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In the last section, we discussed ways to evaluate and identify problems in the supervisor-therapist relationship and in the therapist-client relationship: identifying avoidance of conflict; and the "Interview Session Checklist".
In your experience as a supervisor, what does the word "empowerment" mean to you? Does it mean, as it does to me, passing on decision-making authority and responsibility from supervisor to supervisee?
In this section, we will examine the basic skills in empowering your supervisee: nurturing, coaching, and mentoring.
♦ Technique: Empowerment Quiz
There were nine questions in this exercise. How many did you answer, "I can do now" and how many did you answer "I need to develop." This quiz can give you a road map with specific ideas regarding what you need to change, should you deem empowerment an appropriate attribute to your relationship with your supervisee.
♦ Area # 1 - Nurturing
Just a few of these suggestions in practice might improve your supervising relationship with your supervisee. I know the basics of showing concern, investing adequate time, positive reinforcement, using you knowledge, and making suggestions seem to be almost too painfully basic to recall, but they are sometimes painfully overlooked or not viewed important.
♦ Area # 2 - Coaching
Just as we discussed the misuse of authority in section 4, the conception of coaching as an implication of authority is also misleading and false. Coaching, I feel, inspires motivation and requires resolution of interpersonal conflict rather than implementing authority and forcing a supervisee to follow a strict regimen of commands. It also requires the supervisor to pass along sufficient instruction to the supervisee in addition to listening to the supervisee's concerns and careful observation of his or her tactics.
While nurturing is a helpful skill to improve the actual relationship between yourself and the supervisee, coaching is the actual means of empowerment in supervisor and supervisee interactions. One of my supervisees, Sylvia, had trouble at the beginning of her supervision.
Can you see how instead of manipulating her with authority, I used coaching to improve my relationship with my supervisee and provide guidance by showing confidence in her?
♦ Area # 3 - Mentoring
By your example and counsel, a supervisee will grow and improve. Mentoring differs from coaching in the idea that the mentor truly becomes a solid role model for the supervisee, whereas, in coaching, the supervisor is merely an advice giver and less prominent in the work of the supervisee. This can mean not only writing recommendations for the supervisee, should you deem appropriate, but also guiding the supervisee to an area of therapy tin which you believe he or she would most likely flourish.
While as a supervisor you may exhibit some of the characteristics of a mentor, once you've utilized the basic skills we've discussed in this section (i.e. nurturing and coaching), you will most probably be more capable of empowering your supervisee towards independence and efficiency.
In this section, we discussed the basic skills in empowering your supervisee: nurturing, coaching, and mentoring.
In this course we discussed setting goals, resolving conflicts, dealing with discussion difficulties, ethics, facilitation or therapist-client relationships, the supervisor's avoidance of conflict issues, and empowerment.
Other Home Study Courses we offer include: Treating Teen Self Mutilation; Treating Post Holiday Let-Down and Depression; Living with Secrets: Treating Childhood Sexual Trauma; Interventions for Anxiety Disorders with Children and Adults; and Balancing the Power Dynamic in the Therapeutic Relationship.
I wish you the best of luck in your practice. Thank you. Please consider us for future home study needs.
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