If you are looking for clinical supervision or a clinical supervisor, the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) recommends that the following questions apply:
- Is your supervisor acceptable to the professional Member Association that you belong to or wish to join?
- Is your supervisor on the PACFA Supervision Register or another register of reputable standing in the state in which you practice?
- Does your supervisor have an appropriate qualification to supervise in addition to more than 5 years experience in counselling and/or psychotherapy?
Many supervisors are informed by the models of therapy or professional theories they use in their own practice and so extrapolate therapy/professional theory to supervision theory. This is a useful approach. Yet using therapy theory as a sole lens for supervision leads to missing important information and can lead to thinking about supervisees in therapeutic ways.
My approach to clinical supervision
Drawing on Bernard & Goodyear’s (2007) categories of the main models used by supervision theorists and researchers, I utilise the developmental approaches and the social role models to construct with you an eclectic/integrationist approach to supervision. This means I employ an integrally informed model based on Wilber’s (2000) theory in combination with Carroll & Gilbert’s (2006) and Miller, Hubble & Duncan’s (2008) methods of getting direct feedback from you about our work. An integral approach incorporates a wide spectrum of therapy models, developmental theories and accounts for social, cultural and spiritual influences in therapy and supervision. Wilber’s AQAL framework also entails acknowledging the varied levels of competence we’ve developed in our multiple intelligences, informing a comprehensive approach to my supervision work.
My aim as a supervisor is to help you develop your own unique perspectives and approaches in your clinical and professional work, so as to enhance the service you provide for your clients. This can be maximised by encouraging you to get direct feedback from your clients about the outcomes they wish to achieve when working with you, in addition to getting their ongoing feedback about how they experience the working alliance the two of you are co-creating. The principles which govern my supervision work are:
- To tailor supervision to you as an individual
- To set up clear contracts
- To operate from a coherent framework
- To ensure my supervision method matches the content of the supervision you seek
- To consider your developmental level, cognitive and learning style as a therapist/professional
- To assess your skills on an ongoing basis
- To evaluate your outcomes.
- To support you in appropriate and comprehensive self-care. See my self-care video for counsellors, therapists & other professionals.
Bernard, J. & Goodyear, R. (2007). Supervision Models: Fundamentals of Clinical Supervision (4th ed.). Ohio: Merrill, pp. 77-108.
Carroll, M. & Gilbert, M. (2006). On Being a Supervisee – Creating Learning Partnerships. Australia: Psychoz Publications.
Miller, S., Hubble, M., & Duncan, B. (2008). Supershrinks: Learning from the Field’s Most Effective Practitioners. In Psychotherapy in Australia, 14(4), 14-22.
Stober, D.R. & Parry, C. (2005). Current Challenges and Future Directions in Coaching Research, in M. Cavanagh, A. M. Grant & T. Kemp (Eds) Evidence-Based Coaching (Vol. 1). Bowen Hills : Australian Academic Press, 13-19.
Wilber, K. (2000). Integral Psychology : Consciousness, Spirit, Psychology, Therapy. Boston & London: Shambhala.
For more information:
- Click here for my article Embracing Trauma Counselling in Supervision
- For information on group supervision, see Supervision Groups in Private Practice