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Strategies of Counselling Supervision

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Psychology
Wordcount: 4029 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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Task 1


1.1  Discussed on the importance of counselling supervision

Counselling Supervision

Counselling supervision can be defined as a continuous learning process for the counsellors. The supervisor and counsellor work together through guidance, support and enhancement of the knowledge. It is a professional practice believed to enhance skills and knowledge of a counsellor. Also, to provide a better understanding of current skills and improvement area so they can provide an effective service to the client (Counselling Supervision, 2019). A more experienced and wiser counsellor supervises the other counsellor through observation of his work. This give the counsellor an opportunity to improve their skills, techniques and knowledge through feedback and working along the supervisor. Also, through the functions of counselling of supervision which is education, supportive and managerial

  • Education

The educational function of counselling supervision focuses on improving and developing the counsellors understanding and knowledge to their full potential. In this function the supervisor and the counsellor work alongside each other and shares knowledge and techniques that work more effectively with the clients. The supervisor helps the counsellor to become more aware of him/her self and improves reflective practice. Also, integrating the theory-practice into current practice (Te Pou, 2009).

  • Supportive

The supportive functions of counselling supervision focus on empowering and supporting the counsellor. The focus on this function is to maintain balance and work satisfaction. The supervisor will guide and support the counsellor in dealing with stress, maintaining morale’s, developing and improving self-worth and self-importance. Also, improving and maintaining professional and personal relationships balance (Te Pou, 2009).

  • Management

The Management functions of counselling supervision focus on maintaining a quality standard of practice in relation to the service policies and procedures. Also, ensuring that the efficiency and effectiveness are maintained so everything would run smoothly. The Management functions of counselling help in being clarification towards the responsibilities and the role of the counsellor. The supervisor and the counsellor woke together in managing the workload and reviewing and assessing the counsellor’s work. Also, they work together in identifying the issues in the original practice and addressing it (Te Pou, 2009)

The importance of counselling supervision is that it helps the counsellors being supervised in their professional and personal lives. It gives them a better understanding of how to deal with issues and ensures that the issues does not affect the counsellor’s professional life. The counsellor and the supervisor work together to improve the counsellor’s skills and knowledge, which helps to provide more effective quality of care to the clients with the diverse knowledge and skills obtained from the supervisor. It helps give the counsellor a wider and deeper view of the techniques, strategies and professional practice. Another importance is that the supervisor shares their experience with the counsellor, which helps the counsellor to help understand the clients better and to cater the client with more effective care. There are improvements in communications, responsiveness and accountability. The counsellors gain more confident and professional development through counselling supervision (Te Pou, 2009). 

1.2  Critically analyses the various techniques of supervision adopted in Mental Health and Addiction service


It is believed that supervision is an important aspect of counselling practice, it ensures that the quality of service is effective and according to the standards. Counselling enables the clients with mental health and addiction condition to transaction from the current state into a better state of life and supervision supports that by enabling the counsellor with the right guidance, support and knowledge to ensure the counsellor’s practice is effective and beneficial to the clients (Te Pou, 2009).

  • Supervise self-report

The purpose of self-report is that it provides the counsellor with effective practice and a better outcome for the clients. The counsellor uses therapeutic techniques and applies it to their practice. It would help to understand why something wasn’t effective or why was that effective with clients. The self-report will help the counsellor to be more progressive with the client who has mental health or addiction condition. This gives an understanding to the counsellor on effective ways to approach and deal with clients with mental illness. The outcome of self-reports it that it will help the counsellor with a better understanding and wider knowledge, and it will improve their abilities in providing more effective care. The process of self-reports starts with identifying the situation that requires reflection upon, next step would be describing the situation, third would be analyzing and assessing the situation, fourth would be that the counsellor would reflect upon his or her behaviour and evaluating it. And the last step would be what changes can he make so that next time if the same situation takes place, he or she would know what to do and it might be effective (Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors, n.d.).

  •  Live observation

Live Supervision techniques give the supervisor insight of the counselling session. The supervisor observes the counsellor while the counsellor is in a session with the client. He observes and evaluates the effectiveness of the practice of the counsellor. Later he discusses with the counsellor the positive and the improvement areas in the session. The discussion with the supervisor is essential because it gives the counsellor opportunity in professional and personal development (MDFT Internationa, n.d.).

  • Audiotapes

Audiotape supervision requires consent both with the client and the counsellor. A recorder is placed in a counselling session to record the counselling discussion between the client and the counsellor. The purpose of this is to bring awareness to the counsellor about their practice. It gives counsellor and the supervisor an opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of the session. And discussing ways in improving the communication and the relationship with the client to provide effective care (Coaching at Work, 2011).

