Effectiveness of Group Supervision versus Combined Group and Individual Supervision
Ray, Dee, Altekruse, Michael, Counselor Education and Supervision
This study investigated the effectiveness of large group supervision, small group supervision, and combined group and Individual supervision with counseling students. Sixty-four participants in a master's-level practicum were divided into 3 treatment groups that received supervision over 10 weeks. Using a pretest/posttest method, counselors were rated on growth in effectiveness and development according to self-report, supervisor, client, and objective rater responses. Analyses of covariance revealed that all supervision formats resulted in similar progress in counselor effectiveness and counselor development. Large group supervision produced a significant result on the factor Autonomy/Dependency. However, participants showed a marked preference for individual feedback and supervision.
The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the accreditation governing board for counselor education programs, sets the standards for counselor training at the master's and doctoral levels. Currently, CACREP requires that individual supervision of a counseling student Include a minimum of 1 hour per week by a program faculty supervisor or a student supervisor under faculty supervision (CACREP, 1994, Standard III.H). This standard requires that each graduate level student receive 1 hour of individual supervision each week of the practicum and internship term. The graduate-level practicum student is also required to participate in 1 1/2 hours of group supervision weekly. The individual supervision requirement demands significant time from faculty members who often are already facilitating group supervision during the practicum term.
If individual supervision were the only way to promote the growth of a professional counselor, the extensive time in supervision would be justified. However, for many years, the counseling field has supported the concept of group supervision as a viable method of training counselors. A review of the literature upholds group supervision as cost-efficient, time-efficient, and clinically rich (Bernard & Goodyear, 1992; Hayes, 1989; Newman & Lovell, 1993). Benefits as outlined by Bernard and Goodyear (1992) included avoiding counseling student dependence, diminishing the hierarchical issues between the supervisor and counseling student, increasing the variety of behavioral and experiential supervision strategies, and helping alleviate the sense of intellectual and emotional isolation felt by beginning counselors. Group supervision provides the opportunity for peers and supervisor to interact more openly and offer support to one another in their growth.
In a review by Ellis (1991), the most frequent supervisory issues entailed support and emotional awareness. These concerns are addressed in group supervision through an environment that facilitates personal growth and awareness, as well as peer support. Hayes (1989) further outlined benefits of group supervision that include more accurate perceptions of self and others through consistent feedback from others, an opportunity to enhance empathy and social interest, and a sense of psychological safety to support the elimination of self-defeating behaviors. Through group interactions, counseling students can gain a stronger sense of self by testing reality and letting go of negative perceptions and intellectual isolation.
Although group supervision has tentatively been found to be effective in the research and receives significant support from the literature, individual supervision is still the primary method of delivering supervision (Bernard & Goodyear, 1992). When group supervision is used, it is used in addition to individual supervision. CACREP requires this combined supervision method for accredited counselor education programs.
In the last 30 years, only two research studies can be cited as having compared the efficacy of individual supervision versus the …
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Publication information: Article title: Effectiveness of Group Supervision versus Combined Group and Individual Supervision. Contributors: Ray, Dee - Author, Altekruse, Michael - Author. Journal title: Counselor Education and Supervision. Volume: 40. Issue: 1 Publication date: September 2000. Page number: 19. © 2007 American Counseling Association. COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group.
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