Virginia Commonwealth University

Continuing education

Clinical Social Work Supervision: A Four-Stage Model of Growth and Discovery

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A continuing education activity presented by the VCU School of Social Work. This program is designed to meet the Board of Social Work requirements for social workers who provide supervision for licensure as well as the requirement for two hours of continuing education in ethics.

Course description and objectives

Being a clinical supervisor is difficult – you are responsible for quality control, yet need to support staff and encourage creativity, you need to advocate for your staff, yet are clearly part of middle management. You work with clinicians at different skill levels, and may even supervise staff you didn’t hire or staff of other agencies. The purpose of this program is to provide a comprehensive and dynamic understanding of the supervisory process. You’ll learn through lecture, case examples and experiential exercises to recognize the four stages of professional development. By understanding them you will be able to anticipate the challenges and needs of your supervisees so that supervision can change as the clinician naturally grows.

You’ll also learn about the practical aspects of the work – how to resolve conflicts, avoid liability and ethical dangers, and create good staff morale. You will become familiar with group supervision, evaluations and the challenges of being a new supervisor. Most importantly you’ll learn how to be a more creative supervisor so your staff can be more effective.

Learning objectives

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the four-stage model of clinical supervision
  • Describe the characteristics, skills, goals, tasks, and challenges of each stage
  • Explain the concept of parallel process and how it affects the supervisory and clinical dynamics
  • Recognize ethical and boundary issues related to supervision and clinical practice
  • Discuss various strategies for managing potential disciplinary issues and challenges in supervision
  • Identify the purposes, components, benefits and limitations of group supervision
  • Identify various models of clinical supervision

Category I contact hours: 14, includes 2 Category I contact hours in ethics
Continuing education units: 1.4


Day one

8:30 to 9 a.m.
Overview of Developmental Model: Principles and Assumptions

9 to 9:30 a.m.
Anxiety Coping Styles and Relationships

9:30 to 9:45 a.m.

9:45 to 10:15 a.m.
Concepts of Parallel Process

10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
The Four Stages: Characteristics, supervisory needs and goals, supervisory tasks, dangers, impasses, ethical issues of each stage

12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

1:15 to 2:15 p.m.
The Four Stages (cont.)

2:15 to 2:45 p.m.
Supervisory Tools and Techniques

2:45 to 3 p.m.
Overview of Group Supervision

3 to 3:15 p.m.

3:15 to 4:45 p.m. 
Practical Issues: Hiring, firing, managing personnel issues, assuring quality control, struggles of new supervisor

4:45 to 5 p.m. 

Day two

8:30 to 8:45 a.m.
Introduction and overview

8:45 to 9:45 a.m.
Models of Clinical Supervision

9:45 to 10 a.m.

10 a.m. to noon
Role Play and Discussion

Noon to 1 p.m.

1 to 3 p.m.
Ethics: Professional Codes, Regulations, Laws, Liability and Recordkeeping

3 to 3:15 p.m.

3:15 to 4:15 p.m.
Group Supervision Process, Live Supervision

4:15 to 5 p.m.
Practical Applications
Evaluation and closing

Program session

March 9-10, 2010
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fairfax County Human Services Training Center
14150 Parkeast Circle, Suite 240
Chantilly, Virginia 20151
Phone: (703) 968-4058

» Driving directions to the Fairfax County Human Services Training Center [PDF]

About the facilitator

Bob TaibbiBob Taibbi, M.S.W., LCSW, has more than 35 years experience, as a clinician, supervisor and clinical director. He has worked primarily in community mental health and has served as adjunct professor at several universities. He is currently in private practice in Charlottesville, Va., where he is Director of Child and Family Services at Lewis Weber and Associates.

Taibbi is the author of four books: Doing Couples Therapy: Craft and Creativity in Work with Intimate Partners; Doing Family Therapy: Craft and Creativity in Clinical Practice, now in its second edition and recently translated into Chinese; Clinical Supervision: A Four-Stage Process of Growth and Discovery; and the forthcoming Clinical Social Work Supervision. He has also published more than 140 magazine and journal articles in various journals including Psychotherapy Networker, Family Therapy Networker, and Social Work. He has contributed several chapters to books including Favorite Counseling Techniques: 55 Masters Share Their Secrets which cited him among the top 100 therapists in the country. He served as teen advice columnist for Current Health, as contributor to Men’s Health and as contributing editor to Your Health and Fitness. He has received two national writing awards for Best Consumer Health Writing.

Taibbi is a graduate of Rutgers University and received his M.S.W. from the University of South Carolina. He provides trainings nationally in family therapy, treatment of emotionally disturbed children and adolescents, and clinical supervision.

Cost and registration*

Regular: $220
* Includes lunch

Registration opens Feb. 18, 2010.
Registration closes on Friday, March 5, 2010, at 9 a.m. Payment must be received by the close of registration. **

**Please print a copy of your online registration. Attendees may pay by credit card online at the time of registration or by check with a copy of their registration mailed to the address on the registration form. Questions? Call Angela Basmajian at (804) 828-0403.

Participants may register for CEUs by completing a CEU registration form and making a check payable to the VCU School of Social Work in the amount of $15 on the day of the event. No cash or credit cards will be accepted for this purpose.


Contact Angela Basmajian at (804) 828-0403 or