Clinical Supervision – Clinical Supervisor
If you are looking for clinical supervision or a clinical supervisor, you are in the right place. The Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) recommends that you ask your prospective supervisor the following questions:
- 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?
Research shows that many supervisors are informed by the models of therapy they use in their own practice. As a result, they apply therapy theory to supervision. This may be a useful approach. Yet research shows that using therapy theory as a sole lens for supervision leads to missing important information. It can also lead to thinking about supervisees in therapeutic ways.
Supervision is not therapy
In other words, supervision is different from therapy. It is a forum used by supervisees to reflect on all aspects of your clinical work, where you receive formal and informal feedback on that work and where the welfare of your clients and the quality of the service your clients receive is central. But keep in mind that reflection is not enough (Chow, 2018). At the start of each supervision session I check with you to get goal consensus about what we’ll focus on and I get feedback from you at the end of each session to ensure that you’re getting what you’re wanting from our work together.
I keep in mind Hawkins & Shohet’s (2012) seven-eyed supervision model to address the complexity of supervision work. This means that as a supervisor I use different roles, styles and methods at different times, influenced by the focus of the work at the time. For example, I pay attention to the processes that occur during a supervision session, within our supervision journey as a whole, in your therapy relationships and also on your professional learning goals.
Hawkins & Shohet (ibid) coined the term the “good enough” supervisor. They suggest that your supervisor does not have to be perfect, or get everything right. They point out that the main role of a supervisor is to provide containment for you to effectively reflect on and improve your clinical work by working on your learning goals. The main purpose of a supervisor is to help you remain centred and focused on what your clients are wanting from you so you can help them achieve their goals.
My approach to clinical supervision
In my supervision work I integrate the Developmental approaches and the Integrative models with The Common Factors Discrimination Model (2017) of supervision, working like a coach with you (Stober & Parry, 2005). Together we construct an approach to supervision based on your learning objectives and how you want to develop as a practitioner. I combine methods developed by Carroll & Gilbert (2011) and Miller, Hubble & Chow (2020) to get goal consensus and direct feedback from you about our work together in supervision. This is the secret behind helping you become a supershrink, so you get real results for your clients at the same time as becoming a better therapist.
As you can see, clinical supervision is both an educational and a relationship process. Its two functions are 1) assessing your skills and 2) choosing appropriate ways for me to address your learning needs and goals. To do this, I generally assess you on these main skill areas:
(a) the structure of your sessions and the interventions you use
(b) how you engender hope and expectancy in your clients, how you create a working alliance and focus the sessions by getting goal consensus, how you incorporate your client’s strengths, beliefs, values and social support networks into your work
(c) your use of self, your self-awareness, your awareness of personal issues & countertransference and your ability to adapt your style of counselling to meet your client’s needs.
Your unique approach to doing therapy
Above all, my aim as a supervisor is to help you develop your own unique approaches in your clinical and professional work, so as to enhance the service you provide for your clients as well as developing yourself as a therapist. 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. You can track this manually or online via the Outcome Rating Scale – see image below.
- How they experience the working relationship with you. You can track this manually or online via the Session Rating Scale – see image below.
Getting your clients’ ongoing feedback about these two factors is vital for growing your expertise as a therapist. My greatest satisfaction comes from seeing you grow and change as a practitioner, based on the evidence from your therapy outcomes.
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 so you keep expanding into your growing edge
- To support you in appropriate and comprehensive self-care. See my self-care video for counsellors, therapists & other professionals.
Get in touch with me
For help in becoming a more confident and successful coach, counsellor or therapist, call 0421 961 687 or email me to schedule an appointment. International callers should call +61 421 961 687.
You deserve a well-trained supervisor if you’re planning to invest time and money in your work. If you’re not ready to book an appointment, call me on 0421 961 687 to book a FREE 15 minute phone consultation to discuss how I may be able to assist you.
Carroll, M. and Gilbert, M. (2011). On Being a Supervisee : Creating Learning Partnerships. Kew: Psychoz Publications, Sept.
Chow, D. (2015). Frontiers of Psychotherapist Development. [online] Available at: https://darylchow.com/Daryl_Chow/Blog/wordpress/?s=feedback+in+supervision
Chow, D., Miller, S., Seidel, J., Kane, R., Thornton, J. and Andrews, W. (2015). The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Development of Highly Effective Psychotherapists. [online] Available at: https://scottdmiller.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/The-role-of-deliberate-practice-_Chow-Miller-et-al.-2015_.pdf
Chow, D. www.youtube.com. (n.d.). A System of Practice by Daryl Chow, Ph.D. 2018. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxmP03gAfps.
Crunk, A.E. and Barden, S.M. (2017). The Common Factors Discrimination Model: An Integrated Approach to Counselor Supervision. The Professional Counselor, 7(1), pp.62–75. doi:10.15241/aec.7.1.62.
Hawkins, P., Shohet, R., Ryde, J. and Wilmot, J. (2012). Supervision in the helping professions. Maidenhead: Mcgraw-Hill/Open University Press.
The Secrets of Supershrinks: Pathways to Clinical Excellence (n.d.). [online] Available at: https://scottdmiller.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Supershrinks-Free-Report-1.pdf
Miller, S.D., Hubble, M.A. and Chow, D. (2020). Better Results: Using Deliberate Practice to Improve Therapeutic Effectiveness. 1st edition ed. [online] Amazon. American Psychological Association.
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.
If you’re interested in asking about clinical supervision, please call me on (0421) 961 687 or email me.
For more information:
- Click here for my article Embracing Trauma Counselling in Supervision
- For information on group supervision, see Supervision Groups in Private Practice