The perceptions of supervising counselors regarding alternative methods of communication
Kenneth Grant McCurdy, Ohio University, United States
Ohio University . Awarded
Face-to-face supervision of counselors-in-training may be quite difficult or even impossible in some situations. The lack of qualified supervisors and great distances that may exist between a supervisor and supervisee may cause hardships. Computer mediated communication, referred to as WebSupervision, and the telephone allow counselors-in-training to access qualified supervisors and overcome difficulties associated with geographical distance. The perceptions of supervising counselors who are members of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) regarding each of the WebSupervision modalities (e-mail, internet chat, and video conferencing) and the telephone were examined. Subjects were asked to assess their abilities to effectively conduct supervision through the WebSupervison modalities, the telephone and through face-to-face supervision.
The results were analyzed using a single group repeated measures design, bivariate correlation procedures and post hoc analyses. The results indicate that the perceptions of supervising counselors differ significantly regarding supervision provided through the telephone, each WebSupervision modality and face-to-face supervision. Supervising counselors generally rate face-to-face supervision as the most effective communication modality with video conferencing and the telephone also perceived in the most effective range. Participants slightly disagreed with the notion that they could supervise effectively, using internet chat or e-mail as the sole communication method. Significant relationships exist between the perceptions of supervising counselors regarding WebSupervision and supervisors' comfort level with each communication modality. No significant relationships were found between the perceptions of supervising counselors regarding supervision provided through WebSupervision and the farthest distance traveled during supervision.
Most supervising counselors in this study appear to be open to the use of the telephone and video conferencing to conduct counselor supervision, especially if these communication modalities are used in conjunction with face-to-face supervision. The results should be viewed with caution due to the low response rate, apparent limited number of active supervisors in the sample, and the uncertainty of the actual effectiveness of WebSupervision. Future research needs to assess beyond perceptions and examine the actual effectiveness of WebSupervision as a viable means to supervise counselors and counselors-in-training.
McCurdy, K.G. The perceptions of supervising counselors regarding alternative methods of communication. Ph.D. thesis, Ohio University.
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