I have found clinical supervision very helpful. Chris is an excellent communicator and I feel we have a high level of rapport. I value the feedback, which has been a two way interaction.
Clinical supervision has enabled me to reflect on my practice; to consider clinical issues, staff interpersonal issues and professional issues
Andy, Nurse Navigator 2021
“My deepest appreciation for your support as my clinical supervisor over the last year; my first year as a practicing nurse at that. I feel as though your support was instrumental to my professional development within mental health nursing; allowing me to explore facets of my role which I found difficult at times.
2020 was a challenging year for me personally, as well as professionally, and I do truly believe that your guidance, support, reassurance and encouragement has shaped the nurse I am today and will continue to shape my nursing career as I reflect on our previous sessions. You provide a wealth of knowledge and experience, which is truly invaluable for clinical supervision, and you continue to encourage me to challenge myself and my own values of myself and my ability to nurse. Thank you!
Romy. MH Grad Nurse May 2021
I have enjoyed our time together immensely, and I am sorry it had to end. Over the past 2.5 years you have been so instrumental in my growth as a clinician and worker and I thank you dearly for the time you have spent. I believe I have grown a lot in the time we have caught up. I have placed great value on our sessions and have always left feeling challenged and energised.
Your thoughtful and kind input has often been a driving influence in my continued career path.
Andrew Hakanson ASHA Functional Recovery Manager - Intercept Youth and Family Support Program
It has been a blessing to start my mental health journey with you; from my student days back in 2013, to my RN days, now to my CN days. Words cannot express how grateful I am to have you as a support, teacher, and inspirer.
Thank you also for allowing me to share my sadness about the lack of support when I started as an RN and CN at my workplace, as well as post several critical incidents. I was able to be comforted throughout the reflective group sessions with you; even though the topics were not in relation to this I was able to obtain a sense of achievement and guidance of what I should be looking for in my career.
Your warmth and vast knowledge definitely helped so much. You helped me to grow as a nurse who cares for not only the clients, but also colleagues and the mental health system as a whole.
I will not forget what I have learned, adapted, and reflected with your support.
Again, thank you so much for everything; your wisdom, kindness, warmth, and knowledge.
Rachel, MH Clinical Nurse, December 2020
reflective practice with my NUM group has been an important and useful process for me over the last three years. It has helped my own self-awareness by reflecting on past & present experiences that contribute to my ability to work in this role. e are a small unified group with diverse personal & professional life experiences. Reflective Practice Group has allowed me to pause, think and challenge my own perspectives, improving my abilities as a NUM.
We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve grown as people and as mental health nurses.
Lyndal, Mental Health Nurse Unit Manager
Literature has shown the importance of clinical supervision throughout a nurses professional life. The Australian College of Nursing advocates for all nurses to be engaged in some form of clinical supervision undertaken with a qualified clinical supervisor. Despite these recommendations I have only been involved in clinical supervision for the past 18 months.
During my sessions with Chris Dawber, I have learnt the importance of reflection and developed strategies to identify my own areas of strength, as well as areas that require strengthening. Through Chris working with me, I have learnt strategies to navigate my own thoughts and feel I am processing at a higher level of cognitive functioning. Chris has been very good at validating concerns and uses a very open collegial approach, working with the supervisee.
Regardless where we are situated within our professional career, there will always be issues and challenges to meet… often on a daily basis. Despite being in the nursing profession for nearly 40 years, I have learnt numerous strategies and skills from working with Chris. I immensely enjoy my supervision and would advocate that all nurses be involved in clinical supervision with someone like Chris.
Dr Doreen Tapsall. Senior Nurse Manager. Cancer Care
I really wanted to thank you for your supervision. You were a great fit for me: your style is incredibly supportive and insightful. Your supervision really helped to pull my head out of a very toxic headspace and refocus on what is most important. The students accessing my support gained also – I was able to be far more present and available to their needs. Goal met!! It was invaluable. I feel more like myself now than I have in a long time. Thanks again Chris, working with you in supervision has truly re-focused me.
