Supervision and the Discrimination Model
I will be discussing the supervisory roles that I have chosen to utilize with Michael. Michael is a counselor in training who appears to be flustered by his caseload. He recently took on a client, whom he feels is making inappropriate comments, and he is conflicted as to how he should proceed.
The Discrimination Model
The Discrimination Model (Bernard & Goodyear, 1992) promotes giving attention to three supervisory roles with three areas of focus. Supervisors might take on a role of “teacher” when they directly lecture, instruct, and inform the supervisee. When offering supportive guidance supervisors can act in a “consultant” role to colleagues. And lastly, supervisors may act as “counselors” when they assist supervisees in identifying their own “blind spots” or working through any countertransference issues that may be presenting themselves (Pearson, 2004).
The Discrimination Model also highlights three areas of focus for skill building:
“Process issues” examine how the mechanical aspects of the therapeutic process are handled, the nuts and bolts of the counseling field. For example, is the supervisee using reflection of emotion accurately, what about the attending skills, such as “active listening, verbal prompts, and paraphrasing? Has the supervisee demonstrated a mastery of the basic building blocks that are the foundation for counseling?
“Conceptualization issues” include how well a supervisee formulates cases from theory and how well they convey this. They also focus on thinking about how to proceed on the basis of a clear understanding of the theoretical background.
“Personalization issues” focus on how therapists use their own experiences, thoughts and feelings in therapy. This is to help therapists to be non-defensively present in the therapy, aware of their own feelings, of their impact on the client and able to use this information as the session unfolds (Erford, 2018, p. 411).
Michael verbalizes what appears to be a great deal of insecurity regarding his counseling skills and abilities. Here I would assume the supervisory role of Teacher, whereby I would review the fundamentals, would teach specific concepts and techniques and could possibly even assign reading to assist the supervisee (Erford, 2018. p. 412). This would fall under, “Process skills.”
He starts apologizing for his performance on his taped counseling session prior to playing the tape for supervision. Here I would supervise using the role of Counselor, and focus on Intervention skills, or what the supervisee is doing in session that is observable by the supervisor (Erford, 20018, p. 411).
In addition, when processing the various clients he sees, Michael often says, “I just don’t know what to do.” Here I would employ the supervisory role Consultant. The supervisor may work with the supervisee to identify different interventions, may discuss several models for the supervisee to consider, or may address issues related to specific client populations (Erford, 20018, p. 412). This would be considered a “Conceptualization skills.”
Most importantly I believe Michael is having a very difficult time with his latest client and what appears to be transference. I would choose the role of Counselor. The role of the Counselor supervisor may help the supervisee focus on personal issues such as discomfort or abilities, and help the supervisee confront personal issues that may affect the counseling sessions
(Erford, 2018, p. 412). This would fall under “Conceptualization skills.”
For each supervisor role in the discrimination model, describe one skill that is most relevant to the role and justify your response. Be specific to the case and provide examples.
In a brief paragraph, wrap up your ideas on this subject here.