Murdock Bishop, Jennifer L.

Committee Member

Pendleton-Helm, Heather M.

Committee Member

Wright, Stephen L.

Committee Member

Peterson, Lori Y.


College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, Department of Applied Psychology and Counselor Education


College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, Department of Applied Psychology and Counselor Education

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Place of Publication

Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



180 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


This narrative study attempted to explore the experience of beginning counselor educators in providing supervision to doctoral supervisors-in-training. The need for a greater understanding of the supervision-of-supervision process is well recognized within the profession of counseling (e.g., Barker & Hunsley, 2013; Borders & Giordano, 2016). Four counselor educators in the beginning years of employment at a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (2015) accredited counselor education and supervision doctoral program provided narratives of their own experiences providing supervision-of-supervision. Nine themes and 18 subthemes emerged from the data analysis; the following nine themes were confirmed by the participants of this study: Uncertainty, Imposter Phenomenon, Overwhelm in a Variety of Professional Roles, Accomplishment and Validation, Experience of Navigating Conflict, Liability, Elements that Provided Support, Elements that Proved to Be Challenging, and Elements that Might Be Helpful. The story that unfolded from the words of the participants conveyed an experience that at times was overwhelming with a great deal of uncertainty while also providing a sense of accomplishment and validation. The themes aligned with research within the profession of counselor education (e.g., Borders et al., 2011; Boswell et al., 2017) and higher education (e.g., Murray, 2008; Waalkes, 2016). The implications from this study provided suggestions for faculty members within counselor education doctoral programs that could be implemented to ease the transition for these beginning faculty supervisors. These suggestions included the assignment of a faculty member mentor who facilitated reflection on entering the role of faculty supervisor, greater clarity in department dynamics and procedures, as well as providing opportunities for continued education surrounding guiding doctoral supervisor identity development. This continued education could be provided for advanced doctoral students as well as beginning faculty members. Areas of recommended future research included a greater exploration of the supervisor identity development stages, the development of more unified evaluation criteria of doctoral supervisors-in-training, and ways in which faculty mentors could assist beginning counselor educators in the transition to faculty supervisor.

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