Supervising Pgme Facilitators Psych Society Conference August 2009

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  • Overview of talk: Context of Supervision; Professional Supervision Policy; Purposes of Supervision, Frequency & Duration; Methods & Models Challenges & Successes; Future Directions.
  • The redesign of offender rehabilitation programmes (2006) prompted the design of the Pathway Training for facilitators and specialist supervision training for psychologists who are to supervise programme facilitators. Also in conjunction with these initiatives there has been the development of the current Supervision Model that outlines the policy and methods of supervision for programme delivery facilitators. The model is based upon best practice principles for supervision, programme delivery and treatment integrity.
  • Now I will give an overview of the Supervision Model. The Professional supervision policy is that all staff engaged in facilitation of rehabilitation programmes with offenders must receive supervision for their practice. Supervisees attend supervision with a trained clinical psychologist, or a person who has had supervisor training (not necessarily a psychologist). They also attend cultural supervision with a contracted cultural supervisor. We have designed a three day training for supervisors. This training sits alongside the last week of facilitator training for the Medium Intensity Rehabilitation Programme. To be eligible to attend this training, the psychologists need to have previously attended training for supervisors in an approved programme. They also need to be supervising programme facilitators that are attending that particular pathway training. Supervisors will know who their supervisees are but may not necessarily have met them at this time. So the three day training is an opportunity for forming the supervisory relationship and relationship building. The supervisors training is facilitated by a very experienced Clinical Psychologist and assisted by a supervising facilitator. This person works with programme facilitators to develop their training plans following the training, but is not a psychologist. However these people have had extensive experience in previously facilitating corrections programmes.
  • So lets take a closer look at the purposes of the supervision we offer to facilitators. Improving the effective delivery of programmes in order to meet broader outcomes of rehabilitation and reintegration work by the Department of Corrections . Educate and promote ethical and professional standards of behaviour Protect the rights of offenders, the Department, and the supervisee Ensure safe and accountable practice Promote best practice models
  • Further on purposes of supervision: Assist supervisees to apply professional knowledge in their current work situation Increase supervisees’ awareness of their limits of competence and provide strategies to address these limits Support supervisees’ professional development including developing their cultural awareness to increase their effectiveness Maintain the integrity of rehabilitation treatment Increase supervisees’ understanding and application of rehabilitation/ treatment models.
  • Lets take a look at the frequency and duration of supervision. Bullet points notes that the amount of supervision the facilitator gets is dependent on their needs in terms of their competence. The most important thing is that supervisors need to be flexible to the needs that come up for the supervisee and programmes. Having said this the supervision model gives some guidelines for the amount of supervision that facilitators will receive. The key to effective supervision is the capacity to be flexible to needs arising for the supervisee and their facilitation of programmes. The following guidelines outline minimum requirements for supervision. Facilitators – minimum of three hours supervision per week. Two = direct supervision; One hour DVD observation. More advanced facilitators (credentialed) have the same amount of supervision, but they also have the option of group supervision. On alternate weeks supervisees and supervisors can meet in group supervision with a maximum of six facilitators (i.e., three pairs).
  • Supervisors have their own models that they work with in supervision. The supervision model also has included a cube model of supervision but first lets look at the general content of supervision for supervisees at different stages of their development. Stage 1. In the early stages of development supervision will be more directive. So at this stage the facilitator has learned some skills and now needs to develop them so that they are consistent across situations. They may need some supported practice at this stage. Supervisors will need to have good knowledge with the programmes at this stage. Stage 2. At the second or middle stage of development, the emphasis for facilitators is on meeting practice standards, end further developing their competence. At this stage supervisees will generally be more confident about practice and they will be developing some self awareness. So in this stage the supervisor will be moving across various roles – educational, facilitator and consultant roles. This would depend on what needs to be addressed by the facilitator. The main focus will be on group facilitation, and process. But still at this stage the facilitator will need further development. Stage three, In the later stages of facilitator development the emphasis will be on maintaining standards, competence and on education and process issues. This stage is also about advancing practice standards. Supervisor style will be more consultative. Supervisee should be competent according to standards and consistently showing the capacity to profit from consultant style supervision. Some teaching and mentoring of others will be happening and commentary about process will be evident in supervision.
  • Supervision of Group Work Model - (SGW) – developed by Deborah Rubel & Jane Okech (2006). Journal for specialists in group work, 31(2), 113-134. Teaching and counselling backgrounds. Vermont in USA. Not the model is NOT, correctional or necessarily psychological Dimensional model. Outlines the roles of the su0pervisor and the area of focus that may be required at different times. There is also an interaction level where the supervisee may need supervision at an individual level, interpersonal level and the group/ or system level. Intervention level – Individual Interpersonal & subsystem levels, Group or system Roles – Teacher, Counsellor, Consultant Foci - Intervention Skills : observable and in terms of process and content. Conceptualisation : The capacity to pull together skills, theory and placing them in context. Personalisation : Expanding context to include personal role in group process. Like counter-transference, self-awareness, insight…
  • Lets now take a look at supervisors assessment process for programme facilitators. They are assessed against the professional practice standard for facilitators (out of supervision falls this type of assessment).
