Welcome to Basics of Clinical Supervision. This is a self-study program designed to provide basic knowledge about the responsibilities and practices of clinical supervision in mental health professions including psychology, psychotherapy, clinical counselling, couple and family therapy, clinical social work, etc. I've designed this course to exceed the requirements of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, for "30 hours of directed learning in providing clinical supervision. Directed learning can include course work, supervised practice as a clinical supervisor, individual/peer/group learning, and independent study that includes structured readings." However, anyone who is, or is planning to be a regulated mental health practitioner who provides clinical supervision, and who wishes to gain an introductory knowledge of clinical supervision, can benefit from this course.
What This Course Will Provide
"Competence" is defined as adequate subject matter knowledge and the application of such knowledge, done with sufficient care. For example, College of Alberta Psychologists defines competences as "knowledge, skill, judgement, and diligence." I have designed this course to provide the knowledge portion of supervisory competence. I strongly recommend you seek supervision mentoring, or meet with a supervision consultation group to develop the skill component of your supervision competence.
I'm a Registered Psychologist in Alberta and a Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). My "day job" is as a professor with Athabasca University in the Master of Counselling program, where I have the privilege of supporting the development of counsellors and psychotherapists across Canada.
I'm passionate about clinical supervision. It's a distinct area of competence, like couples' therapy or trauma work, so it requires both specialized knowledge and deliberate practice. As counsellors, psychotherapists, and psychologists, clinical supervision is our "signature pedagogy." One of my missions is to enhance the quality of supervision practice, so you will also find me writing about supervision, presenting on it at conferences, and teaching courses on supervision for the AAMFT and the University of Calgary.
If you want to know more about me, click here for my full profile.
Requirements to Be a "Qualified" Supervisor
Each jurisdiction and educational program has its own requirements for clinical supervisors. For instance, some regulatory boards require no evidence of education or competence in supervision, only requiring a supervisor to have been registered/licensed for a minimum time period. Other jurisdictions require specific courses and/or supervision mentoring. Please check with your certification or licensing body to see if this course will meet the requirements.
For example, candidates for the Approved Supervisor designation with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) must take a course sponsored by the AAMFT. Although I am an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and an approved instructor for AAMFT's supervision courses, this course does not fulfill the AAMFT requirements. Only courses sponsored by AAMFT fulfill their requirements. Please check here for approved AAMFT courses, or ask your state or provincial AAMFT affiliate to sponsor one.
Course Organization and Structure
Recognizing that those interested in this course are experienced counsellors/psychotherapists, busy professionals, and self-directed adult learners, I designed the course to provide maximum choice in terms of readings, access to a virtual clinical supervision reading room, a fully self-paced format (no on-line discussion to keep up with), and regularly scheduled optional on-line support via Zoom for questions and discussion. You will work through ten modules at your own pace. I've provided a study process for each module with a curated collection of linked readings, to which you will have perpetual access. Several of the modules will lead you toward a specific learning product, which I require to verify completion of the course.
Topics Week by Week
How to Proceed