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THSP629 Professional Supervision Field Unit A

Teaching organisation

This unit involves 150 hours of focused learning, which reflects the standard volume of learning for a unit in a University qualification of this Australian Qualifications Framework type.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Graduates of programs in Ignatian Spirituality should develop knowledge and skills in this discipline and demonstrate a capacity to critically analyse, synthesise and evaluate the various ways in which their personal development impacts upon and contributes to their professional roles. In this unit students will continue to explore the necessary professional skills that will equip them as practitioners in professional supervision. They will learn to maintain confidentiality in mandatory disclosure issues or other critical situations, as well as to navigate cultural, religious and political differences along with language difficulties. They will also learn to identify and engage constructively with the additional challenges to the supervisory process that emerge from an engagement with information and other technologies. The unit aims to assist already-practising supervisors from a range of multidisciplinary fields, including spiritual direction, ministry (religious and lay), counselling, psychotherapy, allied health and leadership, to develop their skills and expertise in professional supervision. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Describe and analyse critically the professional skills necessary to implement a supervisory process with a supervisee (GA3; GA4); 

LO2 - Evaluate and engage critically with feedback in professional practice (GA4; GA8); 

LO3 - Analyse the skills necessary to identify and respond to a range of complex situations (GA6; GA8); 

LO4 - Outline the skills necessary to develop and maintain effective professional practice within ethical and legal standards (GA3); 

LO5 - Critically review supervision sessions and engage in reflective practice (GA7; GA8). 

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 


Topics Include: 

  • Creating a multi-dimensional supervisory framework; 
  • Reflective analysis and theoretical integration of current supervisory practice; 
  • Creativity and growth in Supervision: alternative approaches to expand supervisory stances and resources; 
  • Personal and Professional Development: critical areas, general and context specific, for effective supervisory practice and process; 
  • Individual and co-supervision: principles and practice, models and issues; 
  • Collegial resources and processes: maintaining forms of collegial interaction; resilience; 
  • Working with difference: intercultural, theological and contextual issues; 
  • Supervisory application with reflective review and integrative evaluation process; 
  • Working with resistance and impasse situations in supervisory process, managing conflict; 
  • Current issues in supervisory practice for participants: theoretical integration and consideration of alternative approaches;
  • Areas of ongoing realities for supervision: mandatory supervision issues, online methods; 
  • Working with supervisory mistakes and creating redemptive pathways in supervisory process; 
  • Supervisory application using current examples, drawing together current supervisory practice, learning opportunities, theoretical and professional resources; 
  • Celebration and transformation in the supervisory process. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

THSP630 will be delivered in multi-mode, that is, in various combinations of face to face and mediated learning environments, utilising strategies which may include: 

  1. Self-directed activities (such as completing scaffolded reading tasks or web-based exercises) which enable each student to build a detailed understanding of a topic; 
  2. Small-group tasks and activities (such as contributing to discussion forums or undertaking peer review) which enable students to test, critique, expand and evaluate their understandings; 
  3. Plenary seminars and webinars which enable students to link their understandings with larger frameworks of knowledge and alternative interpretations of ideas; 
  4. Practical or fieldwork activities which enable students to rehearse skills necessary to the discipline and to be mentored in that practice; 
  5. Critically reflective activities (such as a guided Examen or private journal-writing) which assist students to learn reflexively, that is, to identify their affective responses to the learning and to integrate their learning with action. 

The unit is delivered with the expectation that participants are adult learners, intrinsically motivated and prepared to reflect critically on issues as well as on their own learning and perspectives. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to pass this unit, students are required to complete all assessment tasks and achieve an overall minimum grade of pass. All assessment tasks are designed for students to show their achievement of each learning outcome and graduate attribute. They require students to demonstrate the nexus between their learning, dispositions, and the practice of supervision, and the evidence on which this demonstration is based. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

1. Supervision Journal Log (at least 3000 words). This task is designed to enable students to reflect on their learning and to demonstrate proficiency in the professional skills necessary to implement a supervisory process with a supervisee. 


LO1, LO2 

GA3, GA4, GA8 

2. 3000-word critical reflection on a Group Project. This task is designed to provide students with the opportunity to consolidate their learning by reflecting critically on their Supervision practice in narrative form. 


LO3, LO4, LO5 

GA3, GA6, GA7, GA8 

Representative texts and references

Bumpus, Mary Rose and Rebecca Langer. Supervision of Spiritual Directors: Engaging in Holy Mystery. Harrisberg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 2005. 

Campbell, Jane M. Becoming an Effective Supervisor: A Workbook for Counsellors and Psychotherapists. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group, 2000. 

Campbell, Jane M. Essentials of Clinical Supervision. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2006. 

Carroll, Michael, and Maria C. Gilbert. On Being a Supervisee: Creating Learning Partnerships. London, UK: Vukani Publishing, 2005. 

Frawley-O’Dea, Mary Gail, and Mary E. Sarnat. The Supervisory Relationship: A Contemporary Psychodynamic Approach. New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 2001. 

Hawkins, Peter and Robin Shohet. Supervision in the Helping Professions, 4th ed. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press, 2012.

Page, Steve, and Val Wosket. Supervising the Counsellor and Psychotherapist: A Cyclical Model, 3rd ed. Hove: Routledge, 2015. 

Paterson, Michael, and Jessica Rose. Enriching Ministry: Pastoral Supervision in Practice. London, UK: SCM, 2014. 

Scaife, Joyce. Supervision in Clinical Practice: A Practitioner’s Guide, 2nd ed. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group, 2019. 

Shohet, Robin. Passionate Supervision. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008. 

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