COUN5071 Theory and Practice of Supervision

Graduate Diploma Level Unit

COUN5071 Theory and Practice of Supervision

Level: Higher

Credit points: 3

Prerequisites: Counselling Skills 2 and current involvement in a fieldwork placement

Unit description

The overall aim of this unit is to empower the supervisee. By learning about the process of supervision students will learn how to enhance their learning opportunities and thereby make the most of their supervision experience. Since the process of supervision is a facilitative one which requires the active participation of both parties (the supervisor and supervisee), special skills, knowledge and attitudes are required. By learning about what the rights, responsibilities and roles of both parties are, and what they can expect and what they need from supervision students will be a more informed and active partner in the supervision process. By the end of this unit students will be aware of their learning style, their stage of development and what their goals and learning objectives are. This will give them the confidence to negotiate to obtain what they want. Just as supervisors learn to be supervisors, supervisees need to learn to be supervisees.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to: 

  • define supervision
  • identify several theories/models of supervision
  • describe what is involved n setting up a contract
  • prepare a case presentation
  • identify what you see as important in a supervisory relationship
  • explain the role and influences that the contextual aspects of supervision play
  • identify multicultural issues and understand how they effect the supervisory process
  • identify ethical issues that may arise in supervision

Unit content

  • Defining Supervision and Recognising its Place in Professonal Counselling
  • Models of Supervision
  • Professional Requirements of Supervision
  • Individual, Group and Self-Supervision
  • Introduction to Case Presentation
  • Methods and Techniques of Supervision
  • The Supervisory Relationship
  • Client-Counsellor-Supervisor Relationships
  • The Context of Supervision
  • Multicultural Supervision
  • Ethical and Legal Issues
  • A Review of the Unit

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9.75 hours per week.

Assignment summary



Word count


Academic Essay




Reflective Essay




Graduate attributes

The following graduate attributes will be developed in this unit:

  • Creative self-expression
  • Reasoned criticism
  • Multiple research methodologies
  • Complex data acquisition techniques and analysis
  • Written expression and reasoned argument from empirical data
  • Evaluating possible outcomes of alternative courses of action

Recommended text

Carroll, M., & Gilbert, M. C. (2012). On being a supervisee: Creating learning partnerships (2nd ed.). Kew, Australia: PsychOz.

Relevant journals

Australian Social Work
British Journal of Guidance and Counselling
Counselor Education and Supervision
Counselling Psychology Quarterly
Counselling and Psychotherapy Research
Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal
Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development
Journal of Multicultural Counseling
Psychodynamic Counselling
Psychotherapy Networker
Psychotherapy in Australia
The Clinical Supervisor
Therapy Today

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer to for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of the semester.