Development of a counselling and psychotherapy supervision training program within an Australian educational context
Although supervision has been a significant component of counselling and psychotherapy practice since the days of Freud, it appears that only since the professionalisation of this industry has supervision become a requirement for ongoing practice. Indeed, it can be argued that supervision is becoming a profession in its own right as it is increasingly recognised that not only does the supervisee benefit in a multitude of ways, but ultimately it is the welfare of the client that is of prime concern. In Australia, the registration process only began in 1999 and as such, is still defining its role amongst the 'helping* professions and government bodies. Although there are clear statements regarding the amount of supervision hours required for both training and ongoing professional practice for counsellors and psychotherapists, there is still work to be achieved in both defining supervisor qualifications and designing an ethical code of practice. At the macro level, a motivation behind this project was my desire for greater personal lucidity about the nature of supervision and the characteristics that determine a good supervisor within the strictures of an educational establishment. One of the possible outcomes was to contribute to the registration definitions. More specifically, the intent was to design a training program for supervisors that was congruent with the needs of supervisees and was cross-theoretical in orientation to allow potential supervisors to develop their own personal model of working. This project documents the phenomenological research I undertook with recently graduated Master of Counselling participants. One of the principle intentions was to explore each individuals underlying meaning and intent towards supervision. Equally, the aim was to develop increased clarity about the nature of supervision itself. The results of this research in combination with other materials were used to develop a supervision training program that was run over 12 weeks in March 2003 and then evaluated for future developments. In the course of this research, a framework of supervision emerged which I have defined as the 'Wheel of Supervision', which has the potential for further evolution in terms of future training and further publications. This 'Wheel of Supervision’ is a new and different way of viewing supervision from both the supervisor and supervise e perspective.