Individual Supervision refers to clinical supervision undertaken by an individual supervisee with a designated supervisor. The supervisor will be a more senior clinician and may have acquired more experience in a specialist area of practice. Supervision is seen as developmental, focusing on an agreement about the goals of the counsellor at a particular stage of professional development.
Clinical Members or Fellows may well choose a supervisor of equal experience whereby the supervision provides a space for reflection and for gaining alternative perspectives.
Peer Supervision refers to reciprocal supervision arrangements where colleagues or peers work together for mutual benefit, rotating the roles of supervisor and supervisee. This is a formal process where clinicians contract to provide collegial critiquing and enhancement of each other’s clinical work. Peer supervision can be undertaken as a dyad or within a small group of up to 6 members.
Peer supervision is more beneficial for experienced practitioners than for novice practitioners and will, therefore, be accepted only for Clinical members with a minimum of 5 years’ experience. Clinical members engaging in peer supervision should check that their Professional Indemnity covers this activity.
Group Supervision has a designated supervisor who simultaneously provides Supervision and facilitates the group supervision process. Group supervision can be comprised of 2 to 6 supervisees.
Both Affiliate and Associate members are regarded as trainees according to the PACFA Training Standards. Therefore, while completing the required 50 hours of Supervision relating to 200 hours of client contact, Affiliate members can count all Group Supervision hours while within a training program. However, QCA Associate members are still required to have a minimum of 50% of their total supervision hours as individual supervision.
It is seen as preferable by QCA for the client hours accrued at Associate level to be conducted face to face, because this is a richer developmental experience for novice counsellors. With reference to client contact hours accrued at QCA Provisional level (750 client contact hours +75 hours of related supervision) 25% of telephone/internet counselling hours can be counted when upgrading to clinical level. However, where counsellors have regular contact with a client which allows for continuity and the development of a strong therapeutic alliance, it may well be possible for more than 25% to be counted. It will be incumbent on the applicant to make a convincing case and the provision of Supervision logs noting this fact will constitute important evidence.
A Group Supervisor needs to have acquired specialized training in group dynamics and an understanding of group process.
As part of group process, agreement should be negotiated on topics such as boundaries around professional conduct, communication and case discussions, etc.
Note: It is a requirement that separate supervision contracts are developed for each mode of clinical supervision, be it Individual, Peer or Group Supervision.