithuanian Association of Supervisors (I am an active member involved in different
working groups), working on the recognition of supervision as a profession and on
the promotion of supervision as a service in social and educational fields and on
training supervisors in Lithuania and Ukraine.
For me it is the best document for reference when I talk about the supervisor’s
professional standards and competences.
5. Can you mention three criteria of which you believe an EU-supervisor/coach should
1. Transparency. We (supervisors) are bringing the culture of transparency into
working places and organisations. Supervision for me – is always a clearer and
more transparent vision.
2. Empowering attitude. The purpose of Supervision for me is that it brings more
equality, more justice and raises dignity.
3. Continuous development – the personal self as well as the professional
development. Never stop doing it!
6. How would you like to see supervision/coaching to develop in Europe?
I think ANSE is a very good platform for recognition and promotion of
supervision/coaching in Europe. ANSE opens a lot of possibilities for international
cooperation, the sharing of experiences, mutual understanding and a conceptual
framework. It is a very good platform for people to meet and to get in contact.
The situation from country to country is different. Very much depends on the
activeness of the National associations. The role of ANSE should remain to strengthen
and support them.
I am strong believer of international cooperation. I am promoting, and I will continue
to promote international intervision groups. Among other benefits, the members of
such groups start to trust each other more and continue professional relations.
Meaningful projects can start from such professional “friendships”. For example,
training of supervisors in Ukraine (2017-2018) where Latvian and Lithuanian
colleagues were involved. This project will continue in 2019.
I also believe in smaller initiatives. Nice example again: In August 2018 Latvian
association of supervisors organised the Baltic Summer Supervision Quality Day. The
idea was to meet colleagues from Baltic countries and to encourage the regional
cooperation. The event was open for guests from other countries as well.
I appreciate meta-supervisions where supervisors from other countries are invited. It
always widens the perspectives to add different European contexts and ensures us
(supervisors) to become stronger.
Vanuit de CIC (Commissie Internationale Contacten) hebben wij de rubriek ‘Europese collega
aan het woord’ opgezet. Wij leggen collega- supervisoren en coaches, in verschillende bij
ANSE-aangesloten landen, dezelfde vragen voor m.b.t. ons beroep. Zo hopen we een beeld
te krijgen van hoe er dwars door Europa heen gedacht wordt over ons vak en de
Daarnaast krijgen we ook een kijkje in de verschillen en overeenkomsten als het gaat om
opleiding, ervaring en werkveld. De interviews worden in het Engels uitgevoerd en
weergegeven. Ons idee is om uiteindelijk een bundel samen te stellen van deze interviews,
die internationaal (via ANSE) zijn weg (terug) zal vinden naar onze collega’s.