Foundations of Clinical Supervision

Divine Mercy University is offering a certificate that provides both the foundation for competent, effective, and professional clinical supervision and the advanced knowledge to expand your understanding and practice of supervision.  Enroll today!

World-Class Learning Experience

The  DMU Foundations of Clinical Supervision CE track is a 45-clock-hour curriculum delivered in a self-paced, online format via nine modules. This training follows industry standards for the provision of supervision in clinical settings with additional attention to administrative supervision.

Why the Foundations of Clinical Supervision?

This certificate provides the educational component of the supervisor requirements to be a Virginia Board Approved LPC, LMFT and LSATP Supervisor (at least 20 hours of continuing education in supervision).  It also fulfills similar supervision requirements in other states. Verify requirements with your state board.


DMU is in the process of seeking approval from NBCC to provide Home Study CE Programs such as this certificate in the Foundation of Clinical Supervision.  DMU is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) for Live/Real Time CE Programs and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements.

Encourages Professional Growth

The Foundation of Clinical Supervision promotes the clinical supervisor’s professional identity, visibility and   accountability, and encourages professional growth.

Industry Standards

With notable ties to the professional counseling community, the Foundation of Clinical Supervision certificate facilitates counselor supervisor alignment with professional identity and industry standards.

Continuing Education

The DMU School of Counseling Foundation of Clinical Supervision curriculum provides an opportunity for professional growth and for meeting continuing education requirements to qualified clinicians across several domains.

What you’ll learn

The minimum required content areas for each module are as follows:

Roles and functions of clinical supervisors

This module defines the roles and functions of a clinical supervisor. Topics covered in this course include the definition of clinical supervision, the development of supervision as a specialty area, the requirements outlined for clinical supervisors and institutions in counseling programs aligned with industry standards, and the goals of supervision. Participants will learn the general objectives of supervision and become familiar with the essential ethical guidelines for clinical supervisors.

Models of clinical supervision

This module addresses the need to develop an understanding of distinct theoretical models in clinical supervision. The course has a focus on styles of learning and techniques supervisors employ to facilitate learning. Various models are outlined including developmental, integrated, the life-span, psychodynamic, person-centered, cognitive-behavioral, choice theory, family therapy, feminist, solution-oriented, integrative, and a discrimination models. The development of a personal style of supervision is also covered.

Mental health–related professional development

This module addresses the evolution of the professional clinical supervisor within a counseling career. Topics include techniques for developing a professional disclosure statement (PDS), mandatory information included in the PDS, establishing fee schedules, the supervision contract with supervisees, the supervision contract with the counselor education institution, acquiring details for the Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) credential, professional marketing and use of the CCE logo, and state licensure requirements pertaining to supervision of counseling students.

Methods and techniques in clinical supervision

This module is designed to meet the requirements for supervision preparation in the areas of methods and techniques. Topics include methods of monitoring using live observation, cotherapy, live supervision, use of audio and/or video recordings, role plays, interpersonal process recall, providing feedback, coaching, suggestions and advice, case consultation, and demonstration of skill. The use of technology to assist in supervision, distance supervision, online supervision, and the need to maintain process notes will be addressed in this course.

Group supervision

This module is focused on the formats and settings for supervision. Individual or one-on-one supervision may be required, yet standards and state regulation include provisions for conducting triadic and group supervision. Topics include the four stages of supervision (initial, transition, working, and ending) and the value of conducting triadic and group supervision. The peer supervision group process also is outlined.

Supervisory relationship issues

This module examines several facets of the supervisory relationship with supervisees. Topics include exploration of the significance of building a strong working relationship that is positive and productive, developing trust and a willingness to self-disclosure, transference and countertransference, diversity concerns, setting and extending boundaries, the influence of the power and authority differential, the concept of parallel process, and the need for highly developed awareness of personal variables.

Legal and ethical issues in clinical supervision

This module is focused on critical legal and ethical issues facing supervisors. Topics include standards and codes of ethics, supervisor responsibilities, confidentiality, teaching supervisees a process for ethical decision-making, competence in supervision, monitoring supervisee competence, challenges for counselor education programs and associated site supervisors, managing multiple roles, boundary setting, and sexual attraction issues.

Cultural issues in clinical supervision

This module explores areas of multicultural competence in supervision. A working definition of multiculturalism establishes a foundation for addressing topics such as managing attitudes and beliefs, monitoring personal biases, developing awareness of the supervisees worldview, and methods for improving the supervisees skills in working with diverse groups. The course explores multicultural dynamics when working with supervisees of a different culture from their own, ethical codes and standards regarding multicultural supervision, and the need for a multicultural competency clause in the supervision contract.

Evaluation of supervisee competence and the supervision process

This module addresses a range of concepts that round out the desired characteristics and traits of an effective counseling supervisor. Topics covered include elements of the supervision process such as initiating agreements and documentation, managing crises in supervision, codes of ethics regarding evaluation of supervisees, essential components and methods of evaluation, evaluation of the supervisor and self-evaluation, and guidelines for conducting evaluations.

About the Authors


Dr. Stephen Sharp

Dr. Sharp has worked in the human services field in various professional roles in community mental health as an agency operator/owner, clinical director, and in private practice as professional counselor. His work in higher education as a counselor educator with CACREP accredited programs includes roles as full-time core faculty, CACREP liaison, clinical director, and CACREP counseling program chair. Dr. Sharp has served in higher education administration in a variety of roles that included assistant dean, associate dean and academic dean in the University of Phoenix College of Social Sciences with oversight of programs in human services, psychology, school counseling, marriage and family counseling, and clinical mental health counseling. In these administrative roles, he sat on the Regulatory Council, Scholarship Council, and Curriculum Council and engaged as a primary contributor in the development of curricula, assessment plans, and revision of social and behavioral science programs to align with industry standards. Dr. Sharp was instrumental in the development of leading edge online programs in correctional and clinical mental health counseling. He continues to provide consultation and supervision for organizations as well as counselors-in-training. As a Mental Health Facilitator (MHF) Master Trainer for the National Board for Certified Counselors – International (NBCCI), Dr. Sharp taught many volunteers and professionals to be MHF trainers including refugee camp workers in Jordan and Lebanon, educators in Southeast Asian countries, higher education faculty and first responders across the United States. He sat on the editorial board for The Professional Counselor peer-reviewed journal, and served as a volunteer fellowship and scholarship reviewer for the National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation (NBCCF).



Dr. Scott Hinkle

J. Scott Hinkle, Ph.D. is the Director of Professional Development at NBCC. Dr. Hinkle is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC), and Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS). He has authored numerous articles on mental health as well as two books: Family Counseling in the Schools (1995) and Promoting Optimum Mental Health through Counseling (1999). Dr. Hinkle has been a practitioner for 35 years in the areas of community and school mental health. He also specializes in couples and family counseling as well as team building and outdoor leadership. As a professor, Dr. Hinkle has taught graduate courses in family counseling, psychological testing, counseling research, and psychodiagnosis. He also has taught in Europe and offered numerous courses online using computers in distance education. Dr. Hinkle has served as a Team Chair for the Council on Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and provided consultation to universities on accreditation matters for over twenty years. He currently consults with universities on issues concerning distance education and clinical training. Internationally, Dr. Hinkle has co-developed the Mental Health Facilitator (MHF) program, initially in collaboration with the World Health Organization’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. In addition to teaching the week-long workshop on MHF, he also presents the global workshop on clinical supervision that has developed an associated international certification in clinical supervision.


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