Supervisor Development: Clinical Supervisors' Lived Experiences of Supervising Counselors Who Counsel Clients Who Engage in NSSI




Novoa, Sydney Azalia

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The prevalence of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) continues to grow. Counselors may find it difficult to grasp the complex nature of the behavior. Due to these complexities, counselors may experience increased anxiety or feel a lack of competency when working with clients who engage in NSSI. Therefore, supervisors may play a critical role in increasing counselors' competency levels when working with this vulnerable population. Understanding how supervisors work with their supervisees in relation to NSSI can potentially inform future training opportunities and inform pathways to supervisor competence and development. Thus, it may be important to understand supervisor training and development to better understand supervisees needs. In the present study, Watkin's Supervisor Complexity Model (1990) provided the theoretical framework for supervisor development. A phenomenological approach was utilized to understand the experiences of the nine clinical supervisors who participated in this study. Three main themes were identified with eight subthemes: transition to LPC-S (previous experience, seeking support), conceptualizing NSSI (exposure, difference between NSSI/SI, reaction to NSSI), supervisor role within supervision (normalize, assurance of skills, build relationships). The findings suggest implications for the counseling profession and recommendations for future research.


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Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), Supervisor development, Clinical supervisors, Supervising counselors