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Reflective Supervision/Consultation (RSC)

RSC is distinct due to the shared exploration of the parallel process. That is, attention to all of the relationships is important, including the ones between practitioner and supervisor, between practitioner and parent, and between parent and infant/toddler. It is critical to understand how each of these relationships affects the others. Of additional importance, RSC relates to professional and personal development within one’s discipline by attending to the emotional content of the work and how reactions to the content affect the work. Finally, there is often greater emphasis on the supervisor/consultant’s ability to listen and wait, allowing the supervisee to discover solutions, concepts, and perceptions on their own without interruption from the supervisor/consultant.

The primary objectives of RSC include the following:

  • Form a trusting relationship between supervisor and practitioner
  • Establish consistent and predictable meetings and times
  • Ask questions that encourage details about the infant, parent/caregiver, and emerging relationship
  • Remain emotionally present
  • Teach/guide
  • Nurture/support
  • Apply the integration of emotion and reason
  • Foster the reflective process to be internalized by the supervisee
  • Explore the parallel process and to allow time for personal reflection
  • Attend to how reactions to the content affect the process

RSC is required for the following categories of Endorsement: Infant Specialist; Infant Family Reflective Supervisor; Infant Mental Health Specialist; Infant Mental Health Mentor.  See the requirements for each category of Endorsement for more information.


  • ·         Best Practice Guidelines for Reflective Supervision/Consultation
  • ·         Guidelines for Beginning and Maintaining a Reflective Supervision/Consultation Relationship via Distance Technology