VISTAS Counselor Education and Supervision

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

The Necessity of a Philosophy of Clinical Supervision

Francis A. Martin and William “Cris” Cannon


Based on several years of field-based and university-based clinical supervision, we have analyzed our work and the work of our supervisees. Our analysis has prompted several observations about our work and their work and some challenges that arise from these observations. The agencies through which we have delivered clinical supervision have included the following: a crisis intervention center, a mental health center, a large private practice, a church, an adolescent sex offender treatment program, a university counseling center, a broad-based family/youth intervention program, a hospice, and others. Also, both of us have delivered clinical supervision in counselor education programs, including both CACREP and non-CACREP university programs.

From this history of clinical supervision, our belief is that a large source of failure in clinical supervision stems from the lack of clarity about the supervisor's philosophy of clinical supervision. From this observation, we have sought to define the necessary components of a philosophy of clinical supervision, along with a rationale for developing a philosophy of clinical supervision, regardless of the setting in which supervision is delivered.

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