Donna Cahill, Student Welfare Officer, Counsellor.
I very much look forward to our sessions with Chris and our team in General Paediatrics. Chris’ expertise and guidance have helped us to connect more with each other and become stronger as a group, through listening to each other’s perspectives on issues that impact us from our day to day clinical practice, our personal lives and world events. Having been trained to be reactive and solutions focussed, I now feel more comfortable stepping back and reflecting upon difficult and stressful situations. I have also found the mindfulness exercises we practise in our sessions very beneficial for my own self-awareness, resilience and being kind to myself.
Anne, General Paediatrician, Senior Lecturer in Paediatrics and Child Health
My first group supervision session as a student nurse was with Chris Dawber. New to this concept, I at first found myself a little out of my comfort zone, not really understanding the meaning or value that supervision can provide within clinical practice.
In my role as a Clinical Nurse with the Cultural Healing Program (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Mental Health), responsible for the introduction of a new team within the Mental Health Service, I felt supervision was a priority for my clinical practice. I immediately thought of Chris as a supervisor as he was highly recommended by a former colleague.
Supervision with Chris has helped to guide and support me through my professional and personal challenges. He achieves this by listening, empowering and challenging the way I think about situations, always in a non-judgemental and respectful way.
Anne, Clinical Nurse, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Mental Health
“Participating in Reflective Practice Group has definitely reinforced to me the importance of ongoing maintenance of my professional development and vocational aspirations. The breadth and depth of our discussions, the trust built up within the group, and the wisdom and patience of our facilitator, has renewed my connections with colleagues and broadened my own insights. Personally and professionally, the shared experience of reflection and problem solving, with the resultant renewal and growth of the group, has become an invaluable tool for my ongoing professional development. Reflective Practice Group continues to remind me that I have chosen a fulfilling and evolving career.”
Dr Nicola Previtera, Paediatrician
“Clinical supervision with Chris Dawber has been personally and professionally rewarding; providing an enriching professional development opportunity. I have had the opportunity to safely expose and reflect upon my use of self, both within my practice framework, and my inter-personal collegial relationships.”
Laura, Social Worker. Medical Services, June 2020
“I have been involved with Chris for a number of years, in both reflective practice groups and individual supervision. I have found his ability to help me analyze and improve my practice invaluable; improving both my personal and professional life. I am grateful for his time and professionalism.”
Scotty, Endorsed Enrolled Nurse 2020
“In the last 2 years, our group of medical practitioners has joined together to use the structured setting of a Reflective Practice Group to work through common workplace, health system and patient related stressors. RPG has helped me to process and consider the stresses of public hospital work in so many new and helpful ways. As a group, we have learned more about each other as both individuals and clinicians and this has helped us communicate better and work towards the improvement of our department. On an individual level, RPG has allowed me to process very challenging clinical scenarios by sharing the wisdom and learnings of other colleagues, by allowing a safe place of expression and allowing some sense of resolution of the issues that we discuss. After 2 years of regular sessions, I feel more resilient and able to deal with the many and varied challenges that are commonplace in medicine today. I would highly recommend RPG to any clinical group who similarly face complex and recurrent challenges within their workplace.”
Dr Michelle Boyd June 2020
I want to thank you for your contribution to our team over the years. It has been very beneficial for us all. On a personal note, your contribution to my mental health has been most positive and has helped me when I needed it. You have been an inspiration to me, and I hope and pray that I can be as half as good as you in my practice as you are in yours.
Andre, RN, ICU
I know I speak on behalf of everyone in saying that your expert involvement in this group for over ten years has been absolutely invaluable and very much appreciated. You have helped so many people deal with some very difficult situations and we are very grateful.
