Preparing for Supervision

Academic and clinical instruction are the foundations of training for professional counselors. In order to develop professional competence, students need to step outside of the classroom and practice their skills in laboratory or clinical settings. Fieldwork experiences (e.g., practicum, internship) provide opportunities for development through experiential learning. Because counselor development and competence is not simply related to experience, but is related to supervised practice, supervision is a vital aspect of fieldwork experiences. In addition, because development as a professional counselor does not end with a degree, working effectively with supervisors is a key element in professional growth and development throughout one’s career.

As a student, it is natural for you to rely on your supervisor to facilitate the supervision process and choose interventions to aid in your growth and development as a counselor. It is important to understand that YOU also contribute to a successful supervision experience. This module is designed to facilitate your learning to work productively with a supervisor and to use supervision effectively. Supervision time is valuable. Being prepared for, and intentional throughout, supervision increases the likelihood of a rewarding learning experience.


In order to be better prepared to receive the greatest benefits from supervision, this section is designed to familiarize you with:




Ethical Guidelines for Counseling Supervisors by the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES)

The Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) Code of Ethics

American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics – Teaching, Training and Supervision (Section F)