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KATER-C's Photo KATER-C Posts: 613
9/15/11 9:53 A

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SPWHITESTONE,
Thanks for the suggestions. Our district is changing radically (in process to merge with another, larger district), which means the future, including the possibility of supervising interns, is uncertain. Since I don't have an intern this year, I'm directing that time and energy to connecting with psychology staff in the other district.

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SPWHITESTONE's Photo SPWHITESTONE Posts: 665
9/11/11 3:47 P

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Ah, those intern who just seem to be going through the motions. You gotta love them!

Usually, I'll initiate a discussion about their goals and apply some motivational interviewing techniques. I also make my expectations very clear. In the end, though, it's not my responsibility to make sure they get all they can out of the experience. As I often tell my supervisees about their clients, "you can't want it more than they do."

Mistakes are the portals of discovery. - James Joyce


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KATER-C's Photo KATER-C Posts: 613
9/4/11 10:16 P

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This discussion really interests me. In more than 30 years of practice, I've supervised quite a few school psych interns. As I became more experienced in the role, I found that asking the interns to define their goals for the internship was crucial. I've been happy to work with them to make sure they get the things that they need and want. I've valued the new information and fresh perspectives that the interns bring to me and to our district.

One of the areas that I've found all school psych interns needing more information about is systems functioning and change. As school psychs, we're usually expected to be skilled in working with individual students, but also to know about improving service delivery,etc at a school or district level.

One of you mentioned a supervisor who just seemed to be going through the motions. During the last school year, I had that experience with my intern, who appeared to just be participating in supervision because she was required to. Any thoughts on how you would have handled this? (I wish I would have found this team last year)

Thanks!
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SPWHITESTONE's Photo SPWHITESTONE Posts: 665
8/28/11 3:40 P

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What a great response and a great question! I hope you don't mind if I give my new supervisees the same assignment as your last supervisor gave you.

Currently, about 90% of my job involves teaching and supervising social workers and psychologists. I love working with supervisees who have thought about what they want out of supervision. I love working with supervisees who are curious, don't mind working hard, and are dedicated to their work. I love supervisees who can formulate a supervision question and are willing and able to focus our session on what they've been doing with clients, rather than walking in with a long list of complaints about their clients.

Good luck with your new role. It sounds like you're going to be great!

Mistakes are the portals of discovery. - James Joyce


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SYT2011's Photo SYT2011 Posts: 15
8/28/11 2:07 P

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I come into this conversation both as a supervisee and soon-to-be supervisor for first-year graduate students.

I'm currently in my third/last practicum placement of my graduate school career. If all goes well, I wil be starting up my internship in the next 12 months ::crosses fingers:. So what I have looked for in a supervisor, is someone who has a heart for passing on their wisdom about the field, but takes into consideration what his or her supervisee is wanting to get from his or her practicum experience.

For example, during my first practicum year, I felt that my direct supervisor was forced to be a supervisor. So many times I felt that I was an obligation or that meeting with me just allowed her to check off another thing on her "to-do" list for the day; I felt as important as the need to pick up her clothes from the dry cleaners - which I guess is important, but no one wants to be put in the same category as a pair of black slacks.

During my second practicum year my supervisor was very interactive, and helped me get through my difficult professional development time period. She was willing to let go of what she wanted to teach me and be there to help me with what I needed to understand and learn. However, I still wondered if her heart was really in it, or if this experience was for her CV.

My best supervision experience has come this year. I have been at my current site for 4 months now and I still remember my first session. My first assignment was this, "Over the next week, I want you to think about what you want out of supervision. When we meet again, I want you to tell me your hopes, dreams, and wishes about supervision." The following week I told him, and since then he has been amazing at providing me with what I want and need. That does not mean he allows me to follow my own agenda. If he finds an articles or a book that he believes will help me he tells me to read it. If there are mistakes in my progress notes or with how I present an idea in session or during supervision, he lets me know of my mistake. Most importantly though, is that he is incredibly involved in the psychologist I am becoming. He gets excited when I tell him that I understand a concept. He gets a huge grin on his face when I tell him that I was watching a movie or struggling with something in my own life and reflected back to something he taught me or something I read in an article. It feels great to have someone who is cheering for me.

My question for you, as a soon-to-be supervisor, of soon-to-be practicum students, and as a student myself, is what do you look for in students and supervisees?

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KACOPHANI's Photo KACOPHANI SparkPoints: (29,093)
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6/9/10 8:25 P

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Excellent question. I'm a new supervisor (20 years! Holy cow! You are awesome!) and love to think about how to improve my skills. I have found different characterstics to be helpful depending on my own developmental stage, the patient, and the goals of treatment. I would say that the most helpful thing across the board is when supervisors are able to be uncertain and also able to meet me where I am in terms of what I need at a given time.

Recommit as often as you have to.

"Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in."

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KAKIPOPUP's Photo KAKIPOPUP SparkPoints: (45,073)
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5/3/10 5:09 A

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I'll be following this thread with interest - I hope to be supervising a practicum student next (school) year.

What I look for in a supervisor is "unconditional positive regard" (which of course can include criticism of my performance when needed) - but even negative messages can be delivered with respect and consideration -



Be gentle towards all that is unsolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves --Rilke

It's never too late to be or do what you might have been or done!

Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different---MEZZOANGEL

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SPWHITESTONE's Photo SPWHITESTONE Posts: 665
3/28/10 10:09 A

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I've been a licensed psychologist and a supervisor for almost 20 years. I know that my supervisory skills have gotten a lot better over the years, but I know that there's always room for improvement. I'd love to know what all of you think. What do you look for in a supervisor? What characteristics would the perfect supervisor have?

Mistakes are the portals of discovery. - James Joyce


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