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J Clin Psychol. 2004 Jul;60(7):771-85.

Defining competencies in psychology supervision: a consensus statement.

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  • 1University of California, Los Angeles, USA.


Supervision is a domain of professional practice conducted by many psychologists but for which formal training and standards have been largely neglected. In this article, supervision is proposed as a core competency area in psychology for which a number of elements reflecting specific knowledge, skills, and values must be addressed to ensure adequate training and professional development of the trainee. Supra-ordinate factors of supervision viewed as permeating all aspects of professional development are proposed. These include the perspective that professional development is a lifelong, cumulative process requiring attention to diversity in all its forms, as well as legal and ethical issues, personal and professional factors, and self- and peer-assessment. A competencies framework is presented with particular elements representing knowledge (e.g., about psychotherapy, research, etc.), skills (including supervising modalities, relationship skills, etc.), values (e.g., responsibility for the clients and supervisee rests with supervisor, etc.), and meta-knowledge. Social contextual factors and issues of education and training, assessment, and future directions also are addressed, with specific elements listed. Suggestions for future work in this area are addressed, including the need to refine further and operationalize competences, develop clear expectations for accreditation and licensure regarding supervision competencies, and expand the description of developmental levels of supervisors from minimal to optimal competence. This is one of a series of articles published together in this issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychology. Several other articles that resulted from the Competencies Conference: Future Directions in Education and Credentialing in Professional Psychology will appear in Professional Psychology: Research and Practice and The Counseling Psychologist.

Copyright 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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