Consider This Before Offering Supervision


For many clinicians there is nothing more satisfying than taking on an intern. It is the opportunity to pass down hard-earned knowledge, tricks of the trade, and invaluable clinical wisdom. However, the process of supervision is one that relies on a sound base of knowledge on the part of the supervisor – not just about how to assist the process of learning, but also about how best to provide supervision.

There are many factors that come into place. For one thing, not every intern learns the same way, or utilizes the same technique. Moreover, not every technique is appropriate for every diagnosis.

And then there are boundaries. Let me give you an example. Let’s say that the intern begins describing a case that is causing her anxiety, and triggering some of her own issues. What would be the best response here? Should the supervisor act in the role of therapist to help the intern better navigate her issues in order to work more effectively with her client? Should the supervisor simply focus on the relationship between the intern and her client and the dynamic interaction that is ensuring? Should the supervisor refer the intern to another therapist for personal counseling? Or should she advise that the intern refer her client to another therapist altogether?

There is also the relationship between the supervisor and the intern, which many recognize as vital to the success of supervision. How should this relationship be handled? What structure, boundaries, and ethics should define it? And how should the supervisor handle subjects such as performance evaluations, termination, or self-care?

As you can see, there are many possible issues that arise in the supervision process just between the intern and her client.

Thankfully, there are developmental models that guide the supervisory process from setting appropriate goals, managing ethics and risk, using technology in supervision, and becoming aware of cultural diversities. Providing a structure to the supervision process, these models can help clinicians better provide what is truly an invaluable service to the intern and a very rewarding one for the supervisor. Moreover, understanding the best practices in supervision will help clinicians deal with the variety of issues that can arise – much like a skilled therapist would with a client – in a way that preserves the relationship between the supervisor and intern and allows for growth of the intern’s clinical and relational skills.

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Clinical Supervision for Healthcare ProfessionalsClinical Supervision for Healthcare Professionals is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that will outline best practices in psychotherapy supervision and review the structure of the supervisory relationship. Topics presented include developmental models of supervision, goals of the supervisory experience, ethics and risk management in the supervision process, using technology in supervision, and diversity awareness training for the supervisee. The vital and, at times, challenging relationship between supervisor and supervisee will be discussed and compared to the therapy relationship. The important topic of self-care of both the supervisee and the supervisor will be presented. A review of the type and structure of performance evaluations will be included, along with information about successful termination. Although this course is primarily written for psychotherapists, many of the essential facets of supervision apply to other disciplines such as occupational therapy and social work. Use this information to further your own competency as a clinical supervisor. Course #30-92 | 2017 | 48 pages | 20 posttest questions

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

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