Counselor Supervision Approach
No matter what supervision approach a Counselor Supervisor attests to, there are two foundational goals for clinical supervision:
• Professional development of the Supervisee
• Promote client welfare
To achieve both of these goals, I foster a safe, respectful, open, and collaborative learning environment. As a Counselor Supervisor, I am a teacher, consultant, professional development coach, mentor, and role model. I also have a strong belief in transparency and integrity — even when you or I mess up, be open and honest. There is no such thing as a perfect clinician; no matter how long you have been practicing. As long as you are living, you are always learning and growing. Our goal is simple: empower you to develop a strong sense of professional identity, a high level of clinical skills, and a strong ethical foundation on which to build your professional practice.
The Group Supervision Format
After conducting counselor supervision for over 17 years, I have found, overwhelmingly, that group supervision is much more beneficial to Supervisee growth and development. However, even though the Georgia Composite Board allows up to six (6) supervisees in one group, I have found that to be difficult to manage. In my professional opinion (everyone has an opinion right), groups of more than four participants, mimics a training session more than a supervision session. For me as a Counselor Supervisor, four Supervisees in one group has been the magic number for allowing everyone to be an active and engaging participant. Action and engagement are critical for growth and development (I talk more about this below in the Cognitive Behavioral Supervision Method).
The Powerfully Unique Benefits the Group Supervision Format
Through many years of experience conducting licensure supervision, I have experienced some very unique benefits of group supervision versus individual supervision. The group supervision format fosters:
• Engagement and dialog with peers
• Peer testing of Supervisee perceptions
• Working within a diverse group
• Peer feedback and validation
• Learning from a variety of unique experiences
• Sharing of many ideas
• Experiencing the process of group dynamics (such as in psychoeducation groups)
• Accountability to others
• Promotion of team cohesion, which is useful in future work settings
Group supervision gives Supervisees a sense of commonality with others in the same situation. As a bonus, I have been overjoyed by how Supervisees often ‘click’ with other participants and become life-long friends. You grow together, and after becoming independently licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), you may find that your former supervision peers are your go-to source when you need consultation. You just can’t get ANY of this through individual Counselor Supervision. It’s powerful!
Cognitive Behavioral Supervision Method
Under the framework of the Integrative Developmental Model, I use Cognitive Behavioral Supervision as a method/modality to supervision (think of it as ‘types of interventions’). Cognitive Behavior Supervision creates a safe, professionally supportive environment for a supervisee to acquire, practice, and master counseling practice methods, and become more confident as a practitioner.
The Cognitive Behavioral method encourages the Supervisee to ask questions during supervision session, work through difficulties with clients, create a nurturing and constructive supervision relationship, and use group supervision session structure and supervision homework to help Supervisees achieve and maintain competency area gains.
Cognitive Behavioral Supervision Strategies
There are fourteen (14) key strategies in Cognitive Behavioral Supervision:
• Setting up a contract and continuous development of the relationship
• Defining problems and goals
• Clarifying the expectations and responsibilities
• Active listening
• Showing respect
• Positive strengthening of the supervisee
• Cognitive restructuring
• Guided discovery
• Working with attitudes
• Playing roles
• Modeling, chaining, observational learning
• Assignments, related to:
· Supervisee guidance itself ‘
· Working on oneself (what the Supervisee should learn and train in)
· Theoretical study