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Strengths-Based Supervision in Clinical Practice

Strengths-Based Supervision in Clinical Practice

April 2012 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

The Next Generation of Supervision Practices in Clinical Settings

Author Jeffrey K. Edwards reframes the model of supervision, management, and leadership in clinical practice using an approach that focuses on collaboration and strength-building, with supervisees as competent stakeholders in their work with clients. Deconstructing the usual top-down hierarchy, this text leads the reader through the full range of supervision practices, from the clinical aspects to the administration of all organizations where clinicians are trained, supervised, and encouraged to excel and grow. Edwards starts with a review of the traditional clinical supervision model (two full chapters) and moves on to his strengths-based model, which covers agency and organizational work—all examined using a contemporary, social construction approach.


Part I- In the Beginning
1. The History and Traditions of Clinical Supervision
2. Executive Skills of Strengths-Based Supervision
Part II- A Time for a Change to a New Model
3. A Time for Change
4. Strengths-Based Clinical Supervision Primer: Social Constructivism and Postmodernism
5. Strengths-Based Clinical Supervision Primer: From the Roots of Psychology
6. Larger Systems: Strengths-Based Management and Leadership
Part III- Faces of Strength: Putting my Currency where my Mouth Is
7. Supervision Sessions and Personnel Management: Vantage Point, Point of View, and Perspective
8. Two Case Studies
Part IV- Moving into the Future
9. Lessons Learned and Where to from Here?
10. Epilogue

"Dr. Edwards has provided a positive strengths-based overview of clinic-based supervision. Supervisors will come away with a new, more positive approach on how to conduct their relationships with those they supervise. The book is especially strong on the MFT forms of supervision though other approaches are also referenced. The illustrations from his interactions with supervisees are especially helpful in fleshing out the ideas he is highlighting. Supervisors in clinical settings will find much to consider in this volume."

David J. Norton, Ph.D., LMFT
Centennial Counseling Center

"Strengths-Based Supervision in Clinical Practice is a clear shift toward the relational and mutual supervisory practice that challenges and encourages the clinician to move beyond the established hierarchical models of supervision. Intentional and conversational in its presentation, the author affords the reader a refreshing, empowering, and integrated command of clinically oriented practices."

Thomas Scofield, Ph.D., LPC, NCC
Department of Professional Counseling, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

"Jeffrey Edwards provides a refreshing conversational style in which to communicate the distinctions and, dare I say, strengths of a strengths-based clinical supervisory stance. While acknowledging the contributions of other supervisory theories, Edwards offers a lively re-viewing of key tenets of the counseling profession's philosophical roots that mesh with his strengths-based model of clinical supervision. Counselor education has always struggled reaching the masters level supervisor and Edwards' book may be the first for use in the counseling profession to do so in such a clinically relevant way that fully embraces the systematicity of field-based clinical supervision."

David M. Kleist, Ph.D.
Idaho State University

A great book to help practitioners focus on quality supervision.

Mrs Kerry Fidler
School of Social Work, University of Leicester
February 16, 2015

I am still considering it and need to compare it to other texts as well.

Dr Jo Hittner
Counselor Education Dept, Winona State University
November 1, 2013

supports the progression of students into qualified nursing career. is a useful guide on top of health board provision of what effective supervision is in clinical practice

Mr Hywel Thomas
College of Human and Health science, Swansea University
July 15, 2013

Very important text which provides in depth understanding of strength based perspectives

Dr Shepard Masocha
School of Social Policy, Sociology & Social Research, University of Kent
June 15, 2013

Course not specifically about "clinical" supervision.

Mr Charles Baker
School Of Social Work, Spalding University
May 30, 2013

This is a well written and well thought out text that will appeal to learners.

Practitioners and supervisors with a wide range of experience will be able to make good use of this text.

Mr Craig Thompson
Depart, Northumbria University
January 9, 2013

I have recommended this text to students who are completing four year B Sc nursing and about to undertake 36 week internship programme prior to registration. The advantage of this text is its adoption of a strengths based approach which is the foundation of my teaching approach for practice intervention in mental health setting. The intention of recommending this text is to provide students with supplemental reading and future direction relating to professional supervision.

Dr Ann Sheridan
School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems, University College Dublin
November 28, 2012
Key features


  • Broad and rich tone for all who are interested in providing excellent supervision at any level
  • Complete review of the supervisory field to date with historical perspective and reviews of traditional clinical supervision models
  • Comprehensive presentation of the strengths-based model, which includes narrative- and solutions-focused concepts, as well as positive psychology and organizational/leadership management methods and theories
  • Theory and application suggestions of how to apply these to clinical supervisory settings
  • Vignettes and case studies with real-life examples of supervision practices in action
  • Emphasis on multicultural and cross-cultural influences on the field of supervision with an excellent review of the literature on cultural considerations in clinical supervision
  • Alternative methods and theories of change at the macro level that parallel those of strengths-based clinical work

Sample Materials & Chapters


ch 1 & 2

ch 5

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