Supervision and the Discrimination Model

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Supervision is an important component of the counseling profession since it allows a rookie counselor to use and improve his or her abilities while also ensuring the client's mental health is preserved throughout the process. A case study will illustrate parts of the discrimination model, how the outlined supervisory responsibilities might be applied to a supervisee, and which skills are most suited to each function.

The supervision discrimination model illustrates the several developmental phases that supervisees will go through as they grow from novices to specialists. The development consists of three stages, the novice, middle and expert levels, each defined by a skillset and characteristics (Corey, Haynes, Moulton, & Muratori, 2014). The three counseling roles prescribed by this model include the teacher role, where the supervisor renders instruction and offers guidance to aid in the development of a supervisee’s counseling skills. Through the counselor role, the supervisor assists the supervisee to identify the personal issues that might affect their ability to counsel clients and devise suitable methods that will limit their effects. As a consultant, the supervisor acts as a peer on whom the new expert can discuss ideas and novel approaches to a case (Corey, Haynes, Moulton, & Muratori, 2014). The three skillsets of these model are process skills, which look at how a supervisee conducts a session, the conceptualization skills which focus on the degree of understanding that a supervisee has of a client, themselves and the counseling process and personalization skills which evaluate the impact of a supervisee’s characteristics on the counseling session.

Supervisory Roles

Each of the supervisory roles outlined in the discrimination model are applicable for the development of Michael from a supervisee to an expert. The first role, the teacher, will be crucial to instruct and guide Michael on how to best sharpen his counselling skills (Young & Basham, 2014). As indicated by the case study, Michael is insecure in his skills but he seems to readily incorporate comments that are made by the supervisor. I would ask him which skills he is most worried about and illustrate how to improve them. As a counselor, I would help Michael sort out through some of the personal issues that may hinder him from sufficiently helping clients overcome their issues (Young & Basham, 2014). As per the case study, Michael is insecure and as such he keeps doubting himself and apologizing in advance for his failures. I would hold a few sessions and help him develop methods to cope with his fears. As a consultant, Michael and I would discuss his cases and bounce possible ideas and theories that he could apply to assist his patients.

Supervisory Skills

The skills that are most relevant to the teaching role are the process skills as they examine how a supervisee conveys his expertise as he counsels a patient (Leddick, 1994). In Michael’s case, we would go through how he handles a session and then I would offer instruction on how to develop the areas in which he is lacking. The counselor role mostly applies the personalization skills in guiding the supervisee to identify how his traits affect his ability to assist a client. Through personalization, I would help Michael identify how significantly his insecurities and feelings of helplessness affect the application of his skills and help him to devise coping mechanisms for future sessions. Conceptualization skills are most important for both the teaching and consultant roles as they are crucial for the evaluation of Michael’s understanding of a case and the rationale that he applies while picking a particular theory for the resolution of a patient’s issue (Leddick, 1994). A supervisor can only propose an idea when the perspective of a supervisee is clear.


Overall, supervisors play an important role as they usher novices into the profession by guiding them through real-life cases while ensuring that their lack of experience does not negatively impact a patient’s mental health. Through the application of the supervisory roles and skills outlined by the discrimination model, novices like Michael will receive the guidance they need to become experts who will eventually help several clients achieve a healthy mental status.


Corey, G., Haynes, R. H., Moulton, P., & Muratori, M. (2014). Clinical Supervision in the Helping Professions: A Practical Guide (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Leddick, G. R. (1994). Models of Clinical Supervision. ERIC Digest, 94(8). Retrieved from

Young, M. A., & Basham, A. (2014). Consultation and supervision. In B. T. Erford (Ed.), Orientation to the counseling profession: Advocacy, ethics, and essential professional foundations (2nd ed.).(pp. 423–451). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

May 17, 2023

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