Olivia, Clinical Nurse Consultant, ICU
Intensive Care Nurse's Reflective Practice Group
Supervision with Chris has provided me with a quiet space for me to reflect on my day to day practise as a NUM. Guiding me to accept the things l cannot change and providing me with the focus and ability to prioritise where my capabilities are best utilised. I have found the sessions with Chris to be grounding and, through some mindfulness, I have developed a sense of lightness. I highly recommend Chris and wish that all health professionals could access such a service.
Mhairi, Nurse Unit Manager, Cancer Care. June 2020
I have been a part of our Senior Nurse’s Mental Health Team Reflective Practice Group for some time now. I have found Chris to be a very supportive in this setting He has been able to guide the group through various processes to assist us to achieve outcomes of being more reflective and recovery oriented. Our group has been able to de-stress, become self-aware, facilitate team building which in turn helps with our day to day business working in a Mental Health Inpatient setting, in a Management role. We have been able to identify our strengths and our weaknesses, to move forward as a strong team working together, however also autonomously at the same time. I have found that being able to be involved with a Reflective Practice Group, and to encourage staff to attend their own Reflective Practice Group, is a positive experience.
Deb, Nurse Unit Manager. Mental Health - 2020
Supervision had been undervalued in Nursing so I wasn’t aware that I was missing out on anything of great value. Then I moved to the Sunshine Coast and was fortunate to meet and work with Chris Dawber. This gave me the opportunity to witness the high standard of his practice in Consultation Psychiatry, including running reflective practice groups, so when supervision from Chris became possible I jumped at the chance. I haven’t looked back (although Chris does encourage me to reflect every 6 months on where we’ve been and where we’re going with supervision).
Chris brings such an amazing volume of knowledge, experience and a wide range of skills and strategies so that it doesn’t matter the difficulty or the complexity of any situation I find myself in – Chris always seems to know what to say or do to assist me to keep functioning in a challenging role. For that I am deeply indebted.
Cam, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Mental Health - June 2019
I have had the help, guidance, support of Chris over the last few months. I reached out to Chris as I was going through both personal & professional challenges which were affecting me in every way and hindering my performance & progress. But with the help of Chris I have been slowly able to re-discover myself, my strengths, and work on my weakness. This has impacted both my personal & professional life in a positive way. I would be more than happy to recommend Chris who are out there looking for someone to put a sign post towards their personal/professional development.
JNM: Senior Medical Officer - May 2019
Chris has been my supervisor for just over 12 months now and in that time I have had the incredible opportunity to get to know him as a supervisor and more importantly as a human being.
I work with complex and severe youth mental health in an outreach service in North Brisbane, however travel to the sunshine coast to see Chris.
I’ve had different supervisors over the years who haven’t created the best working environment, but until working with Chris, I didn’t realise how that environment should really be. Not only is his practice experienced and knowledgeable but the space for true reflective practice is shared with him, never feeling like your position in the supervision is lesser. His honesty and respect given to me as the architect of my own work is a testament to his clinical supervision and has taught me to look after myself as much as look after my client’s health and well being, something no other supervisor I’ve had has done so effortlessly.
I can honestly and wholeheartedly recommend Chris as a supervisor for anyone looking to better their practice, develop improved self care and overall increase your capacity to work better with clients.
Andrew, Functional Recovery Manager – Asha Program. Intercept Youth and Family Support Program June 2019
Chris Dawber has run a successful Reflective Practice Group Program for our mental health nursing workforce for the past 2 years. The RPG clinical supervision program has been implemented over 2 separate hospital campuses involving 8 mental health units.
“Our work force has felt enormously supported by the introduction of these groups and feedback has been very positive with most asking for more sessions in the future. The groups have proved invaluable in reducing stress in what has been a very busy, acute period within our areas.”
Terry, A/Director of Nursing
“Reflective Practice Groups have had an incredibly positive influence on our organisation; supporting staff well being and promoting person focused care. Chris’s facilitation style is inclusive and supportive. The process exemplifies shared humanity. Chris is skilled at guiding the group and individuals to understand their experiences and other perspectives to facilitate personal and professional well being. This in turn has benefits not only for self but for the support and care we provide to others”.
