Achieving effective supervision

David J. Kavanagh*, Susan H. Spence, Jill Wilson, Natasha Crow

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    32 Citations (Scopus)


    Supervision probably does have benefits both for the maintenance and improvement of clinical skills and for job satisfaction, but the data are very thin and almost non-existent in the area of alcohol and other drugs services. Because of the potential complexity of objectives and roles in supervision, a structured agreement appears to be an important part of the effective supervision relationship. Because sessions can degenerate easily into unstructured socialization, agendas and session objectives may also be important. While a working alliance based on mutual respect and trust is an essential base for the supervision relationship, procedures for direct observation of clinical skills, demonstration of new procedures and skills practice with detailed feedback appear critical to supervision's impact on practice. To ensure effective supervision, there needs not only to be a minimum of personnel and resources, but also a compatibility with the values and procedures of management and staff, access to supervision training and consultation and sufficient incentives to ensure it continues.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)247-252
    Number of pages6
    JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002


    • Alcohol
    • Drug
    • Supervision
    • Supervisor training


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