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Solution-Focused Clinical Supervision
Hypothetical Examples of Solution-Focused Supervision
Inevitably, the supervisee will focus on problems he or she is experiencing with the client. Rather than listening to the counselor's concern in detail and requesting even more problem-saturated talk, the supervisor acknowledges the problem and asks, "As you begin to get better at dealing with this situation, how will you know that you have become good enough at it so you can take it on your own?" The supervisor then encourages the supervisee to explore these solutions in greater detail and to envision them more vividly by asking, "What will you be doing differently?" or "When you get to the point at which you won't need to deal with this issue in supervision anymore, how will you know?"
If the counselor-in-training persists in framing his or her own behavior as a problem, the use of a scale can set expectations of success. The supervisor may say, "On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being that the problem is at its absolute worst, and 10 being that the problem is completely solved, where would you say you are today?" After the counselor offers an estimate, the supervisor replies, "When you are on your way to a (the next highest number to the one named), how will you know?" The supervisor may follow this invitation by explicitly asking, "What, in particular, will be different about the way you handle that situation?" or "How will you have changed as a counselor?" By answering these questions, instead of exploring more minutia and facets of the problem, the supervisee is beginning to envision more clearly the strategies that may succeed in achieving a solution.
Sometimes, the counselor-in-training will be able to imagine a change but expresses discouragement that he or she would ever be able to achieve it. The supervisor has a number of possible responses to the counselor's doubts about accomplishing such a seemingly overwhelming goal. These responses are all based on the assumption that nothing is perfect--including failures! Even experiences that seem to be complete failures have small victories that have been overlooked. Therefore, there are always exceptions to these problems, circumstances that hold promise of alleviating these problems, or times, however brief and transient, when a person has a greater sense of confidence in achieving success. For example, the supervisor might invite the supervisee to focus on one of these exceptions by requesting, "Tell me about a time when a small piece of the change was already happening." Another possibility is to suggest focusing on a particular time of greater personal confidence, "When was there a time when you felt you were going to be able to solve this problem?"
Any time during supervision that the counselor-in-training describes successes, identifies improvements in effectiveness, or discovers an exception to a problem, the supervisor leans in, looks curious, and excitedly asks the supervisee to say more. The idea of solution-focused supervision is to facilitate concrete images of success and then ask, "How did you get yourself to do that?"
Reflection Exercise #2
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Table of Contents
Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) is a contemporary qualitative research method grounded in phenomenology, hermeneutics, and idiography. Philosophical principles and rigorous methodology make this approach well suited for research in counselor education and supervision. In this primer, the authors introduce counselor educators, counseling students, and counseling researchers to IPA theory and methodology and discuss considerations for implementation in counseling research.
The authors recruited 11 doctoralâlevel counseling students to participate in a study exploring the lived experiences of people who have encountered social class microaggressions (SCMs). Findings (consisting of 6 themes) suggest that SCMs are a distinct phenomenon arising from interpersonal and environmental exchanges that damage recipients. The authors present implications for counselor education and future research trajectories.
The authors examined the influence of dispositional mindfulness and personal distress on counseling selfâefficacy among 162 counseling students. Results indicated that dispositional mindfulness and personal distress accounted for significant variance in counseling selfâefficacy. These findings suggest that internal dispositions may facilitate or hinder counseling selfâefficacy in counseling students.
The authors examined whether attributional style could explain burnout among 201 counseling graduate students. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis results indicated that stability and globality of attribution explain a significant amount of the variance in counselor traineesâ burnout. These findings suggest intervention and training should be used to promote a more flexible and positive orientation to handle stressful life events.
Flipped learning is a teaching approach in which instructors distribute content outside of class and lead application activities in class. In this qualitative case study, the authors explored the experiences of students (N = 10) in a flipped counseling course and identified 3 themes: enjoyment, benefits, and learning inside and outside of the classroom.
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