1-Day Master Classes

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The general purpose of these workshops will be to have supervisors reach the stage of self-regulation and evaluation. In general, the content of these workshops will include:

  • Revising the most essential areas of supervision from the original workshops, including the evidence regarding which factors are most significant in predicting effective supervision.
  • An update of Board’s supervision policies and procedures


How workshops will be delivered


  • All Master Classes will be done face-face, in mid-sized groups of between 20 – 36 participants.
  • Participants will be asked to do pre-workshop readings, and may be asked to also do other preparatory work.


Workshop topic 1
Workshop topic 2
Workshop topic 3
Workshop topic 4
Workshop topic 5
Workshop topic 1

Advanced process skills in supervision

(Facilitated by Analise O’Donovan)


Workshop goals


To enhance supervisors understanding about supervisee resistance, and to provide them with tools to manage this. All supervisees have some resistance to supervision, but at times this can be detrimental to effective supervision and consequently to their clients. The workshop will also aim to assist supervisors in reflecting on their own resistance (e.g. to providing constructive, timely feedback) and consider their own role in resistance being a part of the supervisory alliance.


Areas of content


  • What is Resistance? Definitions, discussion on defense mechanisms, coping styles, the difference between resistance and reactance,
  • Understanding supervisee resistance: What increases resistance? What decreases resistance? Understanding the role of the supervisor in supervisee resistance. Will explore range of areas including attachment issues, the role of shame, avoiding responsibility, testing behaviours,
  • Signs of supervisee resistance,
  • The consequences of resistance, e.g. supervisee lack of disclosure, risks to clients ….,
  • The role of the supervisor, including supervisory avoidance, reflection of what types of behaviours increase risk of supervisor’s reactance,
  • Best ways to address resistance, including the importance of the supervisors alliance, working with supervisee emotions, boundary issues in supervision, restorative functions of supervision, working toward genuine collaboration.


Training techniques that will be used


  • Pre-readings on the topic,
  • Participants will be asked to bring notes or a DVD illustrating a supervisory experience with a resistant supervisee,
  • Drawing on the literature to provide a comprehensive, up to date outline of the most salient issues
  • Whole group Fishbowl example to demonstrate a) the problems with resistance and b) effective ways to manage,
  • Small group (2 – 3 participants) discussions to explore supervisor issues in relation to supervisee resistance, building on the case example the supervisor had prepared prior to the workshop. Participants will be provided with instructions on methods of providing useful, constructive feedback,
  • Large group debriefing at the end of the workshop.


Evaluation of the resistance Master Class


There will be 2 forms of evaluation: a) evidence that the participant had prepared a supervisee case, including a self-reflection on their own resistance to share with peers; and b) a peer evaluation of participants’ engagement in discussion. Evidence of preparation can include: copies of case notes, DVD, list of issues would like to discuss. A peer feedback form will be designed in order for supervisors to evaluate a fellow participant.

Workshop topic 2

Using feedback systems to improve supervisee and supervisor effectiveness

(Facilitated by Aaron Frost)


Workshop goals


There is a new and growing literature around the value of ongoing outcome monitoring and formal client feedback to overall therapy process. Emerging data suggests that implementing these feedback systems can lead to dramatically reduced rates of client drop-out, whilst simultaneously improving overall client outcomes. The implications for this data are clear for individual psychologists, for supervising psychologists and for organisations. This workshop will give participants a firm grounding in the research around feedback and monitoring systems, as well as giving them practical skills to implement this approach in their own practice as well as with their supervisees and the agencies.


Major modules


Evaluating the Evidence – looking at the data around feedback systems and outcome monitoring in a range of clinical settings including supervision. Participants will be trained in how to evaluate the psychometric properties of potential measures as well as gaining a better grounding in contemporary effectiveness research, with a more full understanding of concepts such as Effect Size, Clinically Significant Change, Reliable Change Index etc.


Evaluating your own practice – Participants will be guided through a process of developing a workable system for outcome monitoring and feedback in their own work. Evidence around successful and unsuccessful implementations will be examined, and practical solutions discussed. Participants who have data will be encouraged to bring it to the workshop and it can be used as part of an experiential process of group data analysis and deconstruction.


Empirical Supervision – Supervising psychologists based on outcomes and feedback is a completely different process to what many psychologists will be used to. A heavy emphasis on data collection and hypotheses testing through n = 1 methodology replaces much of the typical supervisor dialogue. This can be difficult to manage without creating power imbalances. This section will cover the practical process of using data in supervision in order to create a culture of feedback.


Pursuing Excellence – Much of the previous material presented addresses how psychologists can move towards a solid quality assurance framework to be confident that they are meeting best practise standards. However, the tools that will be embedded through this workshop are the same tools that can be used for psychologists who want to go further and become high achievers in their respective fields. This section will examine demonstrated techniques for increasing performance as a psychologist.


Teaching method


The workshop will use a range of teaching methods including Didactic presentation, Role Play, Experiential processes, Group work and Reflective Practice.




Participants will be evaluated during the workshop as they develop ongoing learning plans to integrate the material from STAP into their day to day practice.

Workshop topic 3

Child and family cases

(Facilitated by Aaron Frost)


Workshop goals


To enhance supervisors understanding of the unique issues that can arise when supervising within the field of child and family therapy. Supervision of child work is a particular skill that often involves individual therapy but also family systems based work.  This introduces new complexities to therapy in terms of conceptualization, ethics, boundaries, and mechanisms for change.  In addition to the usual skills of supervision, child supervisors must have additional skills in managing these complexities. This workshop aims to provide a forum for supervisors to learn ways of addressing these challenges.


