Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Counseling and Human Development

Degree Program

Counseling and Personnel Services, PhD

Committee Chair

Balkin, Richard S.

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Washington, Ahmad R.

Committee Member

McCubbin, Laurie

Committee Member

Pennington, Robert C.

Author's Keywords

reality therapy; supervision; counselor education; counseling; psychotherapy based supervision


Clinical supervision is the signature pedagogy of counseling, with most professional counselors engaging in some type of supervision during their careers (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014). Psychotherapy-based models of supervision are the oldest models, originally intended to train supervisees to practice a specific psychotherapy (e.g., psychodynamic, behavioral; Watkins & Scaturo, 2013). Pearson (2006) indicated that contemporary clinical supervision could be informed by both the research in the role of development in clinical supervision and the tenets of a theory of psychotherapy. Although Pearson (2006) provided a conceptualization of psychotherapy-driven models of supervision, there is little research into the efficacy of such models. Reality therapy is a psychotherapy designed to enhance client responsibility in making choices to meet needs by examining client wants and behaviors toward meet wants, then promoting client self-evaluation of behaviors to determine if new or modified actions may better meet personal wants (Wubbolding, 2011). Reality therapy is an established psychotherapy used with clients and can be conceptualized as a psychotherapy driven supervision model. A reality therapy driven supervision model is described in this paper as a model that applies the tenets of internal control psychology v and self-evaluation to both the client-counselor relationship and the supervisee-supervisor relationship to improve supervisee’s practice of counseling and use of supervision. This study is a single-case research design to evaluate the proposed reality therapy driven model of clinical supervision as an effective model for increasing supervisee report of counseling skill use and counseling self-efficacy. Three participant supervisees received reality therapy driven supervision during part of their semester-long clinical field experience. The findings indicated that for two of the three participants, self-report of skills and self-efficacy significantly increased during the reality therapy driven supervision phase, while accounting for the supervisees’ predicted growth trend. The third participant did not have a significant change in self-report of skills or self-efficacy; however, all three participants evaluated the reality therapy driven supervision process positively, stating that the model promoted self-evaluation and accountability. The results may indicate that reality therapy driven supervision may be an effective model for some supervisees. Discussion includes implications for supervision practice and future research.