Supervision is Critical to Success

July 12, 2012

It may seem difficult for us as counselors to seek out our supervisors’ or other counselors’ advice when we encounter a particularly difficult or challenging client. The tendency, especially in well-seasoned counselors, is to believe that we know the right way – purely from experience. While this may have been the predominant school of thought years ago, today counselors must rely on the evidence-based treatment model, which necessarily includes the input of others. Further, our reliance on the client’s self-guided recovery means that many of the situations we encounter will be unique to that particular circumstance. This is one of the many intricacies of counseling that makes this career path so challenging and at the same time rewarding.

This supervision translates into a counselor’s daily work as well. Counselors must constantly better themselves, not only through facility-imposed regulations on supervision, but also by their own will. It is important that counselors understand they are bound by more than just what they think is best for the client. Indeed, a plethora of local, state and federal laws regulate what they do each and every day. Further, professional and ethical responsibilities bind them as well. These are responsibilities that cannot always be evaluated and acted upon on the fly, making the supervisor’s role all the more important.

Counselors who actively seek supervision and understand that they do not and frankly cannot know how to handle every situation are likely to be less frustrated, more effective and generally better counselors. As new counselors, we must embrace the idea of supervision – to hone our skills and offer the best service to our clients. If we are able to learn how to share from early on in our career, our performance and job satisfaction will all be the better for it.

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