  • Interpersonal process recall –

Interpersonal process recall is a method where the supervisor and the counsellor work together in recalling the thoughts, feeling, conceptualizations and dynamics of the situation. They investigate and go deeper into the counsellor inner experience and perception. This technique focuses on the developmental needs of the counsellor and improvement areas (Department of counseling and educational leadership, 1999).

  • Group supervision

Group supervision involves and enables all the members in the group to share experiences and knowledge. It enables them to develop and learn. This gives the counsellor exposure to experiences, knowledge and skills. The outcome of this group session would be opportunities given to the counsellors to improve their capabilities and skills. Also, it enables the counsellors to feel more confident because they feel a sense of support and it gives them fresh and better ways of helping the clients (Scottish Social Service Council, n.d.).


Task 2

2.1 Describe any two theories of counselling supervision

Psychoanalytic theory

Psychoanalytic theory by Sigmund Freud, a theory that explains the behavior of a human being. Sigmund believed that event occurs in our childhood influences our behavior in our adult lives and personality. He believed that a person’s life is built around pleasure and tension. Also, that all tension is a result of buildup of sexual energy; also known as libido.  He developed the psychosexual theory which explains that all the five stages are related to sexual energy. He believed that to advance to the next stage of psychosexual stages first they would need to resolve the conflicts at the current stage. if not, it will lead to a build of sexual energy and tension (Freud, 1920).

Oral Stage (0-1)

This stage is the beginning where the personality starts to develop. The libido or the sexual energy is the baby’s mouth. In other words, the baby gets pleasure or satisfaction by putting things in their mouth. This can be sucking, breastfeeding or biting. Freud’s believed that the oral stimulation may influence later life.  These are known as oral personalities which can be smokers, thumb suckers or nail biters. These oral behaviors are mostly displayed under stress (Freud, 1920).

Anal Stage (1-3)

At this stage the anal has now become the libido or the sexual energy is now the center of the anal. During this stage children seeking pleasure from eliminating. Also, at this stage conflict arises with the demands of society. An example can be potty training, the parents may become authoritative of when the child should eliminate. Harsh or early potty training may result in an adult with OCD and obtained adult (Freud, 1920).

Phallic Stage (3 to 6)

At this stage, the genitals are the center of concern for different genders. The genitals are the center of pleasure and the child starts to become aware of the sex difference which sets conflicts between attraction, jealousy and fear. This is known as Oedipus complex for boys and Electra for girls. The Oedipus complex is where the child develops sexual desires towards his mother. He starts imitating his father’s behaviour, which is also known as identification. The child adopts the behaviour, values and attitudes of the other person. This is where the child develops an ego and superego. Electra Complex, the girl develops desires towards her father and there is a build of tension. This results in the girl repress feeling and starts to identify herself with her mother (Freud, 1920).

Latency Stage (6 to puberty)

The sexual energy has been repressed during the latency stage and it the focus is on hobbies, friendship and school. Most of the child energy is towards developing skills and gaining knowledge and playing with same gender children (Freud, 1920).

Genital Stage (puberty to adult)

The last stage, where the personality develops and the beginning of puberty. This stage is where the sexual experiment begins. Relationships start to form. Heterosexual pleasures are formed, which may lead to oral sex or sexual intercourses.

Client/ Person- Centered theory

The Person-Centered theory was founded by Carl Rogers focus on encouragement and helping the individuals. Understanding the current abilities and use it towards a positive direction. Carl’s believed that the client’s condition can improve if the client receives warm, understanding and genuine environment and therapists. He developed this theory based on his own work to help others with self-healing and growth with would lead them towards self-actualization. This theory suggests in working together with a client in coming up with a best solution or self-discovery. The person-centered approached is a therapeutic approach towards the person. The person becomes the center of focus and the counsellor works around them by helping, encouraging and acknowledging the client to help them gain self-confidence, gain stronger send of their identity, improvement in a personal relationship and being confident in making their own decisions. This theory relies on three pillars, first unconditional positive regards, which refers to being empathetic and being non-judgmental towards the client. Ans understanding the feeling. Next is empathetic understanding, which refers to understanding and accepts the clients the way they are. Last is congruence, which refers to that there are no authority or superiority with the clients but instead, there are accessibility and honesty (Carl R. Rogers, PhD, and Natalie Rogers, PhD, REAT, 2012).

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In relation to the mental health and addiction service. The theories give an insight of the cause that may have triggered this condition to the client. The insights help the counsellor/ mental health workers to understand and provide more effective care to client that is according to their needs. The theories help to increase the effectiveness and the efficiency of the client’s progress and development.

2.2 Analyze the ethical and legal duties and responsibilities of a counselling supervisor


The ethical responsibility of the counsellor is to maintain professional practice according to the standards, which is set by the New Zealand Association of Counsellor (NZAC). The NZAC provides the counsellors with a framework of ethical practices, which are the minimum requirements of practice. The core values of the code of ethics are to respect client’s dignity, maintain partnership, autonomy, care, integrity and social justice. And of the responsibilities that framework or code of ethics believes are respect the client’s dignity and maintain confidential on client’s information and conduct the counselling session in a safe environment, where the client feels safe and secured. The counsellor should be clear and reasonable when asking questions or speaking and be respectful towards the clients and use appropriate language (NZAC, 2002).

