Core Processes and Perspectives

Reflective Supervision for the Whole Job and the Whole Organization


The core perspectives and processes serve as a multi-faceted lens through which all parts of the reflective learning processes are understood and shaped. Each perspective and process reflect through and into the others so that all the perspectives and processes overlap, meld and integrate.


The RSC’s reformulation of the core perspectives and core processes articulate a framework for the Reflective Supervision for the Whole Job intensive training. While some learning activities will highlight specific perspectives or processes (e.g., Reflective Interaction Observation Scale (RIOS), Diversity Informed Tenets, SAMHSA’s trauma-informed care principles, and The Fussy Baby Network’s FAN), our goal is to infuse these ideas throughout the materials with opportunities to find coherent and attuned ways of meeting the complex needs of supervisees – in all aspects of their job – with the aim of the program being able to provide the best possible services for children and families.

Core Perspectives of Reflective Supervision for the Whole Job


1. Developmental Perspective

  • A developmental perspective refers to the understanding that every infant, child, family, supervisor, staff member, client and agency is in the process of constant growth and development. Including this perspective promotes a deeper understanding of the many factors which influence development and a specific focus on how individuals grow within the context of relationships.


2. Trauma-Informed Approaches

  • Incorporating a trauma-informed perspective means becoming and remaining aware of the potential impacts that trauma can have, not just on young children and their families, but also on care providers and organizations.


3. Ecological and Systems Perspectives

  • An ecological approach in reflective practice means considering how contextual and psychosocial protective and risk factors may impact the behavior of organizations, supervisors, supervisees, change agents, and clients.
  • A systems-thinking perspective refers to an appreciation of how systems function and interact, and how they impact the work and change process.


4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion View

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion practices are central to individual and societal well-being. In reflective supervision an explicit social justice stance is crucial for identifying and addressing racism and other forms of bias, impacts of historic trauma and histories of oppression carried by individuals, and a long list of “isms” such as sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and other divisions that impact well-being of staff and clients.


The perspectives are listed in order from the inner circle to the outer circle on the accompanying diagram. While influences are of course interactive (as is represented by the arrows in the diagram), they were organized in this order to illustrate the impact of the outer circles on the inner circles.


Core Processes of Reflective Supervision for the Whole Job and the Whole Organization


  1. Professional Use of Self
  2. Critical Self-Reflection
  3. Reflective Functioning, Self-Awareness-Other Awareness, Multiple Perspectives
  4. Relationship and Parallel Processes
  5. Mindfulness, Self-Compassion and Regulation

For questions or to receive more information about the Reflective Supervision Collaborative, please email [email protected].

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