Academic journal article Counselor Education and Supervision

The Relationship of Supervisory Styles to Satisfaction with Supervision and the Perceived Self-Efficacy of Master's-Level Counseling Students

Academic journal article Counselor Education and Supervision

The Relationship of Supervisory Styles to Satisfaction with Supervision and the Perceived Self-Efficacy of Master's-Level Counseling Students

Article excerpt

The purpose of this study was to determine whether supervisors' supervisory styles are related to master's-level counseling students' satisfaction with supervision and their perceived self-efficacy. Multiple regression analyses of data obtained for 82 participants indicated that particular supervisory styles were significant predictors of supervisees' satisfaction with supervision and perceived self-efficacy. Findings can be used to enhance the training of supervisors.

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Supervision is a critical component of counselor development. Supervision theorists and researchers have noted that supervisors work with their supervisees using a variety of styles, perspectives, and roles (Bernard & Goodyear, 2004; Friedlander & Ward, 1984; Ladany, Walker, & Melincoff, 2001). Holloway and Wolleat's (1981) study that examined supervisory responses and communication behaviors marked the beginning of the development of a systematic methodology for investigating supervisory processes in counselor education. They defined style as the interactional process between supervisor and supervisee. Friedlander and Ward identified different dimensions of supervisory style that are considered important both by very experienced supervisors and by supervisees at various levels of training in different settings. They noted that supervisors' approaches depend in part on their predominant style or role (e.g., task oriented or teacher) and identified three interrelated supervisory styles: attractive style, interpersonally sensitive style, and task-oriented style.

Individual differences among supervisees and supervisors moderate supervision processes and outcomes (Goodyear & Bernard, 1998). A clear understanding of these individual differences and their effects can assist counselor educators focusing on the supervision strategies (e.g., style) that work best with a particular supervisee at a given developmental level and may also help answer the question, "What supervision style or styles work best with this supervisee, working with this client in this particular context?" (Paul, as cited in Goodyear & Bernard, 1998, p. 10). If counselor educators and supervisors are able to identify specific variables that influence the outcome of supervision, they may be better able to (a) evaluate their particular styles, (b) target interventions that address factors that may interfere with using a particular style in supervision, and (c) be more flexible in their approach and style (Ladany, Walker, et al., 2001). The goal of our study was to broaden the understanding of individual differences in supervisors, such as supervision style, that may influence the perceived self-efficacy of counseling students (Johnson, Baker, Kopala, Kiselica, & Thompson, 1989).

According to Bernard and Goodyear (2004), the aim of counselor supervision and training is to develop proficient counselors by increasing their level of competency and self-efficacy. Stoltenberg, McNeill, and Delworth (1998) stated that supervisees' process of development and maturing is identifiable through increased self-confidence. Cashwell and Dooley (2001) observed that clinical supervision was related to higher levels of counseling self-efficacy. In a comparison of process and outcome variables within supervision, outcome ratings indicated that issues related to confidence and self-efficacy were significant for supervisees in early as well as middle stages of development (Rabinowitz, Heppner, & Roehlke, 1986). Research on supervision has examined several dimensions of the supervisory process, including perceived self-efficacy (Johnson et al., 1989). Self-efficacy has been defined by Bandura (1977b) as "the conviction that one can successfully execute desired behavior" (p. 93). Bandura believed that efficacy has an influence on (a) whether or not a given task is attempted, (b) how much effort is spent on the task, and (c) how long a response is maintained in the event of obstacles and stresses of life. …

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