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 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