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Collaborating at Work

Supervision Approach

My supervision style is primarily focused on a developmental approach. The underlying notion with this approach is that people are continuously growing. The objective is to maximize and identify growth needed for the future. In a lifelong learning process, it is typical to identify new growth areas throughout a person’s lifespan constantly. Within the developmental approach, attention is paid to self and other awareness, motivation, and autonomy. The supervisee grows through stages of beginner, intermediate, and advance, culminating in functioning independently, seeking consultation when appropriate, and feeling comfortable in their decision-making.


Along with the developmental approach, I also use Bernard’s Discrimination Model. This model uses four supervision areas: counseling performance skills, cognitive counseling skills, self-awareness, and professional behaviors. Counseling performance skills refer to competence in the effective use of therapeutic responses and techniques during counseling sessions. Cognitive counseling skills focus on the supervisee’s ability to apply theoretical constructs to clients’ cases and generate case conceptualizations. Self-awareness is the supervisee’s ability to understand how their responses, worldview, feelings, and attitudes influence their work. Professional behavioral focuses on adherence to legal, ethical standards, and site policies and procedures.

The previous four supervision areas are addressed by facilitating three supervisory roles. Within the discrimination model, there are three supervisory roles with three areas of focus. The three roles include teacher, counselor, and consultant. The teaching role occurs when the supervisor directly lectures, provides information or instructs the supervisee. The counselor role occurs when the supervisor assists the supervisee in noticing areas they were unaware of previously or if the client’s issues unconsciously affect their ability to navigate a situation. The supervisor role occurs when the supervisor relates to the supervisee as a colleague who collaborates on client issues.

I utilize this approach due to it laying a pathway and structure to apply supervision to supervisees. This pathway is helpful and allows for flexibility on the part of the supervisor. The supervisor can meet the supervisee with different roles to address specific issues and enhance other areas. To ensure the development of the counselor, the use of a structured path provides a means and goals that the counselor can achieve. This approach helps to move the counselor from a novice in counseling into an advanced practitioner.

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