The other evening I had my supervision. Supervision is a requirement for most counsellors and counsellors in training. It is my space for exploring my client work in an open and - this is particularly important - non judgemental way. It is more about going into my feelings around what I've done than about some kind of assessment of the actions I have taken.

Recently I've had a number of conversations about other professions - teachers and nurses mainly - who are charged with equally complex caring roles, but who rarely have access to this kind of supportive over-view. For them, more often than not, supervision becomes about criticism and target reaching. This can't be healthy for the practitioner, nor for the adults and children who come into contact with them.

At the Lapidus training day it was hypothesised that some of the difficulties we, as writers, encounter from staff when we go into educational or health settings, may stem from this lack of nourishing back-up. The "something different" that we offer becomes, at best, a bother, or, at worst, a threat. Yet without the means for looking at themselves, the practitioners do not even know where their responses are coming from.

Freud said that we are mostly guided by our unconscious. I have an image of us all as icebergs, the conscious part is the tip above the waves, but it is the stuff below the water line which really causes the damage.