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The Role of Supervision in the Practice Environment
The role of the supervisor will be outlined via the perspective of two different resources the first resource is the book Strategies for the First Practicum written by Susan Allstetter. Ms Allstetter divides the role of the supervisor into 17 different tasks and subdivides these tasks into the three areas of Teaching Function, Counseling Function, and Consulting Function. The second resource regarding the role of the clinical supervisor outlines duties; knowledge, skills and Abilities . These outlines will be followed by more detailed examples in the following sections.
Role of the Clilnical Supervisor
1. Evaluate observed counseling session interactions.
2. Ask Counselor to provide a hypothesis about the client.
3. Identify appropriate interventions.
4. Teach, demonstrate, or model intervention techniques.
5. Explain the rationale behind specific strategies and interventions.
6. Interpret significant events in the counseling session.
7. Explore trainee feelings during the counseling session.
8. Explore trainee feelings during the supervision session.
9. Explore trainee feelings concerning specific techniques or interventions.
10. Encourage trainee self-exploration of confidence and worries in the counseling session.
11. Help the trainee define personal competencies and areas for growth.
12. Provide opportunities for the trainee to process his or her own affect and defenses.
13. Provide alternative interventions or conceptualizations for trainee use.
14. Encourage trainee brainstorming of strategies and interventions.
15. Encourage trainee discussion of client problems and motivations.
16. Solicit and attempt to satisfy trainee needs during the supervision session.
17. Allow the trainee to structure the supervision session.
- Allstetter, Susan. Supervision Strategies for the First Practicum
Mental Health Supervisor/Specialist
Provides staff supervision for all clinical aspects of the program;
Plans, assigns, and reviews work of team members;
Interviews and selects candidates for various positions;
Performs complex evaluations and makes independent diagnoses using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders;
Provides individual, family and group treatment;
Maintains a caseload of diverse, complex, and high-risk clients;
Develops treatment plans and adapts treatment interventions and approaches;
Provides assessment and treatment services to clients presenting a wide variety of emotional, social, and mental disorders over a range of severity;
Consults with professionals on a variety of problems including delivery of needed services for clinically complex cases;
Provides liaison to community agencies to facilitate communication and service provision for clients requiring multiple services;
Evaluates clients whose lives may be in substantial and imminent danger or who may pose an imminent, substantial risk to the lives and safety of others;
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Extensive knowledge of the principles, theories, and methods of the psychological and social development of the individual;
Thorough knowledge of intake procedures, social history development, and interviewing techniques;
Thorough knowledge of major schools of treatment of emotionally and socially disturbed individuals;
Knowledge of psychiatric, psychological, and/or sociological terminology and concepts;
Knowledge of clinical supervisory methods and techniques;
Knowledge of federal, state, and county laws regarding Emergency Custody Orders, Temporary Detention Orders, and involuntary commitment;
Ability to conduct mental health assessments and apply treatment approaches/modalities;
Ability to formulate diagnoses;
Ability to diagnostically interpret data obtained from psychological test results, social histories, and interviews;
Ability to prepare, produce, and conduct program presentations;
Ability to develop, implement, manage, and evaluate programs;
Ability to supervise and train service professionals;
Ability to conduct performance evaluations and implement personnel procedures;
Ability to function independently in high-stress situations;
Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with subordinates, co-workers, public and private sector organizations, community groups, and the general public;
Ability to successfully perform as a team leader/member;
Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
- Fairfax County Virginia. Class Specification. Fairfax County Virginia, February 2011, Page 1-4.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Amaro, C. M., Mitchell, T. B., Cordts, K. M. P., Borner, K. B., Frazer, A. L., Garcia, A. M., & Roberts, M. C. (2020). Clarifying supervision expectations: Construction of a clinical supervision contract as a didactic exercise for advanced graduate students. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 14(3), 235–241.
Callahan, J. L., & Watkins, C. E., Jr. (2018). The science of training III: Supervision, competency, and internship training. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 12(4), 245–261.
Mann, S. T., & Merced, M. (2018). Preparing for entry-level practice in supervision. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 49(1), 98–106.
Stulmaker, H. L., Lertora, I., & Garza, Y. (2015). Facilitating empathic perspective taking in beginning child-centered play therapists: The role of supervision. International Journal of Play Therapy, 24(4), 177–189.
Watkins, C. E., Jr. (2017). Convergence in psychotherapy supervision: A common factors, common processes, common practices perspective. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 27(2), 140–152.
What are the required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities of a Mental Health Supervisor/Specialist ? To select and enter your answer go to .