Fiona, A/Director of Nursing
Here are some comments from nurses attending Reflective Practice Group sessions in our Mental Health Units
Mental Health Nurses Reflective Practice Group Program - July 2019
I have been receiving Clinical Supervision from Chris for the past 5 years. I am a Clinical Coach in an acute mental health unit, responsible for the on the job mentoring of staff that work in my area. Chris ensures that our time is protected and used to reflect on my clinical practice.
It is a valuable space that I share with Chris. This space empowers me to deal effectively with complex clinical and organisational challenges. Through my clinical supervision I have been able to made changes to my practice that have had a positive effect on my relationship with staff. I believe I have become a better clinician and further developed my role as a clinical coach. I highly recommend Chris as a clinical Supervisor.
Heather Jobson Clinical Mental Health Nurse, Clinical Coach
Chris has been my own clinical supervisor and at other times we have shared a space for Supervision of Supervision (SOS).
Chris holds a deep understanding of the dynamics of care and maintains a humane, recovery-oriented philosophy to inform his clinical supervision. He has always been flexible and available, particularly at times when I have required extra support, providing honest and sensitive feedback to assist me in reflecting upon, processing and managing professional challenges.
I wish to acknowledge the advanced skills and sensitivity of Chris with regards to clinical supervision, and would highly recommend his services to other mental health nurses including those senior nurses providing clinical supervision to others.
Steve, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Community Mental Health 2018
“Supervision provides me with a safe, respectful place to reflect on my practice as well as challenges in my work environment.
The supervision style that Chris provides has built on my sense of identity as a social worker and I have noticed changes in my practice and “widening of my lens” through the supervisor supervisee conversations and storytelling.”
Ngaire - Advanced Social Worker: July 2018
“I participate with a group of peers in a monthly reflective practice group run by Chris Dawber. We all look forward to our sessions where we share our private lives and debrief about our complex work environment and its challenges. We have been able to support each other leading to a more cohesive workplace and contained venting. Chris has facilitated the group very effectively using his years of experience in a calm and controlled manner, maintaining a high level of confidentiality and professionalism. We have all felt protected by his non-judgmental approach and the ownership the group has had on proceedings. We have all immersed ourselves in the regular and varied mindfulness exercises included in the sessions and had strategies to take away to use in our real lives. Chris has challenged us to interrogate our feelings freely about topics discussed and allowed differences of opinion to be explored constructively. He has followed up outside the sessions with useful readings for us to expand our learning further. I would highly recommend Chris based on my knowledge of his work.”
David – Paediatrician: July 2018
“Doc is a unique individual with qualities that are hard to define or quantify. His mentoring skills transgress disciplinary boundaries and he brings something very valuable and powerful to his interaction with everyone who has the privilege to engage with him. He is a generous and gifted man and his guidance has enriched my life. I recommend him with absolute confidence to anyone who wishes to consider themselves and grow, be that as a person, a professional or both.”
Gerhard Venter, Psychologist BA (Hons) Psych, MA Clin Psych
“When I first met Chris …. he was beginning to support nurses in the way of clinical supervision; not in the traditional sense of clinical hands on practice we know in nursing, but as supportive practice and mentoring to assist senior nurses through the endless minefield of managing the business of health, strategies to assist with the myriad workplace behaviours, debriefing and crisis events. I felt middle management, as a senior nurse, was the most difficult level to be on – with pressures from all angles, above, below, sideways and within myself to meet the demands of the team and the organisation, to meet targets and maintain high standards of care. When I was met with some compounding and overwhelming personal and professional issues, these conflicted my values and my self-worth … I was starting to struggle with solutions.
I met with Chris, who told me about the work he was doing with nursing groups and other senior nurse leaders to assist their own conflicts within the workplace, I agreed to have regular “chats” with Chris on a one to one basis…couldn’t do any harm could it.