Areas of content


  • Understanding the ethical, legal and empirical basis of child work
    – Gillick competence and the right to seek anonymous treatment
    – Understanding who is the client and the implications of this for case management
    – Overview of evidence based practice for common presenting problems
  • Key Theoretical Orientations for Supervisees to be knowledgeable about
    – Behavioural
    – Attachment
    – Family Systems
    – Attributional / Cognitive
  • Assessment protocols for each theoretical orientation: helping supervisees to become familiar with each essential assessment component
    – SORCK, ABA and operationalization of behaviour
    – Strange situation, observed play, attachment tasks
    – Home observation, family history taking
    – Assessing cognitions in children
  • Outcome informed practice: making sure the supervisee effectively evaluates practice
    – N = 1 methodology
    – Multi measure, multi-baseline
    – Hypothesis driven treatment
    – Common outcome measures
    – Benchmarking supervisee effectiveness
  • Influencing Skills for Supervisees:
    – Working with parents
    – Working with teachers
    – Difficulties with engagement
    – Assessing impact on self


Training techniques that will be used


  • Pre-readings on the topic,
  • Participants will be asked to bring notes regarding issues / queries experienced in supervising within the child and family field,
  • Drawing on the literature to provide a comprehensive, up to date outline of the most salient issues,
  • Whole group Fishbowl examples to demonstrate a) challenges associated with supervision in this area, and b) effective ways to manage such challenges,
  • Small group (2-3 participants) discussions to explore supervisor issues in relation to supervisee resistance, building on a case example prepared by each supervisor prior to the workshop,
  • Large group debriefing at the end of the workshop.


Evaluation of the masterclass


There will be two forms of evaluation: a) evidence that the participant had prepared a supervisee case to share with peers; and b) a peer evaluation of participants’ engagement and discussion.

Workshop topic 4

Promoting self-care in supervision: the role of compassion and self-compassion

(Facilitated by Stan Steindl)


Workshop goals


Working as a psychologist is a great privilege. Our clients often come to us during some of the worst times in their lives, and in a sense they are asking, “Will you help me?” We get to be there with them and for them during these difficult times, and we get to be present with, and even resonate with, some of their most significant emotional experiences.


Our ability to empathise helps our clients to feel heard and understood, and to feel safe. However, it also means that we experience certain difficult emotions ourselves. Burnout can result, and supervision plays an essential part in helping psychologists monitor, manage and work through their experience of burnout and fatigue. Recent advances in the science of compassion have revealed that, rather than this burnout being “compassion fatigue”, it might actually be better described as “empathy fatigue” with compassion being something of the antidote.


This workshop will explore some of the recent developments in our understanding of compassion, including its evolutionary adaptation and some of the neuroscience of compassion, and explore the positive role compassion and self-compassion can play in psychologists’ self-care. Compassion helps strengthen coping skills, boosts feelings of social connection, and enhances our sense of meaning and contribution, while at the same time reminds us to keep one eye on developing our own self-compassion.


Areas of content


  • The human experience of suffering

  • The role of compassion and self-compassion in alleviating suffering

  • Definitions of compassion and characteristics of a compassionate person

  • The evolutionary science and neuroscience of compassion

  • Compassion is not boundless

  • Practicing compassion for others

  • The physical and psychological benefits of compassion for others

  • Empathic concerns versus personal distress

  • Practicing self-compassion

  • The physical and psychological benefits of self-compassion

  • A Compassion Focused Therapy primer

  • A Mindful Self-Compassion primer

  • Self-compassion for managing empathy fatigue and burnout

  • The Self-Compassion Break

  • Balancing giving and receiving compassion


Training techniques that will be used


  • Pre-readings on the topic,

  • Didactic presentation summarising the recent advances in the science of compassion,

  • Small group (2-4 participants) work to generate reflection and discussion,

  • Live and video demonstration,

  • Experiential exercises for later use in personal practice and supervision, and

  • Highly interactive with active participation and conversation encouraged.


Evaluation of the masterclass


There will be two forms of evaluation: a) four opportunities for personal reflection of learning and writing down key learning outcomes; and b) making a personal/professional practice commitment at the end of the workshop and providing a reflection on the experience of this within four weeks of completion of the workshop.

Workshop topic 5

Supervision in an org psych context: lifting our standards from good to great

(Facilitated by Judi Pears)


Workshop goals


Supervision in an organisational context is quite different in some ways to clinical supervision. However our goals remain the same – to upskill, support and develop supervisees in their professional practice. This masterclass workshop is specifically for supervisors working in an organisational context, with the aim of improving our supervisory relationships and practices and lifting our standards from good to great.


Areas of content


  • The contexts in which we work and how this impacts supervision

  • Improving the supervisory relationship

  • Assessing competence

  • Improving supervisory practices

  • Maintaining professional standards

  • The value of shared experiences

  • Reflective practice and feedback

  • Review of the day


Training approach


  • The workshop will use a range of teaching methods including experiential processes, group work, role play and reflective practice

  • Participants will be asked to bring a case study which explores difficulties they have experienced with a supervisee


Evaluation of the masterclass for supervisors working in an organisational context


Forms of evaluation include:

  1. Evidence that the participant had prepared a case study for discussion with peers. The case study should explore a difficult issue experienced with a supervisee, how that affected the supervisory relationship, a reflection on both the supervisor and supervisee’s response and how that contributed to the situation.
  2. Provision of constructive feedback to peers in group work.
  3. Self-rated assessment of improvement in participants’ supervisory skills.