Clinical supervision in South Africa: Perceptions of supervision training, practices, and professional competencies

Keywords: competency, intern, professional development, counselling, supervision, accredited training

Abstract

We investigated South African clinical and counselling psychology supervisors’ (n=44) perceptions of supervision training, their supervision experiences, and their perceived competence, confidence and effectiveness in providing supervision. Results indicated that many supervisors prematurely engage in supervision responsibilities and initiate supervision prior to receiving formal training in supervision. With limited regulatory guidelines available on supervision training and practices in South Africa, the findings indicate a need for the South African psychology profession to establish a formal regulatory framework on supervision training and practices. This includes identifying supervision training needs, developing training programmes, and instituting formal training requirements for practitioners who participate in clinical supervision.

Significance:

  • The sample of South African clinical and counselling psychologists involved in the supervision of trainee psychologists tended to engage in clinical supervision in advance of obtaining three years of independent clinical practice and prior to receiving appropriate training in providing supervision.
  • There is a need for the Professional Board for Psychology of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (PBP-HPCSA) to appropriately monitor and enforce ethical obligations of psychologists who engage in supervision of trainee psychologists.
  • Psychologists who provide clinical supervision to trainee psychologists ought to take personal responsibility for ensuring that they are appropriately trained and have acquired the necessary competencies to provide supervision before deciding to engage in supervision activities.
  • Formal guidelines and policies regulating clinical supervision are necessary for ensuring psychology supervisors obtain appropriate training in supervision and fulfil mandatory HPCSA accredited supervision training requirements.
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Published
2021-03-29
Section
Research Article