Purpose and Goals of Supervision for Counselors

Topics: Mental health professional, Counseling, Mental health counselor Pages: 8 (1753 words) Published: August 9, 2015


Purpose and Goals of Supervision for Counselors
Brad Thayer
COUN5004 – Survey of Research in Human Development for Professional Counselors 07/26/2015
Dr. Barbara Cooper
Purpose and Goals of Clinical Supervision for Counselors
Supervision can be a very foreign process to a mental health counselor when first starting their professional journey. In other professions supervision can mean addressing performance, administrative compliance and personnel concerns. In the field of mental health counseling the purpose of supervision is therapeutic and multifaceted. In order to explain the complexity of supervision for a mental health counselor it must be broken down into key areas. The first is the very definition of supervision. Next is to explore what supervision looks like. By exploring two models of supervision one can gain better understanding of the expectations of both the supervisor and supervisee. After gaining a clearer understanding of the process of supervision one can then examine the benefits of supervision. The benefits of supervisor from the perspective of the counselor can help with the understanding of why supervision is common practice. Supervision is vital to the development and growth of a counselor to the point that it has significant ethical and therapeutic implications to the counseling profession. One that is new to or has not experienced supervision in the counseling field can benefit from understanding the rational for supervision and the purpose and goals it serves. Definition of Counseling Supervision

Supervision in the counseling field is common practice for a valid reason.  Bernard & Goodyear explain that supervision is, “An intervention provided by a more senior member of a profession to a more junior member or members of that same profession. This relationship is evaluative, extends over time, and has the simultaneous purposes of enhancing the professional functioning of the more junior person(s) monitoring the quality of professional serves offered to the client(s) she, he, or they see(s) and serving as a gatekeeper of those who are to enter the particular profession” (1998). Another definition includes, “an intensive, interpersonally focused one-to-one relationship in which one person is designated to facilitate the development of therapeutic competence in the other person” (Loganbill, Hardy, & Delworth, 1982). Supervision in an intensive educational process that occurs overtime and is facilitated by the supervisor to ensure competence is met continuously by the supervisee. Models of Supervision

Looking at counseling as an intervention utilizes the senior counselor’s skill set to provide support and help to the junior counselor. Much like therapy there are modalities and interventions that have been established to provide a framework for supervision to help facilitate a supervisee’s development. When receiving supervision there are multiple formats and models in which supervision is implemented.  Models due vary and each have their purpose but each has key elements that hold true to the purpose and intent of supervision. The first key element or component of supervision is the relationship. The relationship between the supervisor and supervisee in a critical part in the process of supervision to make it effective and productive (Watkins, 1997). The evaluation component to supervision involves tasks that are focused on monitoring competency of the supervisee in the field of counseling. Watkins explains the evaluation component of supervision is when the supervisor will identify the supervisee’s strengths, weaknesses, and what areas need to be developed, enhanced, and improved upon (1997). In other words the supervisor is responsible for guiding the supervisee in their professional identity and growth. Another key component of supervision is the fact that the process extends over time. It is important to note this component as supervision is...


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Loganbill, C., Hardy, E., & Delworth, U. (1982). Supervision: A conceptual model. Counseling
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Ward, C. C., & House, R. M. (1998). Counseling supervision: A reflective model. Counselor
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