Duty to warn

It refers to the responsibilities of a counsellor. It is to inform the authorities if the client is a threat to themselves or others. It would require the counsellor to breach the client’s confidentiality and inform the authorities. This is done to protect the client or others from harm (Harward, 2012).

Informed consent

It is the right to inform the counsellor about everything that relates them. And it requires their consent or permission before the procedure can begin. This also support by 10 code of rights, which is the right to be informed (Healthpoint Limited, 2004).

Professional Judgement

It refers to the judgement made from their knowledge, skills and experience that would best suited or effective for the client. the decision is according to the standards, values and the law (NZAC, 2019).

Direct liability and vicarious liability

Direct Liability refers to the supervisor if he’s the reason for the harm. And vicarious liability refers to the supervisor is responsible for the harm through the supervision relationships (Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors, n.d.).


The supervisor should maintain the counsellor’s information to themselves unless the client has given consent for the other person. It is the supervisor responsibility to maintain and protect the counsellor’s confidentiality. During supervision, the counsellor should inform the client of the observation and ask their permission before the supervision can start the live observation or recording (Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors, n.d.).

Task 3

3.1 Discussed on the relevance of identifying the personal and organizational factors causing burnout.

Burnout occurs because of emotional strained. The effect of burnout is emotional and physical exhaustion that may be caused by work overload. The effect of burnout may be withdrawal and dissatisfaction from work and as well as mental health worker’s personal life. There are behaviour and attitude changes in the mental health worker (Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors, n.d.).

Personal Factors

Personal factors that contribute to burnout can be the age of mental health work. It is believed that people over 40 are more immune to burnout. The marital status, people in a relationship are less likely to suffer from burnout because they have more emotional support and encouragement. Mental health workers that are always doing overtime and working on weekends are believed to be more immune to burnout. Also, mental health workers with poor self-confidence and personal issues may also result in burnout (Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors, n.d.).

Organization factors

Organization factors that contributes to burnout are work overload or work pressure, lack of flexibility in the job role or doing the same role and task repeatedly, dealing with colleges or tension between the mental health worker and another staff, limitation in opportunities at work and lack of guideline may all lead to burnout.  All these factors demotivate and discourage mental health workers from providing effective care to the clients (Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors, n.d.).

3.2 Described the strategies that can be adopted to manage/prevent burnout.

To deal with burnout the mental health worker should reduce his/ her workload and not force his/her sleeves into working extra house. They should take the allocated work breaks and relax. Take time off when feeling burnout, tired or overstress to rejuvenate themselves. Only work according to their capabilities, rest is essential and have open communication. As a mental health worker, it is important to take care of themselves. This is important because the are clients who require the mental health workers support. To prevent burnout, it will ensure that the mental health work and the clients health are unharmed.

Avoid Burnout

  • Focusing on the positive side of work
  • Perform task according to the job role
  • Exercise
  • Learn different ways to deal with stress.
  • Time management
  • Seek support
  • Maintain life balance
  • Finding new hobbies
  • setting boundaries
  • maintain regular sleep
  • Eating healthy

3.3 Examined the importance of maintaining work-life balance and setting boundaries in mental health and addiction services.

Both personal and professional lives are important and maintaining a work-life balance is essential. Work balance will ensure that mental health workers mental and physical health. When maintaining a balance, the mental health workers are less likely to suffer from health issues, such as burnout. Ways that can improve mental health are time management and setting priorities, setting boundaries between professional and personal lives, taking part in different activities or new hobbies, caring for yourself, getting rest and stress management (Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors, n.d.).

Setting boundaries are a significant aspect of the counsellor responsibility towards the client and to the ethics. The boundaries are structures in the relationship, so the situation doesn’t fall outside the code of ethics. The counsellor should maintain a professional relationship with the client to ensure they maintain appropriate standards that are in accordance with the New Zealand standards. The therapeutic boundaries believe in promoting the client and their wellbeing, shouldn’t harm the client, encourage the client to be independent, treating the client fairly and equally and informing the client about everything regarding them. The boundaries are set to ensure the safety of the mental health client and the counsellor. The boundaries protect as well as promotes the client’s wellbeing and effectiveness in their care (The Role of Boundaries in Counselling, 2010).


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  • Carl R. Rogers, PhD, and Natalie Rogers, PhD, REAT. (2012). CARL ROGERS ON PERSON-CENTERED THERAPY. Retrieved February 2, 2019, from http://www.psychotherapy.net/data/uploads/5110340dadcda.pdf
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