Cognitive Theory of Supervision I. Building a relationship with the supervisee. Supervision models play an important role in navigating the course of learning about and becoming a licensed counselor. In the cognitive model of supervision it is assumed that the supervisee will affect the client through their thoughts about themselves and what lies in their expectations (Campbell, 2000). The supervisor should want to become familiar with the supervisee and get to know who they are and how they process ideas and thoughts.
To be more clear how in general the supervisee views the world (i. e. in mostly positive or negative terms). Once the supervisor has become familiar with the trainee they can learn what negative ideas and thoughts that the trainee has and start to dispel those negative thoughts and feelings as they can have an impact on the supervisee’s work (Campbell, 2000). The relationship that the supervisor wants to build is one that resembles the relationship that a teacher would have with a student.
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Most students have a knowledge base that is very broad and easy to expand on with more detail-oriented material. The teacher then steps in and helps the student to expand on that knowledge, learn more, and to dispel any irrational thoughts they may have in certain areas of learning. A supervisor using the cognitive model will work much in the same manner to the help the supervisee to “identify self-defeating patterns that affect client care as well as the supervisee’s growth” (Campbell, 2000).
II. The supervisee’s theory of change in supervision. The main purpose in the cognitive model of supervision is aimed at increasing “awareness of how our own cognitions can influence the therapeutic endeavor and how we can use this as a vehicle to understand the issues which can arise during the process of cognitive therapy” (Sloan, White, & Coit, 2000). The supervisor uses several methods to help the supervisee to learn.
Some of these methods include: “demonstrating and encouraging the use of new skills using role-play, providing relevant educational literature, providing guidance with treatment and direction with therapeutic interventions, and having the relevant knowledge, clinical skills, and teaching ability” (Sloan et al. , 2000). The supervisor will also use audio and videotape sessions to review with the supervisee to help with the “assessment, conceptualization, and treatment skills” (Sloan et al. , 2000).
I think that these are important ways to help a supervisee to learn and I think it is why the cognitive model of supervision is the one that I would employ as my own in supervising others. It allows the supervisee to use the skills that they already possess while at the same time they get to expand on those via the supervisor’s experience. The cognitive model of supervision is not aimed at changing the supervisee but is aimed at teaching the supervisee to learn and expand on skills through the various methods above mentioned.
Rather the supervisor designs “the learning environment” around “the ultimate goal of the trainee’s acquisition of new, more complex, and more comprehensive schemata for understanding human interaction” (Holloway, 1987). Cognitive supervision uses “psychological content” in a manner that allows the supervisee to change psychologically the way they function (Holloway, 1987). Cognitive supervision does not force the supervisor to reign in all control of the trainee, it allows a fostered autonomy.
In research it has been noted, “that beginning trainees express the need for greater amounts of support, structure, and encouragement” (Goodyear & Bernard, 1998). I think cognitive supervision allows the amount of structure and supervision to be as loose or as supported and managed as the supervisor and supervisee feel is needed. III. How the supervisor would handle difficult issues that may arise with a supervisee. In the beginning a supervisor lays out clear expectations about what is expected of the supervisee and make it clear that as situations arise they will deal with them.
During this process of supervision it seems to me that it is more about how the supervisor views the problems that arise and in turn using cognitive methods to help work through the situation. Cognitive supervision “is underpinned by a supportive process, another fundamental requirement of effective supervision” (Sloan et al. , 2000). “Role conflict is particularly pervasive among therapist trainees who are typically graduate students and who may be called upon by their supervisor to act at times as a colleague or even as a client” (Campbell, 2000). Role conflict can be a situation that causes conflict to arise in the supervisory elationship due to the fact that some supervisee have problems with the fact that they do not know at first what their role is. That supportive process that is mentioned for some people could turn into the dreaded dual relationship, which can cause a whole other set of problems and in turn leads to role conflict. I feel that if the supervisor is truly an effective supervisor and wants to take it serious they will in turn lay down ground rules when they agree to supervise a student. If the student knows what will be expected of them, then only minimal problems should arise.
