1st Edition

Supervision in Speech and Language Therapy Personal Stories and Professional Wisdom

Edited By Cathy Sparkes, Sam Simpson, Deborah Harding Copyright 2025
    248 Pages 43 B/W Illustrations
    by Speechmark

    248 Pages 43 B/W Illustrations
    by Speechmark

    Supervision plays a central role in supporting professional practice, practitioner wellbeing, clinical governance and client safety. This anthology, designed as a collection of possibilities rather than a definitive guide, offers a window into a less visible and rarely discussed aspect of practice. Contributors draw on first-hand encounters of supervision to share insights from both professional and public perspectives. These span practice contexts from pre-registration to qualified and into advanced clinical practice and management roles. The accounts draw on individual, team, multi-professional, independent and public sector experiences within and beyond the speech and language therapy profession. This book:

    • Broadens the discourse and deepens understanding about supervision theory and practice
    • Explores multiple formats and contrasting approaches to lay bare differences in the enactment of supervision as well as variations in underlying assumptions and real-life supervision challenges
    • Holds a mirror up to diverse conversations about supervision across practice contexts and career points to broaden the scope of supervision possibilities
    • Prompts exploration of new ways to engage with and benefit from supervision as an alternative or adjunct to existing, established approaches
    • Demonstrates the clear return on investment in supervision at personal, departmental, service and organisational levels with both professional and public benefit

    Illustrated throughout with personal stories and professional wisdom, this book will interest students and practitioners at all stages of their career in speech and language therapy. In addition, it will appeal to other allied health and care professionals. This anthology aims to stimulate reflection on contemporary issues in supervision as well as individual, service and organisational supervision culture and practice.




    1.     Climbing out of the Window: Finding Supervision

    Zein Pereira

    2.     The Role of Supervision in Supporting and Empowering Patient Voice and Choice

    Scott Ballard-Ridley

    3.     Supervision in Pre-registration Speech and Language Therapy Education

    Melanie Packer

    4.     Insights into Supervision in Speech and Language Therapy: Exploring the Experiences of Ethnic Minority Clinicians and Reflections on Continued Practice

    Ilyeh Nahdi and Sahar Nashir

    5.     Establishing Supervision Practices: One Manager’s Journey

    Dawn Leoni

    6.     The Alchemy of Group Supervision

    Penny Farrell, Jennifer Roche, Edel O’Dea and Lauren Tyson

    7.     A Lifejacket in Stormy Seas: Supervision for Speech and Language Therapists Working with Young People who have Mental Health Challenges

    Melanie Cross

    8.     The Role of Profession-specific Supervision and Support in the Safe and Effective Care of Clients in Clinical Settings.

    Jackie McRae and Kimerly Clarke 

    9.     Supervision: A Personal and Professional Perspective.

    Lorraine Maher-Edwards

    10.  From Permafrost to Permeability: Supervision as the Foundation of Professional and Public Safety

    Deborah Harding

    11.  Must it Always be Within or Could it be Outside?  Constructions of Supervision Outside your Own Profession

    Fran Brander and Gavin Newby

    12.  Developing a Multi-disciplinary Allied Health Professional Supervision Strategy: A Case Study

    Lucie Rochfort 

    13.  Group Supervision: ‘A Woven Sculpture’.

    Ann Farquhar, Karen Cundy, Sarah Stewart and Zein Pereira

    14.  The Value of Supervision: What do our Clients Say About It?

    Iain Wilkie

    15.  Supervision in Advanced Practice: Insights from a Speech and Language Therapist

    Lucy Titheridge

    16.  Building Competency and Professional Safety through Supervision: Insights from the Specialist Oncology Setting

    Kate Ashforth and Justin Roe

    17.  Peer Supervision: Drawing on Collective Knowledge

    Kate Balzer, Claire Farrington-Douglas and Mary Ganpatsingh

    18.  Going it Alone: Being a Supervisee and Supervisor in Independent Practice (and what I have learnt in the process about being human)

    Rachel Barton

    19.  Looking Back and Looking Forward: Facilitating Robust Supervision Culture and Practice through Training

    Sam Simpson and Cathy Sparkes



    Cathy Sparkes works as a personal construct psychology (PCP) counsellor and supervisor. She originally worked as a speech and language therapist (SLT) with individuals who had experienced a neurological condition and their support networks. Since 2003 she has worked as a counsellor with this same client group. Cathy has extensive experience of receiving and providing supervision and has been a champion for high quality supervision practice for many years.

    Sam Simpson is an independent speech and language therapist, person-centred counsellor, supervisor and trainer. She is a committed supervisee and holds a Diploma in Person Centred Supervision from Metanoia Institute to ground her work as a supervisor. Sam enjoys supervising across specialisms and professions and values the intimacy of 1:1 working and the collaborative learning of paired and group supervision. Sam plays an active role in teaching about supervision, promoting pro-supervision cultures and developing robust, quality supervision practices across the UK public and independent sectors.

    Deborah Harding is a speech and language therapist by profession.  She combines her role as Professor of Learning and Innovation for Practice at St George’s, University of London with work developing national guidance for the National Health Service in England and beyond. Her teaching, research and policy work are underpinned by her comprehensive experience in multi-professional health and social care practice, management and leadership. Deborah’s PhD research explored supervision for the allied health professions.