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 his/her 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 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/Early Childhood Specialist; Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist; Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Mentor. See the requirements for each category of Endorsement® for more information.

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The presence on this list as a provider of reflective supervision/consultation means that these individuals have earned Endorsement® as an IMHS or an IMHM. First 5 Alabama cannot guarantee the accuracy, reliability or completeness of any training and/or supervision provided by these individuals.


First 5 Alabama is a Member Organization of
The Alliance is a global organization that includes multiple states and international associations whose infant mental health associations have licensed the use of the Competency Guidelines® and Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health® under their associations’ names.
The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) or U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 
©2020 by First 5 Alabama.