I was very unsure at first as over 30 yrs in the nursing profession and the past 20 years as senior level clinician working quite autonomously within a large organisation in many different fields, I had not really embarked on working on myself and rarely took the time out to allow myself to “self care” so was a little scared at what actually may happen as I opened up so to speak.
I be honest our regular “chats” became easier and easier and have absolutely blown me away with the enormous amount of self-reflection and empowerment these sessions have given me. I am a self-confessed soft hearted caring nurse who wears her heart on her sleeve with high expectations of myself in my performance as a senior clinician. So many tears have been shed, sometimes with sadness, sometimes with frustration and but now more often as happy tears and grateful for this experience with Chris’s guidance as I allowed myself to make real changes and embraced opportunities with enthusiasm once again.
I have learnt so much about myself, not because Chris told me, but by the way he allowed me to discover these things for myself and to really understand what matters during our “chats”
The reflective and supportive practice sessions with Chris over the time has now given me the freedom to empower myself and be mindful of how I feel and react within the organisation we work within, whilst knowing that I truly do make a difference in this world. My work life balance has been restored and I feel great to be involved with what matters.
Thank you Chris for being that catalyst, and your ability to guide me through the journey of discovery with your true professionalism.”
Kaz, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Women’s Health
“Chris Dawber was my clinical supervisor for six years…. He provided me with the highest quality supervision… initially as clinical supervisor during what was one of the most difficult times in my professional career & then as a supervisor of supervision: an opportunity that enabled me to offer my own supervisees’ quality supervision. Our sessions were both productive and challenging at times; allowing me to critically reflect on my practice and find solutions to the issues at hand.. I would highly recommend Chris to anyone undertaking professional supervision.”
Jennifer Credentialled MHN, CNC,
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Mental Health
“As a psychologist of some 20 years, I recommend Chris Dawber as a therapist and supervisor, unreservedly. I would readily refer clients and supervisees to him.
He has a highly developed capacity for compassion, empathy, intuition, insight, and understanding. He listens with sensitivity and non-judgmentalness, and expresses himself with clarity, humanity and courage. He is an independent thinker, widely knowledgeable, and is a highly experienced professional.”
Tony Verner, Psychologist & Relationship counsellor
I have had the good fortune of working with Chris Dawber over many years:… working together in group supervision with clinicians from a variety of backgrounds, setting up a staff peer support system in a mental health service and providing clinical supervision to each other at various points in our respective careers.
I have the utmost respect for and confidence in Chris to provide helpful, relevant and stimulating supervision. Chris reflects all the very best of human ideals, both as a clinician and as a supervisor. He is trustworthy, tactful, challenging, respectful and hopeful for both his supervisee’s and for clients. He has a great sense of humour, self awareness and self knowledge which contributes to him being able to go beneath the superficial with his supervisee’s dilemmas and struggles. These abilities mean that supervision with Chris, can enable supervisee’s to deeply reflect and contemplate the often complex and thorny situations inherent in practice.
I cannot recommend Chris highly enough as a person, colleague, supervisor and clinician.”
Barb Bowler Credentialed mental health nurse. Director of Veriti: Health and Community Evidence based Education, Training & Supervision
“As the Nurse Unit Manager of a busy Ambulatory Cancer Service… I was responsible for a group of nurses who had the privilege of working with patients at very vulnerable parts of their journey through cancer. The nursing profession requires lifelong learning, reflecting on experiences to improve the way we work and consciously analysing decision making… Personal supervision and group reflective practice allows nurses to refocus their thinking for complex patients using critical analysis, drawing on theory to increase confidence & become more proactive, qualified professional nurses.
Chris Dawber provided this service and helped this team make sense of events, situations and actions in the workplace. His respect for confidentiality and empathy for our patients empowered the team and the life skills learned are the foundations of the nurses and the work we perform to this day.”
Leanne Nurse Manager, Cancer Care