Clinical supervision for counsellors

Clinical supervision for counsellors happens within a contractual, professional relationship that specifically meets your learning needs and stage of development as a counsellor, and helps you to meet industry standards. Choose a PACFA Accredited Supervisor who can support and encourage you in your practice.

Thought for the Week

“I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” —Herbert Bayard Swope

Clinical supervision for counsellors is represented by three lit candles at different heights, representing the upward level accountability from client, to counsellor, to supervisor.

Clinical supervision ensures the upward level of accountability from counsellor to supervisor to the supervisor’s supervisor

What is Clinical supervision for counsellors?

Clinical supervision for counsellors provides a structured, professional relationship that develops your skills, supports your learning needs and improves client outcomes. Clients and counsellors benefit from the upward level of accountability from counsellor to supervisor, and to their supervisor and to the counselling profession.

How to choose a Clinical supervisor

What are you looking for in a Clinical supervisor? How do you best learn? What kind of experience are you looking for in your supervisor that could add value to your practice? What other issues are important to you, such as availability face-to-face, phone or online? Do check that your supervisor is accredited as a Clinical supervisor by your professional association.

To meet industry training standards, Clinical supervisors must be Clinical Members of PACFA for 5 years and have completed specific training to become a supervisor. They must have at least two years’ supervised Clinical supervision experience before being registered. Supervisors also have ongoing Supervision on their supervision practice, as well as separate professional development on counselling supervision.

It is best to choose a supervisor who is more experienced than you and can meet your specific developmental, learning and supervision needs. Clinical supervision should be a satisfying experience, so make sure you and your supervisor are a good fit and you have a good rapport.

About me as a supervisor

Logo of PACFA, the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia

PACFA Accredited Supervisor

I am a PACFA Accredited Supervisor, which means I have the necessary training and skills to help you as a supervisee. I am a practicing counsellor with twelve years experience working in organisations and private practice. I have a background in education which spans many years and I have taught counselling at ACAP now for five years. My knowledge and practice are current, and I willingly share this with my supervisees. I understand the specific learning and developmental needs of early-career counsellors and love working with this group. I believe that supervision should support, teach, challenge and grow us as practitioners and people.

How important is Clinical Supervision for counsellors?

Clinical supervision is sometimes described as the most important component of professional practice (Geldard & Geldard, 2013). Why is this? It provides time to stop and reflect, and to run things by a more experienced practitioner. It can provide assurance and guidance, challenge and growth.

We all need supervision. Through professional dialogue with a supportive, more experienced practitioner you will increase your knowledge and skills in a safe learning environment. Your clients will benefit and have improved outcomes.

What is the role of Clinical supervision for counsellors?

Clinical supervision is a contracted relationship with agreed roles and responsibilities. The role of the Clinical supervisor is to create a safe learning environment and to help you identify your learning needs. Sometimes I may take the role of a coach, a mentor, or a colleague, depending on what is most helpful. I am flexible in my approach and draw from my experience as a practitioner and educator.

Supervision typically has an educative, supportive and administrative function to ensure accountability to your clients and to the profession of counselling. Clinical supervision includes confidentiality and informed consent when working with client issues. It is based on professional codes of ethics.

Clinical supervision also has an evaluative function, which we will address through self-review of your own strengths and areas for development. Periodic evaluation of your supervision experience will be conducted.

The supervision relationship

The supervision relationship is central to achieving positive outcomes in supervision (Carroll, 1996). It is a learning relationship with a clear purpose and goals. Together, we will form a collaborative working alliance that is responsive to your needs.

The supervision process

Beginning counsellors value structure and direction, technical support and the development of skills (Bernard & Goodyear, 2002; Lochner & Melchert, 1999). The process of supervision is dynamic. It grows and changes as you develop in your practice. Developmental models of supervision match the tasks and approach of the supervisor to the supervisee’s stage of development. The most widely used developmental model is the Integrated Development Model (IDM) (Stoltenberg, Delworth & McNeil, 1998). This provides a framework for planning effective supervision experiences.

During supervision we may engage in role-plays, case consultation, reflective enquiry and occasional recorded/video taped sessions.

Fees and arrangements

Clinical supervision for counsellors is $120 for an hour session. A discount is available for small group sessions if you have a group of colleagues who are interested. Linda provides a tailored professional service based on your needs and interests.

Contact Linda Magson, Clinical counselling supervisor, to find out more about Clinical Supervision.

Read my blog Time to stop and reflect – affordable, quality clinical supervision for graduate and trainee counsellors in Sydney.

Disclaimer: The information on these pages is not intended as advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your General Practitioner if you are concerned about your mental health.