Upon approaching the supervision experience, it may be helpful for supervisor and supervisee to have a discussion about the particular supervision model the supervisor tends to use. This will help the supervisee to understand better the orientation the supervisor is working from and perhaps prevent some conflicts or enable the two to work through conflicts based on this mutual understanding of the underlying framework the supervisor is working from. The following is an outline or synopsis of an article “A Brief Summary of Supervision Models” by Kendra L. Smith, Ph.D., LPC, ACS. She expands on the parallel between the supervision relationship and that of the counselor/client relationship to acknowledge that supervisors have the added requirement of additional training and competency in knowledge and skills. She differentiates between the concepts of supervision being an apprenticeship in that “the concept of master-apprentice evokes a hierarchy of power that favors the master as the “authority,” a dynamic that is not supported in today’s literature on supervision.” The supervision process is more complex than the master-apprentice model in that development takes place when the supervisee reflects on their work with clients and the supervision experience as well. Here is an outline of the supervision models from the article.
Psychotherapy-Based Supervision Models – Often feel like a natural extension of therapy itself.
Psychodynamic Supervision Models – The supervisor’s role is didactic. The focus is on the client versus the supervisee or the supervisory process. This model reduces the chances for conflict between supervisor and supervisee which can reduce the supervisee’s anxiety and enhance learning. There is a supervisee-centered psychodynamic supervision model that focuses on the supervisee’s resistances, anxieties and learning problems. The supervisor in both models is the expert and authority but may provide more of an experiential interaction than a didactic one. The supervisor-matrix-centered model involves the didactic aspect as well as focusing on the relationship between the supervisor and supervisee.
Cognitive-Behavioral Supervision Model – Makes use of observable cognitions and behaviors of the supervisee’s professional presentation and their reaction to the client. This model includes providing structure for the process with setting measureable goals with feedback from the supervisor.
Person-Centered Supervision Model – Assumes the supervisee has the resources to develop as a counselor. The supervisor acts as a collaborator rather than the expert. Effective learning is thought to depend on the relationship between supervisee and supervisor.
Developmental Supervision Models – Define progressive stages of development. Key task of the supervisor is to identify the supervisee’s current stage of development.
Integrated Development Supervision Model – A highly researched model of supervision. Level 1 clinicians are entry level students experiencing high anxiety and fearful of evaluation. Level 2 clinicians are mid-level with increased confidence but still reactive to rate of success with clients. Level 3 clinicians demonstrate confidence with a good balance between empathy and objectivity.
Ronnestad and Skovholt’s Supervision Model – Based on 25 year case studies of 100 counselors and graduate students. The study identifies 6 stages or phases of development that include the previous 3 stages to range from student to the senior professional. They also identified 14 themes of counselor development that can serve as objectives or goals of the supervision process.
Integrative Supervision Model – Combines theory and techniques from a combination of approaches.
Bernard’s Discrimination Model – Most commonly used researched integrative model with three main objectives being intervention, conceptualization and personalization. The supervisor acts as teacher, counselor and consultant.
Systems Supervision Model – Main precept is the relationship between supervisor and supervisee which aims at a mutual empowerment. Seven dimensions are identified by function and task of supervision, the client, the intern, the supervisor and the institution.
Smith, K.L. (2009). A Brief Summary of Supervision Models.