By Julia Menaul
A Supervisee's Journey Through Supervision

A Supervisee's Journey Through Supervision

Many coaches once in supervision report how much they change and learn as time goes on. Sometimes its helpful to look at this model to assess where you are as a supervisee and where you direction oftravel needs to go.

A Developmental Model of Supervision.

Adapted from Hawkins and Smith 2006.

Focus of Supervision

Concern of Supervisee

Level I – Self Centred



“Can I make it in this work?”

Level II – Client Centred

“Can I help this client make it?”


Level III – Process Centred

“How are we relating together?


Level IV – Process- in- Context -centred

“How do processes interconnect?”



Level I Self-centred:

  • Supervisee dependent on supervisor
  • Supervisees maybe anxious, insecure about role as coach
  • May lack insight but highly motivated
  • Apprehension about being evaluated or assessed by supervisor
  • Anxiety about focusing on one self
  • Tend to focus on specific aspects of clients history, current situation or personality assessments.
  • Maybe impatient and fearful about never being able to move on from stuckness
  • Prone to premature judgement of client and self
  • Supervisor needs to balance support and uncertainty for supervisee


Level II Client Centred:

  • Fluctuations between dependence and autonomy for supervisee and between over confidence and being overwhelmed
  • Less simplistic and single focused
  • Realisation on emotional level that becoming a coach is long and arduous
  • Loss of confidence and simplicity may lead to supervisee anger at supervisor, holding their supervisor responsible for disillusionment. Can lead to supervisor being seen as incompetent by supervisee for “failing them”.
  • Supervisor needs to be less structured/ didactic but provide emotional support for feelings oscillating between excitement and disappointment.



Level III Process Centred:

  • Supervision becomes more collegial (sharing and examples alongside professional and personal confronting)
  • Supervisee now able to flex approach to client to meet individual and specific needs
  • Able to see wider context and develop helicopter skills
  • Able to be fully present with client but also to widen out to – relationship with client, client’s personal history/life patterns, client’s external life circumstances, clients life stage, social context, ethnic background.
  • Less apparent where supervisee has received coaching schooling as incorporated learning into own personality rather than piece of learnt methodology.


Level IV: Process-in-Context –Centred:

  • Can be seen as Level III Integrated – Practitioner now at Master level i.e. personal autonomy, insightful awareness, personal security, stable motivation, awareness about confronting own personal and professional problems. “Who you are is how you coach”.
  • Not about acquiring more knowledge but deepening and integrating until it becomes wisdom.


Making an assessment as a coach in supervision on which level you may be, helps to underpin a reflective discussion with your supervisor on what needs to be changed or developed to increase capacity. It also helps during sessions when doubts may creep in for both to know that its is normal and you are on the right track!

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Julia Menaul

Accredited Coaching Supervisor

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