This paper, the first of two parts, focuses on the way in which the midwife/client relationship has evolved and how this has affected the way in which midwives relate to each other and the women they attend. Midwives are urged to examine this aspect of their role in light of recent policy initiatives, which have, to some extent, created a competitive, ever-changing, and sometimes,threatening environment in which they work. For some midwives this has made the way they practice more daunting and challenging, and some have stated that they do not find the support they require within the current model of statutory supervision (Association of Radical Midwives, 1995). The second part of the paper addresses the therapeutic relationship that exists between midwives and clients and encourages supervisors of midwives and midwifery managers to consider an alternative way in which they themselves and a constantly changing health care organization could offer support to midwives. The concept of clinical supervision is therefore introduced and offered as one possible alternative to the current model of statutory midwifery supervision.