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Clinical Supervision: Skill Building and Empowering Supervisees
On the last track, we discussed ways to evaluate and identify problems in the supervisor-therapist relationship and in the therapist-client relationship: identifying avoidance of conflict; and the "Interview Session Checklist".
In your experience as a supervisor, what does the word "empowerment" mean to you? Does it mean, as it does to me, passing on decision-making authority and responsibility from supervisor to supervisee?
On this track, we will examine the basic skills in empowering your supervisee: nurturing, coaching, and mentoring.
There were nine questions in this exercise,
you may want to replay this part of the CD to track how many you answered, "I
can do Now" and how many you answered "I need to develop." Thus this
quiz can give you a road map with specific ideas regarding what you need to change,
should you deem empowerment an appropriate attribute to your relationship with
Area # 1 - Nurturing
Just a few of these suggestions in practice might improve your supervising relationship with your supervisee. I know the basics of showing concern, investing adequate time, positive reinforcement, using you knowledge, and making suggestions seem to be almost too painfully basic to recall but they are sometimes painfully overlooked or not viewed important.
Area # 2 -
Just as we discussed the
misuse of authority on track 4, the conception of coaching as an implication of
authority is also misleading and false. Coaching, I feel, inspires motivation
and requires resolution of interpersonal conflict rather than implementing authority
and forcing a supervisee to follow a strict regiment of commands. It also requires
the supervisor to pass along sufficient instruction to the supervisee in addition
to listening to the supervisee's concerns and careful observation of his or her
While nurturing is a helpful skill to improve
the actual relationship between yourself and the supervisee, coaching is the actual
means of empowerment in supervisor and supervisee interactions. One of my supervisees,
Sylvia, had trouble at the beginning of her supervision.
Can you see how instead of manipulating her with authority, I used coaching to improve my relationship with my supervisee and provide guidance by showing confidence in her?
Area # 3 -
By your example and counsel, a supervisee will grow and improve. Mentoring differs from coaching in the idea that the mentor truly becomes a solid role model for the supervisee, whereas, in coaching, the supervisor is merely an advice giver and less prominent in the work of the supervisee. This can mean not only writing recommendations for the supervisee, should you deem appropriate, but also guiding the supervisee to an area of therapy that you believe he or she would most likely flourish.
While as a supervisor you may exhibit some of the characteristics of a mentor, once you've utilized the basic skills we've discussed in this track (i.e. nurturing and coaching), you will most probably be more capable of empowering your supervisee towards independence and efficiency.
On this track, we discussed
the basic skills in empowering your supervisee: nurturing, coaching, and mentoring.
On this CD we discussed setting goals, resolving conflicts, dealing with discussion difficulties, ethics, facilitation or therapist-client relationships, the supervisor's avoidance of conflict issues, and empowerment.
Other Home Study Courses we offer include: Treating Teen Self Mutilation; Treating Post Holiday Let-Down and Depression; Living with Secrets: Treating Childhood Sexual Trauma; Interventions for Anxiety Disorders with Children and Adults; and Balancing the Power Dynamic in the Therapeutic Relationship.
I wish you the best of luck in your practice. Thank you. Please consider us for future home study needs.
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