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Client Supervision - Supervisory Roles and Skills

Janet is the clinical director of a local counseling agency. She has been supervising Michael, an internship student from a local university, for 2 months. Michael verbalizes what appears to be a great deal of insecurity regarding his counseling skills and abilities. He starts apologizing for his performance on his taped counseling session prior to playing the tape for supervision. In addition, when processing the various clients he sees, Michael often says, I just don't know what od do. However, Michael is receptive to supervision and always incorporates the feedback offered to him by Janet.

Most recently, Michael has presented a case for supervision of a client who is experiencing problems in a romantic relationship. Michael indicates that the client reports not ever having a positive role model regarding relationships, not having a good relationship with her father, and not knowing how to deal with arguments in relationships. Michael said he felt a little uncomfortable when the client stated she wished her boyfriend could spend some time with him (Michael) so that he could learn how to really listen to her.

1. Explain how the counselor, in each of the supervisory roles, would approach the supervisee, Michael.

2. For each role, describe one supervisory skill that a counselor may think is most relevant to the role. Be specific to the case and provide examples.

3. Explain the importance of supervision to counselors and to the counseling profession.

Solution Preview

Explain how the counselor, in each of the supervisory roles, would approach the supervisee, Michael.

In Role 1, the counselor should focus on the supervisee's (Michael) lack of confidence in his professional role. Allanack (2009) provides some guidelines for dealing with clients who lack confidence. He asserts that the supervisor has to orient the supervisee toward improvement and growth. For example, according to Allanack, the supervisor should supervise from the following perspectives:

(a) Supervise only in his or her area of expertise, (b) provide a solid theoretical foundation for the supervisee to follow, c) provide demonstrated procedures for the supervisee to treat patients in a clinically accepted manner, and (d) choose a specific model to address the supervisee's issues.

In Role 2, the supervisor might concentrate on Michael's vulnerability. Thus, the supervisor should direct the supervisee to guard against emotions that can affect his counseling decisions, and/or his counseling relationship. The supervisee must understand that he will encounter different and complex problems clients bring to the therapeutic session. As a professional counselor, the therapist is expected to practice his profession within the moral and ethical guidelines of the counseling profession.

For each role, describe one supervisory skill that a counselor may think is most relevant to the role. Be specific to the case and provide examples. ...

Solution Summary

This solution examines supervisory counseling roles and ethical guidelines.

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