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Counseling Supervision

By tinverary1 Dec 18, 2011 961 Words
Tessa Inverary
Walden University
November 13, 2011

Supervision involves the meeting together of two counseling professionals, one of whom has more experience than the other (Erford, B. 2010), to facilitate the development of the supervisee. The main purpose of receiving supervision is to ensure competent practice, and is therefore a method of ensuring quality and consistency. In supervision, the needs, goals and growth of the client are the most important. The supervisor’s role in helping the supervisee to develop personally and professionally as a counselor is equally important as well. Supervision provides the opportunity to develop skills and understanding, and provides an avenue for comparing different approaches to managing and conceptualizing client problems. Supervision has as its focus the tasks and responsibilities of people helping professions, supervisors help their supervisees to develop therapeutic competence, which reflects ability in a variety of skills and processes. Process can be observed as the communication between the supervisor and the supervisee. It can be viewed as what the supervisor observed in the session the supervisee conducted (Erford, B. 2010). Conceptualization describes the supervisee’s ability to apply theory to the counseling session. It also describes the understanding of what the supervisee identified, or chosen interventions (Erford, B. 2010) used to better assist the client within the session. In reference to the supervision case study, as the supervisor I would use the skills of intervention, conceptualization, and personalization as my approaches when helping Michael, the supervisee with the issues he has encountered in this particular session. The roles as teacher, counselor, and consultant are mandatory in helping Michael become a better counselor and to meet the needs of the clients. The role of the teacher is to teach Michael specific concepts and techniques (Erford, B. 2010); this role is most relevant to conceptualization. Conceptualization helps the supervisee point out a particular technique, the desired result of that technique and the actual outcome with the supervisors help. As supervisor it is best that such issues as confusion, competence, and emotional awareness be addressed with Michael. Personalization refers to the personal style (Erford, B. 2010) of the supervisee. It allows the supervisee to look at his/her body language, tone of voice, affect, and overall skills used in the therapy session. The role that is most relevant to this skill is the role of counselor. As the supervisor, it is best that person-centered supervision is used. This will help Michael in gaining self-confidence, self-understanding, and understanding the therapeutic process (Bernard & Goodyear, 1998) of what has, is, and will continue in his counseling sessions. Personalization, not only demonstrates to the supervisee of their personal style, but to the client as well. The role of the consultant is major in this case, because it will help the supervisee, Michael identify different interventions and address the issues that he is facing related to this client. Professional counselors seek mental health consultation as individuals in order to deepen the knowledge and skills necessary to better serve a specific client (Moe & Perera-Diltz, 2009). The role of consultant is most relevant to the intervention skill; this skill is used to help the supervisee to see what he is doing and needs to be doing in his session. This is observable by the supervisor. In this particular role and skill, some questions should be asked to Michael, such as “what do you wish you had said to him/her at this point? How do you think he/she would have reacted if you had said that? What would have been the risk in saying it? Were there any other thoughts going through your head? Were you aware of any feelings? How do you want the client to perceive you? What do you think the client wants from you? Did he/she remind you of anyone in your life? Asking these questions would have a strong impact on Michael and get him to a place of processing the therapeutic session and it is relevant for Michael to answer these questions to see what the clients motives are as well as his. Supervisors should tell the supervisee what their theoretical orientation is. They should tell the supervisee what is expected of them. They should inform the supervisee regarding informed consent, standard of care, legal and ethical considerations, scope of practice, confidentiality, business practices and any other information pertinent to their work with their clients and within the supervisory relationship (Erford, B. 2010). This discussion should take place at the beginning of supervision; this will help to ease problems in the future. If this is done properly it will help to build a positive rapport and working relationship between the supervisor and supervisee.

Supervision is important to ensure competent practice, and is therefore a method. It is defined by Bernard and Goodyear (1998) as “An intervention that is provided by a senior member of a profession to junior or junior members of that same profession. In supervision, the needs, goals and growth are of importance, it is the supervisor’s role in helping the supervisee to develop these skills. Supervision provides the opportunity to develop skills and manage and conceptualize client problems. Supervisors help their staff to build on their technical skills, clinical reasoning, emotions, and values in order to reflect on what works best within the counseling sessions to better serve and meet the clients need.


Bernard, J.M. and Goodyear, R.G. (1998). Fundamentals of Clinical Supervision. Allyn
& Bacon, Boston.

Erford, B. T. (2010). Orientation to the counseling profession: Advocacy, ethics, and essential professional foundations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. Moe, J. L., & Perera-Diltz, D. M. (2009). An Overview of Systemic-Organizational

Consultation for Professional Counselors. Journal Of Professional Counseling:
Practice, Theory & Research, 37(1), 27-

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