The Role of Supervision in a Psychologist’s Life.

In a structured setting known as supervision, therapists regularly discuss their work with a person who has training in both therapy and supervision. In some circumstances, training and assessment may also be incorporated into the supervisory process.

There are three basic types of counseling supervision:

Formative: It involves the supervisor teaching the counselor from their own experiences.

Normative: A supervisor requiring the counselor to account for and defend their job is considered normative.

-Restorative: If the counselor is having trouble with a moral dilemma or a particular component of their work, the supervisor will offer help. Although occasionally problems in a counselor’s life could affect their ability to give the client their complete attention.

Supervision is not the place for the counselor to receive their own therapy. If this is the case, the supervisor might advise the counselor to seek out their own treatment to examine personal difficulties. Counseling is a regulated activity because of supervision.

Before beginning the job of becoming a supervisor, it’s beneficial to have a greater grasp of the many models of supervision, such as developmental models, integrated models, and orientation-specific models. Particularly considering how distinct this position is from that of a therapist or educator. Regardless of the patterns a supervisor chooses to follow, all supervisors have similar obligations and goals for their subordinates. The primary objectives of supervision are encouraging the development of the supervisee by helping to increase their knowledge and practical skills. It also ensures that the clients the supervisor is working with are receiving high-quality professional services that will protect the welfare of the clients.

In the past ten years, clinical supervision has undergone tremendous transformation. Clinical supervision is recognized by the majority of professionals, academics, and practitioners as a unique professional practice needing specialized training. In the past, supervision was performed without any formal training, with supervisors using what they had acquired from their own supervision experiences or by working as therapists. It has become clear that poor supervision can cause serious injury because of the hierarchical structure, boundary dilutions, lack of training, ignorance of supervisory models, and insufficient clinical expertise. Additionally, a lack of understanding of one’s role and obligations might harm relationships between a supervisor and supervisee.

 To effectively oversee, a supervisor has to possess the following abilities:

-Knowledge of the main clinical supervision models, including their underlying philosophies, practical applications, and capacity to evaluate and contrast them with other models.

-Accessibility, consistency, and regularity

-Ability to establish a precise contract with the supervisee in cooperation

-Balancing supervisee work accountability in a respectful, safe, and safe-reflective environment

-Willingness to engage in non-defensive work on any barriers or rifts that may develop in the relationship

-The ability to articulate a personal supervision model drawn from existing

-Understanding of the procedures for resolving moral quandaries in clinical supervision

-Knowing any legal difficulties that could come up during clinical supervision and being committed to making sure supervisees are equally aware of them (e.g., duty to report, limits of confidentiality, etc.)

-Ability to provide and receive feedback in clinical supervision, both formally (e.g., planned and documented reviews of the supervising process and of supervisees’ clinical abilities) and informally (e.g., during supervision sessions).

-The capacity to discuss one’s own supervisory methods with colleagues and their own boss during reflection

-Advanced understanding of the main problems clients face (e.g., mental illness, alcoholism, suicidality, drug abuse)

Specifications of a Supervisor-

Sessions with a supervisor should be focused on the supervisee. By doing this, the supervisee is able to take control of the process rather than feeling that outside forces are controlling and dictating it. A successful supervisor is described by the four A’s of clinical supervision put forth by Todd & O’Connor (2005). The supervisor must meet the following four criteria, which are mentioned below:

  1. Open, responsive, trustworthy, and non-threatening: available.
  2. Open to conversation and simple to approach
  3. Capable of imparting actual information and abilities to the supervisee.
  4. Affable: amiable, comforting, and pleasant.

Supervisee duties-

-Although it is the supervisor’s responsibility to establish and sustain good supervision, the supervisee must be dedicated to making a positive contribution by actively preparing for and participating in supervision.

-Participate actively in the process of explaining the supervision contract at the start of the relationship. Although it is not the supervisee’s responsibility to start the contract, they should be ready to talk about practical issues like scheduling, prior supervision experiences, goals and expectations, theoretical or philosophical paradigms, hopes and concerns about the supervisory relationship, current development as a helping professional, specific skills and knowledge, and learning needs.

-Whatever method has been decided upon with the supervisor, get ready for supervision sessions. The procedures to be employed in the supervision process and how to get ready for it (e.g., case presentation, audio, video etc)

-When bringing up a specific issue or problem in supervision, the supervisee should make clear their goals (ex., “Why this client? What goals does the supervision session intend to achieve? What specifically is the supervision-related question?

-Keep notes from supervision sessions to serve as a reminder of beneficial suggestions and potential interventions, to make sure the agreed-upon action is performed, and to refer to later if necessary.

Benefits of Supervision-

There are three main advantages that counseling supervision should offer a new counselor:

– Promote Professional Identity: The first and most obvious advantage of counseling supervision for a new counselor is that it will help you complete one of the last conditions for getting a professional counselor license. This lets your clients and potential clients know that you’ve had the best possible supervision and training in counseling. In other words, you’ll have a lot of experience helping your clients.  Encourage the growth of counseling competencies: The new counselor will develop their counseling skills while the counselor supervisor serves in the capacities of instructor, counselor, and consultant. During counseling supervision, various counseling abilities are assessed, including: (1) intervention skills; (2) assessment methodologies; (3) interpersonal assessment; (4) client conceptualization; and (5) individual counseling.

-In order to build a more sophisticated and sensitive kind of counseling expertise, trainees must advance beyond fundamental forms of counseling abilities, which is where supervision plays a specific role. Counseling placements also require careful supervision and organized support. Instead of being unfavorably demanding, the training experience should be motivating and empowering. Assisting trainees in developing their professionalism and making sense of their educational experiences is supervision.

–Professional success and growth depend on continuous professional development. The following are the three advantages for new counselors who receive counseling supervision: (1) promoting professional identity by completing a requirement to obtain a professional counseling license, (2) promoting counseling competencies in eight specific areas of counseling, and (3) promoting client welfare. In other words, counseling supervision trains new counselors to become highly effective counselors who will be better equipped to provide care, competence, and professionalism to their clients.

Goals for Supervision-

-There are three reasons for supervision. Fundamentally, these motives are to safeguard clients, enhance counselors’ capacity to deliver value to clients, and keep an eye on the self-care of the counselor or healthcare professional.

The following are the objectives of counseling supervision: To assist supervisees in developing a better (more comprehensive) understanding of the therapeutic process. The therapeutic process is a feature of all counseling and treatment types.

-To assist supervisees in creating best professional practice standards. A solid understanding of ethical concepts is the cornerstone of good professional practice. This calls on therapists to refine both their decision-making and knowledge of process issues as they engage in therapeutic change negotiation.

-To support supervisees in gaining professional self-assurance and improved autonomy in their working environment. Understanding the therapeutic process as a whole, rather than just the client’s presenting issue, is essential for effective monitoring.

-To assist supervisees in considering alternate approaches to comprehending and addressing specific client difficulties. The ability to define appropriate goals and gain a thorough understanding of the client with the aid of supervision is another benefit. 


Author: Palak Pipalia, A student of Psychology & Intern at TherapHeal

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