Getting what you need out of Supervision

Supervision is one of the best and worst parts of the internship process. The result of supervision is based on factors including: the supervisor's style and education, the intern's perspective, the agency's perspective, and even the client population.

Today, I want to give you a few tips to improve the chances that you get what you want and need from clinical supervision.

  1. Track your supervision. You should be tracking your hours in general, but tracking your rate of supervision is extremely important. Ask for more hours of supervision based on what your ratio is saying. This might also be fuel for getting a new supervisor or group supervision experience.
  2. Determine what you need. I know it can be hard to take a good look at ourselves. What are you anxious about? What has not been covered, or where do you feel unheard? Make a list of specific areas that you want to improve in.
  3. Ask for what you need. If your supervisor declines, is unwilling, or unable to provide this for you- reevaluate the supervision relationship, look for alternatives, or seek consultation.

My Story: I had always felt uncomfortable about my clinical notes. No one had ever really looked at them, and Istarted to worry about what would happen if they went tocourt. I told my supervisor that I wanted to bring my casefiles into supervision so she could read them. She read overthem, made a few suggestions, and I happily integrated them.In addition, it gave her a chance to read over clients thathad not come up previously. We found that after this westarted ensuring that every client received some level ofsupervision, and started noting it in the files. My anxietywent down, my confidence increased, and the service toclients improved.

Determine what you can do and learn today. I know it feels like this part will never be over, but it will be over quicker than you can imagine. You might even find (like I did) yourself wishing for supervision! After you are licensed, it is called consultation, and you will have to pay for it!