When I qualified as a Sign Language Interpreter in 1999 I decided to work freelance and enjoyed the freedom this afforded me. At the same time I was acutely aware what an immense responsibility working as an interpreter was and that I was primarily working alone without support or guidance. There were days when I was filled with self-doubt and unsure where to turn. A pivotal moment in my career came when I was introduced to professional supervision while interpreting on a Diploma in Counselling. It was then that I realised a framework existed to support my work as an interpreter and I immediately sought my own supervision. I anticipated that I would talk about decisions I had made and what I might do differently in the future and that my supervisor would be there to support this exploration of my practice. What I didn’t expect was the depth of feeling that I brought to supervision. My supervisors have gently encouraged me to explore my practice, including my personal responses to the work I do and the people I work with and I credit the process of supervision in enabling me to become a better interpreter as well as a better person. Supervision made such a difference to me both personally and professionally that I decided to train as a professional supervisor as I wanted to offer the same support to colleagues. I qualified in 2009 after completing a PGCert at Manchester University and offer supervision to sign and spoken language interpreters and allied professionals such as lip speakers, teaching assistants, support workers and CSWs.
I have advocated for the development of professional supervision within the interpreting profession for many years including presenting at conferences, writing papers, and an appearance as a studio guest on SeeHear in March 2019. I also co-founded 360 Supervision to design and deliver CPD and supervision training for interpreters
I was delighted to receive a FASLI award in 2020 for my commitment to developing supervision to support the work of sign language interpreters.
I have continued to train to enhance my supervisory skills and hold the following qualifications:
PGCert Supervision 2009
MA Counselling (Research) University of Manchester 2011
Introduction to Transactional Analysis (TA 101) 2016
Foundation in Group Work (Institute of Group Analysis) 2018
“Ali is quick to understand the issues and dynamics in a situation presented. She is skillful at guiding me into gaining clarity or new insights into significant aspects of a scenario. This in turn can lead to a change in my perspective (everything may not have been as bad as I thought!) and /or helps me explore how I might comfortably respond in a similar situation next time. In supervision sessions I feel heard and understood. I also come away feeling positive and better equipped to deal with issues at work in the future.”