Challenges to supervision in psychological practice
- description of at least one challenge related to the practice of supervision with regard to
(a) nurturing supervisees’ professional development and (b) ensuring that clients receive
- explain how you would address the challenges to ensure that you provide excellent
- identify the foundational elements for superior supervision.
Use the following resources
Bernard, J. M. (2006). Tracing the development of clinical supervision. The Clinical
Supervisor, 24(1/2), 3-21.
� E. P. Shafranske (Eds.), Casebook for clinical supervision: A competency-based
approach (pp. 3-15). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
� Falender, C. A., & Shafranske, E. P. (2004). Clinical supervision: A competency-based
approach. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
o Ch. 1, “The Practice of Clinical Supervision” (pp. 3-35)
� Falender, C. A., & Shafranske, E. P. (2008a). Best practices of supervision. In C. A.
Falender & E. P. Shafranske (Eds.), Casebook for clinical supervision: A competency-
based approach (pp. 3-15). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
� Freitas, G. J. (2002). The impact of psychotherapy supervision on client outcome: A
critical examination of 2 decades of research. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research,
Practice,Training 39(4), 354-367.
Challenges to Supervision in Psychological Practice
Supervisors act as mentors and role models for the next crop of generational social
workers. They lead and guide the supervisees in using their adept skills and knowledge to
improve their ability in rendering services independently. Therefore, supervisors provide training
in the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of various risks. Despite these responsibilities, there
are challenges and potential problems in supervising supervisees to expedite their roles ethically
and professionally. This paper delineates one of the challenges that supervisors face when
supervising to ensure professional development and render excellent services to clients. The
paper also discusses how the challenge can be managed. It further identifies foundational
elements for superior supervision.
CHALLENGES TO SUPERVISION IN PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTICE 2
One challenge is the faith and value conflicts. This is a challenge that happens when
either the supervisor or the supervisee holds different faiths and values based on their spiritual
beliefs (Bernard, 2006). The supervisee who, for instance, is a Hindu may have different
perspectives and approaches to healthcare and this may be a bone of contention in the
supervisory relationship between the supervisee and his supervisor. These differences may,
therefore, affect the process of nurturing the spiritual development of the supervisor. As well,
they may affect the clients that will receive services from the supervisee because he or she may
not be able to learn from the supervisory relationship. Therefore, this challenge can only be
managed if the supervisor is cognizant of the effects spiritual beliefs may have on the practice
decisions (Openshaw, 2012). Supervisors must be guided by professional codes of conduct and
understand and utilize the various strategies of solving the problems. Therefore, the differences
must be managed with a lot of sensitivity in a manner that allows the two to understand the
cultural differences but be able to accommodate each other’s perspective. The National
Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics has a clause which requires that social work
supervisors should understand culture and the manner in which it functions in society, and
appreciate the strengths of cultures (Freitas, 2002). Therefore, solving the problem from this
perspective allows the two to appreciate that they come from different cultures and have different
values but they have a duty to render services to the clients and promote healthy living.
Supervisors will have to understand the knowledge base of the supervisees and the
effects of culture on their character in order to focus on the uniqueness of every supervisee in a
societal context. A supervisor also has a duty to understand the personal characteristics of the
supervisees and how they affect the process of supervision. Any differences should not be
ignored but addressed. The supervisor can also use the NASW standards for cultural competence
CHALLENGES TO SUPERVISION IN PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTICE 3
in social work practice as a guideline for solving the challenge (Openshaw, 2012). Therefore, the
supervisor must build trust and confidence in the supervisory relationship to counter the
challenges and help every supervisee realize his or her professional development and impact
positively on clients while rendering services to them.
Superior supervisors by virtue of their service provision accommodate diverse
experience. They have a wide scope of skills and knowledge and, therefore, are good mentors
and role models. The principle elements of superior foundation are, therefore, in the vast
experience and application of technical skills (Falender & Shafranske, 2004). Various elements
characterize this kind of supervision. The supervisor is organized in communication, appreciates
diversity, and understands how to work with supervisees, motivate, guide and encourage
teamwork and cooperation, build trust, and open communications. Such a supervisor always
applies appropriate methods when handling problems and the corrective feedback process.
In conclusion, a supervisor-supervisee relationship is important in ensuring that
professionalism is nurtured and quality healthcare is provided. Challenges such as faith and value
conflicts sometimes happen, but finding amicable ways of solving the same is the only way of
ensuring that both the supervisor and the supervisee achieve their objectives.
CHALLENGES TO SUPERVISION IN PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTICE 4
Bernard, J. M. (2006). Tracing the development of clinical supervision. The Clinical Supervisor,
Falender, A., & Shafranske, E. (2004). Clinical supervision: A competency-based
approach. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Freitas, G. (2002). The impact of psychotherapy supervision on client outcome: A critical
examination of 2 decades of research. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice,
Training 39(4), 354–367.