Clinical Supervision Models

The history of the development of clinical supervision models broadly covers three main phases. The earliest phase began with psychoanalysis, and the tradition of having training analysts undergo their own analysis. The supervisor was at the same time the analyst. Following the burgeoning of various therapeutic approaches in the 1950s and 60s, a similar tradition developed within various models of supervision providing a direct parallel to the counselling/therapy model itself. So that supervisees practising Gestalt therapy would experience Gestalt supervision, CBT practitioners had CBT supervision, and so on. This approach to supervision remains current.

The second phase of thinking about models of supervision is usually acknowledged to be a series of what are termed Developmental Models, wherein the supervisee's stage of development as a counsellor/therapist forms the central focus of the supervision process, and what happens within supervision is adjusted according to developmental needs.

The most recent development in terms of models of supervision have attracted various terms:  here we refer to them as Process Models. While they vary in emphasis, these models share a view of Clinical Supervision as a process which in itself is worthy of scholarly research and theoretical exploration and development, as distinct from whatever is the preferred therapy/counselling model for both supervisor and supervisee.

Of the so-called Process Models, there are two in particular that provide a comprehensive, systemic view of the supervision context and process:

  1. Elizabeth Holloway's Systems Approach to Supervision (SAS) Model (1995), and
  2. The Double-Matrix (or Seven Eyed Supervisor) Model:  Hawkins and Shohet (2006)

 

Read chapter 3 for further information about the current models of clinical supervision within their historical context