Supervision Strategies That Build Self-Confidence Among Counselors in Training




Better-Fitzhugh, Nicole

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Nine Counselors in Training utilized this study’s surveys and a semi-structured group interview to share their perceptions of their internship experience. The study’s purpose was to understand what supervision strategies were utilized by site supervisors and how effective these strategies were in building self-confidence and job readiness. The results indicate that supervision strategies have some impact on self-confidence and job readiness. Self-confidence among this Masters’ level group was influenced by past experience and prior knowledge, specifically for those who had been employed as K-12 teachers or mental health professionals. Students who rated the supervision strategies positively also perceived themselves as having adequate self-confidence. Several conclusions about leadership and supervision strategies were generated from this study, along with a training guide for Professional School Counselors who supervise Counselors in Training. First, effective supervisors have “good” leadership qualities including being passionate, empathic, caring, respectful, understanding, patient, encouraging, responsible, knowledgeable, and organized, being good communicators and having the ability to build rapport. Second, a supervisor is an effective teacher, coach and mentor. The ability to appropriately supervise, guide, teach and mentor a trainee is important. CITs believed several skills were necessary for building their self-confidence and job readiness, including application-observation-feedback; hands-on experiences, mentoring and coaching; and a variety of structured learning activities and providing resources. The supervisor’s role and responsibility is to create a safe environment to learn and grow. A supervisor provides feedback and helps trainees recognize their strengths and weaknesses. Praise and redirection are important components of supervision and the learning process. Helping counselors in training recognize their strengths and weaknesses and providing a safe place to develop their skills is essential to their professional development. Finally, self-confidence is influenced by prior knowledge and experience, but can be enhanced by positive supervision during the internship. The above conclusions led to three recommendations for site supervisors: (a) training in supervision and leadership skills is a necessity, (b) university professors must be involved in monitoring CITs during their field experience, and (c) a clear definition of the site supervisor’s role and responsibility must be communicated with appropriate learning activities.



School counselor, Supervision, Counseling, Couselors in training, Self-confidence, Supervision strategies