What is Supervision and How does it work?
Supervision is a working relationship between a supervisor and a counselor in which the counselor can
share, reflect, and get feedback to help increase her/his/their/their ethical competence and confidence
to best serve clients over several sessions. Hence, supervision is the process employed to communicate
the counseling experience with the goal of the supervisor facilitating the development of therapeutic
competence in the supervisee within each 50-minute session.
The supervisor takes on specific roles with the supervisee based on the dynamic of the relationship and
cases being processed. These roles include Teacher (Action) for didactic-oriented activities, evaluative
functions, and transmitting knowledge; Counselor (Relationship) to help the counselor understand their
own dynamics and resolve issue affecting counseling; and Consultant (Insight) to provide opportunity
for the counselor to develop her/his/their/their own conceptualization and plan.
With these roles, the supervisor also embraces a development model of supervision where she/he/their
aims to support you in the process of moving toward competence via stages. In the beginning stages,
the supervisor will look for relationship building, goal setting, and contracting; soon after, will most
likely vacillate between the role of counselor and teacher as the supervisee is faced with affective issues
and any skill deficits. You will then see that the supervisor will adopt a more collegial role of consultant
as the supervisee gains confidence and expertise. Finally, the supervisor may become more distant and
serve as a consultant with the intent that the supervisee takes responsibility for her/his/their/their
learning and development as a counselor. However, with these stages the supervisor may revert back to
a previous stage when she/he/their finds that there is a need to lecture, instruct, and inform the
supervisee of concepts or when there is a need to assist supervisees in identifying their own "blind
spots" or counter-transference process, etc. In addition to assuming various roles and proceeding
through stages based on your needs, the supervisor may pull methods and strategies from their
theoretical perspective, which includes a combination of cognitive behavioral and existential theories.
As the supervisee, you take on a role of disclosure as related to the client, therapeutic interaction,
supervisory interaction, and personal information. Therefore, the supervisee should play an active role
in the supervision process and be open to asking questions since the supervision relationship should be
based on openness, acceptance, and trust. One of the most important roles in the provision of clinical
supervision is to protect the welfare of the client and serve as a gate keeper for the field.
The process of clinical development, administrative finesse, and change will, in many ways, be unique to
the supervisee’s particular situation. Supervisee will help to determine the ways in which she/he/their
will go about developing into a counselor.
The most important factor in the success of supervision is good communication between supervisor and
supervisee. In some instances, talking about your clinical development and your cases may trigger
dynamics that impact your interpersonal relationships; however, over time you should see an
improvement in your personal/professional boundaries and process your counseling/supervision
experience with those in your support system. In addition, not all counselors benefit from working with
a particular supervisor and you may decide to seek supervision elsewhere.
Supervision with Mindology LLC will be consistent with the ethical standards set forth by the following
organizations and the same will be expected of the supervisee: The Washington, DC Board of
Professional Counseling (http://doh.dc.gov/service/professional-counseling-licensing), The Maryland
Board of Professional Counseling (https://health.maryland.gov/bopc/Pages/index.aspx), the American
Counseling Association (http://www.counseling.org/resources/codeofethics/TP/home/ct2.aspx), and
the National Board of Certified Counselors (http://www.nbcc.org/ethics).
If at any time during supervision you have questions about whether or not supervision is effective,
feelings about something your supervisor has said or suggested or need clarification of our goals, do not
hesitate to bring this up in your session. As the counselor/supervisee you have the right to ask your
supervisor questions about her/his/their qualifications, background, and therapeutic/supervision
orientation. You can learn more about Christy Xiaojing Huang’s background by visiting