196 -10 Common Errors in Clinical Supervision
Counselor Toolbox

 
 
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12 Common Errors in Supervision
Instructor: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes, PhD
Executive Director: AllCEUs.com, Counselor Education and Training
Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox & Happiness Isn’t Brain Surgery

Objectives
~ Error 1: Doing Harm to the Counselor
~ Error 2: Failing to Observe
~ Error 3: Passive Supervision
~ Error 4: Failure to Focus on Reciprocal Effects
~ Error 5: Failure to Ask Socratic Questions
~ Error 6: Terminating supervision upon licensure
~ Error 7: Undisciplined
~ Error 8: Failure to Individualize Training Plans
~ Error 9: Failure to Set Boundaries
~ Error 10: Not Practicing What You Preach
~ Error 11: Failure to provide adequate support
~ Error 12: Blurring the line between supervision and counseling

Reflection
~ Think about your supervisor.
~ What things did he/she do that you liked?
~ What do you wish he/she would have done?
~ What is one thing you will do differently as a supervisor?
The Purpose of Supervision
~ Bring about change in the knowledge, skills and behavior of another
~ Assist the counselor in self observing, self-correcting, self reinforcing, and self soothing
~ Ensure counselors remaining in the field are competent with regard to personal characteristics, philosophical foundations, communication abilities, counseling skills, administrative skills, and ethical behaviors
What Shapes Clinical Supervision
~ The theoretical model from which it is derived
~ Therapy
~ Education

~ How do these differ?
Traits of an Effective Supervisor
The 4 “A’s”
~ Available
~ Accessible
~ Able
~ Affable

Discussion: In what ways are you available, accessible, able and affable? How could you improve in any of these areas?
Errors 1 & 2: Doing Harm to the Counselor and Failing to Observe
~ 5 Main Components of Supervision
~ An experienced supervisor
~ Clients in clinical settings
~ A primary concern to “do no harm” with regard to both the client and supervisee
~ Monitoring counselor performance through observation
~ General
~ In session
~ The goal of changing the counselors behavior
~ How are you going to change a counselor’s behavior?
Error 3: Passive Supervision Fails to Develop Skills and Competencies
~ Supervision Through Leadership
~ Promote measurable development of skills and competencies
~ Raise the level of accountability and effectiveness in counseling services and programs
Leadership
Is based in a set of core values, and involves:
~ Teaching (Explaining, educating)
~ Mentoring (Practicing, showing)
~ Coaching (Cheerleading, encouraging, processing)

~ Emphasizes
~ Observing the client, counselor and organization (needs and interactions)
~ Doing no harm to client, counselor or organization
10 Principles for Leadership
• Take full responsibility for the decisions you make
• Put subordinates wellbeing above your own
• Give subordinates full credit for successes
• Take risks when they are in the best interest of the organization or the client
• Protect, support, defend subordinates to senior management
Leadership cont…
• Take a personal interest in the welfare of your staff
• Make decisions promptly
• Be a teacher
~ Learning Styles
~ Auditory, Kinesthetic, Visual
~ Active, Reflective
• Do not play favorites
• Do not give orders just to show who is boss

3 Roadblocks to Effective Evaluation
~ Lack of supervisor skills in evaluating supervisee performance (i.e. lack of understanding regarding setting measurable goals/objectives)
~ Confusion about the compatibility of evaluation and supervision
~ Anxiety evoking aspects of evaluation

Discussion: Discuss the major sources of anxiety for supervisees and methods you
have found useful to assist them
Error 4: Failure to Focus on Reciprocal Effects

~ Supervision helps the counselor…
~ Understand himself/herself
~ Understand the process of counseling
~ Master the knowledge, skills and abilities of counseling

~ What can a supervisee learn about him/herself in supervision?
~ How do counselor changes influence counseling/supervision?
~ How do client changes influence the counselor/counseling process?
~ How do supervisor changes impact the supervisee?
~ Group Activity: List the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities that you think are important for all supervisees to have
Error 5: Failure to Ask Socratic Questions
~ Supervision Translates Principles to Practice
~ It teaches principles and how to use them appropriately
~ It helps counselors identify:
~ What they did and what else they could have done
~ Why they did it and why they did it as opposed to something else
~ When they would do it again

Discussion: How do you help counselors identify what they did, why they did it, when they would do it again? (i.e. case studies, round tables, scenario based training, group supervision etc.)
Error 6: Supervision Ends with Licensure
~ Supervision is:
~ a lifelong process of professional development, affirming, internalizing and demonstrating a professional self
~ A disciplined, tutorial process where principles are translated to practice with 4 overlapping foci
~ Administrative
~ Evaluative
~ Clinical
~ Supportive
~ About people, their needs, concerns and growth
Error 7: Undisciplined
~ Supervision is a disciplined/scheduled/regimented process like teaching a class or running a business
~ It is regularly scheduled
~ Time limited
~ Specific agenda and expectations

~ Are we there yet???
Error 8: Failure to Individualize Training Plans
~ Supervision is tutorial
~ It involves individualized
~ Assessment
~ Goals
~ Training plans

How do you assess a clinician for supervision?
What types of goals are appropriate for supervision?
How can you implement a training plan?
Supervision is a Process
~ It is a relationship in which both parties work together in an atmosphere of trust and respect
Error 9: Failure to Set Boundaries
~ The 4 Overlapping Foci
~ Administrative
~ Evaluative
~ Clinical
~ Supportive

The Administrative Focus
~ Organizational management including hiring/recruiting, training, evaluating, etc.

~ What administrative expectations do you have for your supervisees?
The Evaluative Focus
~ Occurs in 2 main stages:
~ Goal setting
~ Feedback
~ Should be proactive instead of always reactive/corrective
~ Provides the supervisor opportunities to provide praise and encouragement while assisting the counselor in making necessary changes
~ Is consultative with a focus on the client

What do you evaluate?
What does it mean to have a proactive approach to evaluation?
Error 10: Not Practicing What You Preach

~ The best supervisor teaches
~ By example letting students watch you work
~ By modeling in your sessions with him/her
Error 11: Inadequate Supportive Focus
~ Providing hand-holding, cheerleading, morale building, coaching and burnout prevention
~ Exploring supervisees’ feeling during the counseling and supervision sessions
~ Facilitating supervisee self-exploration and growth
~ Assisting the supervisee in finding areas of success in each hour of therapy

Discussion: Identify one way you accomplish each of the above tasks in your
supervision process.
Error 12: Supervision is NOT Counseling
~ Supervision vs. Counseling means
~ Supervision addresses counselor personal growth issues as they relate to the material the client is experiencing
~ Supervisors identify personal growth issues, but refer the supervisee to a counselor to explore these issues in depth
~ Supervision helps counselors identify ways they may be acting out personal issues in the counseling session

Discussion: How do you differentiate the difference between supervision and counseling and how do you negotiate that boundary on a regular basis.
Summary
~ Error 1: Doing Harm to the Counselor
~ Error 2: Failing to Observe
~ Error 3: Passive Supervision
~ Error 4: Failure to Focus on Reciprocal Effects
~ Error 5: Failure to Ask Socratic Questions
~ Error 6: Terminating supervision upon licensure
~ Error 7: Undisciplined
~ Error 8: Failure to Individualize Training Plans
~ Error 9: Failure to Set Boundaries
~ Error 10: Not Practicing What You Preach
~ Error 11: Failure to provide adequate support
~ Error 12: Blurring the line between supervision and counseling