As problems surface the student should have an understanding of what was discussed and how it will be handled. The student should also understand that if certain boundaries are crossed then the supervision agreement might be at jeopardy. For instance, client confidentiality is breached on the part of the supervisee. It can be expected that the supervisor would be ethically and legally bound to turn that student in, to protect themselves as supervisors and to show the student the correct way to discuss caseloads without breaching confidentiality.
I feel as though cognitive supervisions and for that matter any supervision models allows a supervisor to have discretion as to how to deal with situations that may be problematic such as the one that I discussed. Cognitive supervisors in general will deal with supervisee in a manner that allows the supervisee to think about how they managed something and give alternative ways to think about it in the future of different ways to manage it. IV. Multicultural Considerations. Multicultural considerations are important to consider when researching any area of counseling.
Individual differences in cultures are important areas to always be thinking of especially in reference to supervising someone who is school. Individual people react in different ways when they are supervised. For instance, when considering multicultural issues there are many differences that a supervisor should look at such as: age, sex, ethnicity, race, cultural background, etc. Some cultures might consider the way that cognitive supervision tries to dispel irrational or negative thoughts that a supervisee might have as a bad thing.
For instance Asian Americans typically respond to “an educational or informational approach” (Lee, 1999). Therefore, it could be derived that when picking a supervision model it is important to remember the cultural background of the supervisee while supervising is in the early stages. I think this also brings up the importance of a supervisor to recognize when agreeing to supervise an individual that they may not be able to effectively supervise everyone and knowing when to refer to other colleagues that may be more compatible.
That does not mean that supervisors should only pick supervisees that are exactly like them. But it does mean that supervisors need to be aware of cultural differences and take those into consideration when making suggestions on cases and different ways to handle things. V. Ethical and legal issues associated with conducting supervision. Supervisors are always at legal and ethical risk when agreeing to supervise anyone.
The 2 main factors in supervision that are the biggest factors for ethical and legal issues is competency in supervisors and supervisee and dual relationships (Campbell, 2000). Cognitive “supervision does not aim to provide personal cognitive therapy for the supervisees, this would detract from the primary task of clinical supervision” (Sloan et al. , 2000). A supervisor must be cautious when supervising an individual and must stay on the task of improving a trainee’s clinical expertise and not try to help them with any personal problems they may be having.
This could leave a supervisor wide open for ethical repercussions. Legally a supervisor must also remember that they better have a good, clear understanding of what it is that their supervisee is doing. The supervisor’s signature and licensing is on the line for the person they are supervising and no one is worth someones career. This goes along with the competency piece, supervisor have to be competent and aware at all times of what is going on with the supervisee and clients.
Supervisors should have current specialized training and always be aware of supervision and how it can have a therapy like quality to it (Campbell, 2000). The most important thing that I view as crucial to any supervisor and supervisee relationship is to document any and all interactions. As for how to specifically address ethical and legal issues in a cognitive model of supervision, I do not feel as though it is any different from any other model. Across models of supervision ethical and legal issues are still the same, they just may be addressed in a slightly different manner.
For instance, in cognitive it may be more of a homework assignment for the supervisee to learn about ethical and legal issues. But as far as making sure that they are followed will be no different in other models of supervision because ethical and legal issues are erupting with vicarious liability for both supervisors and supervisees. References Campbell, J. M. (2000). Becoming An Effective Supervisor: A Workbook for Counselors and Psychotherapists. Ann Arbor, MI: Taylor & Francis. Goodyear, R. K. & Bernard, J. M. (1998).
Clinical Supervision: Lessons From The Literature. Counselor Education & Supervision, 38(1), 11-35. Holloway, E. L. (1987). Developmental Models of Supervision: Is It Development? Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 18(3), 209-216. Lee, W. M. L. (1999). An Introduction to Multicultural Counseling. Ann Arbor, MI: Taylor & Francis. Sloan, G. , White, C. & Coit, F. (2000). Cognitive Therapy supervision as a framework for clinical supervision in nursing: using structure to guide discovery. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 32(3), 515-524.