The process of supervision requires work on the part of the supervisee and supervisor.

How a person prepares for supervision is primarily dependent on the process and goals that have been agreed upon by the supervisor and supervisee. Both supervisees and supervisors have a responsibility to prepare for supervision sessions. It is expected that the supervisor manages sessions, comes prepared to discuss topics related to goals and information gained between sessions, and has an idea of the interventions that are to be used during the sessions. Supervisees must also do their part. Some ideas for supervisees are described below.

Mental Preparation

Supervision can be an excited and anxiety filled experience. While some focus of supervision is on successes, much time is spent on facilitating growth in the areas of skills, conceptualization, professional behaviors, and personal reactions. It is important that the supervisee enter the supervision session mentally prepared to address these important issues. Any anxiety may be reduced through a moment of personal mediation prior to the session. Supervisees can remind themselves to be open to the supervision experience. Taking a moment to mentally prepare can help supervisees focus, relax, and “be” in the supervision session thereby leading to an intentional growth experience.

Written Summaries and Concerns/Questions

Regardless of the particular supervision process, supervisees should come prepared to discuss cases, concerns, and questions. Relying on memory to discuss all that has happened since the last supervision session can end up wasting valuable time. Written summaries are an easy way to organize thoughts. It is also important that supervisees come with their own concerns and questions. Not only will supervision then be tailored to the supervisees experiences, but it also shows commitment on the part of the supervisee. Supervisors do have a responsibility to increase awareness and bring up their own perspectives, but they are likely to become even more invested when the supervisee shows their own investment.

Case Notes

Bringing case notes to supervision can help to initiate discussion regarding clients. Supervisees can use case notes to “jog” their memory about particular clients and sessions. Supervisors may appreciate seeing case notes so they can track the conceptualization process of the supervisee. For an example of a case note format, see case notes

Audio/video tapes

There are a variety of interventions that can be used with audio/videotapes. When audio and/or video tapes are used in the supervision process, it is important that how they will be used is discussed. Regardless of the specific intervention, the supervisee should take some time to review the tapes before turning them over to the supervisor or using them in a supervision session. Of course, if taping is to be used in counseling, consent must be obtained from the client (over 18 years-old) or from a parent/guardian (minors).

Tape Scripts

Tape Scripts can be a valuable tool in supervision. Verbatim or partial transcripts of all or part of the session are useful as a way to read what happened in a session. It can be difficult to keep track of all that a person hears on a tape, and a tape script can aid in this process. Specific feedback can be provided and kept within the context of the session. In addition, counselors can go through the tape script, on their own, and identify the intent of responses/interventions, see what happened as a result, and think of alternative responses/intervention. For an example of a tape script format click: Tape Script Format