  • If concerns unsafe supervisors talk to supervisee first and then principal psyc second.
  • Successes supervisors and facilitators have reported: Facilitators overall report that the quality of supervision is very good and that they are open to developing their skills and knowledge through the supervisory process. Supervisors report that facilitators are committed to attending sessions regularly and engaged well in the process (e.g., going to supervision prepared with agenda items and ensuring that supervisors had access to videotaped recordings). Also that facilitators are demonstrating improving capacity for self reflection, accepting constructive feedback, and using it to enhance programme their programme facilitation. Supervisors also noted facilitators’ commitment and dedication to rehabilitative work with offenders.
  • Supervisors are well trained in the process of supervision. In most instances supervisors appear to also be knowledgeable and skilled in the practice of CBT. However their level of expertise does vary in relation to group psychotherapy . Variation in type of instruction/ education in dealing with problem facilitator practice. Overcoming difficulties identified in practice : There is an interface here between the supervision process and Human Resources (HR) procedures. These are still not in place completely. Supervisor Giving negative feedback and facilitators receiving that feedback. Not a simple thing at the best of times. Supervisors more often find it difficult to give the negative feedback, while some supervisees have difficulty in accepting the feedback and putting it into practice. Establishing a collaborative approach has been difficult and generally successful but we need to induct people into the process so that their expectations are managed.
  • While facilitators generally demonstrate strengths in some areas of facilitation, there were some areas that are consistently not strong. The two areas of most concern were the use of the group process to facilitate change, and pre programme interviewing.
  • Enhancing Supervisor Training for example: Programme content, group process, Giving negative feedback Focusing on developing facilitator skills in pre programme interviews; group process; and how to use negative feedback given constructively


  • 1. Supervising Non Psychologist Group Practitioners Challenges Successes Models of Practice NZ Psychological Society Conference 2009 Lucy King Principal Advisor Supervision Gordon Sinclair National Manager Programme Policy and Practice Department of Corrections
  • 2. Context of Supervision
    • Re-design of NZ Correctional Programmes (2006)
    • Pathway Training Model
    • Supervision Model
  • 3. Professional Supervision Policy
    • Programme Facilitators
    • Practice Supervision
    • Cultural Supervision
    • Supervisor Training
  • 4. Purposes
    • Improving the effective delivery of programmes
    • Educate and promote ethical and professional standards of behaviour
    • Protect the rights of offenders, the Department, and the supervisee
    • Ensure safe and accountable practice
    • Promote best practice models
  • 5. Purposes
    • Application of professional knowledge in current work situation
    • Increase awareness of limits of competence
    • Support professional development
    • Maintain treatment integrity
    • Increase understanding of rehab/ treatment models
  • 6. Frequency and Duration
    • In order to increase the direct value of supervision to the purpose of the group, frequency and duration of supervision is a function of the facilitator’s specific and general competence
    • The frequency and duration of supervision will vary depending on the supervisee's level of experience and particular needs at any one time. Key is the capacity to be flexible to needs arising for the supervisee and programmes.
  • 7. Models & Methods
    • Models of Supervision
    • General Content - Developmental Model (three stages)
  • 8. Individual Interpersonal Group/system INTERACTION LEVEL Consultant Counsellor Teacher ROLES Intervention Conceptualisation Personalisation FOCI
  • 9. Supervisor Assessment
    • Professional Practice Standard
      • Self Management
      • Facilitation of Group learning
      • Delivery of Programme as Prescribed
      • Applies Theoretical Concepts
      • Working with Maori Values
      • Working with Pacific Values
      • Co-facilitation
      • Management of Programme Relationships
      • Programme Organisation
  • 10. Feedback and Reporting
    • Direct Feedback
    • Supervisor’s Report
    • Give evidence/ examples
    • Report is ONE source of information for credentialing
    • What to do if concerns re unsafe practice
  • 11. Successes
    • Regular Attendance
    • Quality of Supervision
    • Supervisory Relationship
    • Facilitator Commitment
    • Giving and Accepting Feedback
    • Improved Self Reflection
    • Improving Knowledge of
      • CBT, RP
      • Group Psychotherapy Skills
  • 12. Challenges
    • Variation in Supervisor Skills
    • Overcoming Difficulties in Practice
    • Giving and Receiving Negative Feedback
    • Variation in instruction – Programme Content
  • 13. Challenges
    • Variation in Supervisee knowledge
    • Pre-programme Interviews
    • CBT, RP, Programme Content
    • Group Process Skills
    • Therapy interfering Behaviours
  • 14. What Next…
    • Supervisor Training
      • Enhancing Knowledge of Group Psychotherapy Skills
      • Giving Constructive/ Negative Feedback
    • Supervisee Training
      • Going to Supervision Prepared
      • Accepting feedback constructively
      • Using Feedback Constructively