The Practice of Counselling and Clinical Supervision

Edited by Nadine J. Pelling and Philip Armstrong

The professional tasks of those who provide therapy are multidimensional and complex, just as those who conduct therapy come from multiple disciplines. Counsellors, psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, and in some instances nurses, educators, clergy, life coaches, and pastoral carers all engage in psychologically therapeutic activities.

Without the support and encouragement of colleagues these essential professionals run the risk of suffering a range of factors affecting their roles, including compassion fatigue, burnout, and stagnating professional development. Thus, the need to be involved with ongoing supervision is essential.

First published in 2009, 
The Practice of Clinical Supervision quickly proved itself as the leading state-of-the-art text for supervision training of a range of clinical therapists. This new and expanded edition now comprehensively covers the entire range of professional, personal and organisational issues that need to be addressed to ensure quality supervision for both counsellors and clinicians. With a global focus and an impressive list of 16 experienced contributors from Australia, Canada and the US, this book provides a wealth of practical information, advice, theory, research evidence, and essential training for supervisors.

Five themes are covered across 19 chapters:

  • The Introduction section explores major issues associated with therapists accessing and providing professional clinical and counselling supervision.
  • The Professional Issues section looks at different supervision-related domains in a contemporary context.
  • The Approaches section enables both trainees and supervisors to re-examine the important role of the working alliance in facilitating change through supervisory encounters, while exploring the major models and processes used to enhance learning.
  • The People section examines personal dimensions of clinical supervision such as relationships, modes of supervision practice, and supervisor development and training.
  • The Evaluation section provides both general and specific information about the often unnerving and complex issue of evaluation.

About the Author

Nadine J. Pelling, PhD, earned her BA (Hon) Psychology from the University of Western Ontario in Canada and her MA as well as PhD in Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University. Trained and experienced as a psychologist and counsellor, she has called Australia home since 2000. Nadine has produced over 80 publications and has made over 40 conference presentations. Most recently Nadine had co-edited two books with Lorelle Burton: Abnormal Psychology - the Australian and New Zealand Handbook published by Cambridge University Press and Applied Psychological Practice in Australia - Studying for the National Psychology Exam published by Taylor and Francis. Additionally, Nadine recently published a double special issue on Mental Health in Australia in the International Journal of Mental Health. Nadine is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (College of Clinical Psychologists), a registered psychologist with clinical endorsement, and enjoys being active in the scientist-practitioner tradition which means engaging in applied as well as research/scholarly work. Nadine is a Fellow of the Australian Counselling Association. Nadine was awarded the Australian Psychological Society's prestigious Early Career Teaching Award in Psychology in 2006. Nadine is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology and Counselling at the University of South Australia, Adelaide, and maintains a small private practice in the southern suburbs.

Philip Armstrong, has a graduate degree in Counselling from the University of New England (NSW), a Diploma of Applied Science (Counselling), Diploma in Psychology and is a registered Professional Supervisor with Australian Counselling Association (ACA) and member of the ACA College of Supervisors. Philip has several decades of experience as a counsellor and has been a registered Supervisor for over ten years, completing his initial supervision training at Relationships Australia in 2004. He is the Director of Optimise Potential (, which delivers Australia's most popular Supervision training course. The course is also delivered in Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and the Philippines. Philip is the CEO of the Australian Counselling Association and is Secretary General of the Asia-Pacific Rim Confederation of Counsellors. He is editor and founder of the peer-reviewed journal Counselling Australia, and co-founder and managing editor of Counselling Psychotherapy and Health, an international web-based peer-reviewed journal. Philip's contribution to the counselling profession within Australia and internationally has been acknowledged through a Fellowship awarded by ACA. He has been honoured with a biographical record in the 2009 Marquis, Who's Who in the World. Philip completed a PhD in Counselling Supervision in 2015 through Warnborough College. Philips previous military service has been recognised through the following awards, Service Medal (South-east Asia bar), Defence Force Service Medal and Defence Medal. Philip lives in Brisbane with his wife and two youngest children with two adult children living independently.


"An international team led by Nadine Pelling and Philip Armstrong has written what is likely the most comprehensive and thorough supervision text. The variety of points of view, even including disagreements at times, is what we need as we think through the future of education and training in our field."
From the Foreword by Emeritus Allen E Ivey, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Authors
  • Part A: Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Clinical Supervision by John Barletta
  • Chapter 2: Conceptualising Counselling Supervision by Philip Armstrong
  • Chapter 3: Administration and Marketing of Supervision by Philip Armstrong
  • Part B: Professional Issues
  • Chapter 4: International Counselling and Psychology Professional Organisations and Resources by Nadine Pelling
  • Chapter 5: Ethical Issues in the Clinical Supervision of Evidence-Based practices
  • by Cynthia J. Osborn & Thomas E. Davis
  • Chapter 6: The State of Supervision Scholarship in the 21st Century by Nadine Pelling, Deah Abbott, & Caleb W Lack
  • Part C: Approaches
  • Chapter 7: Solution Focussed Supervision by Ann Moir-Bussy
  • Chapter 8: The Professionalisation of Counselling Supervision in Singapore by Jeffrey Po
  • Chapter 9: Models of supervision: from theory to practice by Herbert Biggs, Matthew Bambling, and Zoe Hazelwood
  • Chapter 10: Addressing supervisee fears in supervision by Nadine Pelling
  • Chapter 11: Alliance Supervision to Enhance Client Outcomes by Matthew Bambling
  • Chapter 12: Processes and interventions to facilitate supervisees' learning
  • by Keithia Wilson and Alf Lizzio 
  • Part D: People
  • Chapter 13: The Supervisory Relationship by Jason Dixon
  • Chapter 14: Supervisor development by Nadine Pelling and Elisa Agostinelli
  • Chapter 15: Who are Australian counsellors and how do they attend to their professional development? by Caleb Lack, Nadine Pelling, & Deah Abbott
  • Chapter 16: Culture-Infused counselling supervision
  • by Nancy Arthur and Sandra Collins
  • Part E: Evaluation
  • Chapter 17: Supervision as Gatekeeping: Managing professional competency problems in student supervisees by Brian Sullivan
  • Chapter 18: Counsellor Competence by Nadine Pelling
  • Chapter 19: Supervising clinical placement
  • by John Barletta and Jason Dixon
  • Appendices
  • Appendix A: Example Supervision Contract
  • Appendix B: Example Counselling Contract
  • Appendix C: Cultural Audit
  • Appendix D: Possible Answers to Educational Questions and Activities