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Jul 2016 by PCI College

Why choose our Advanced Diploma in Supervision

Programme Leader Willie Egan introduces the team and our approach. The Programme is ideal for those whose career development has taken them to a place where they feel that Supervision is the next logical step. It is suitable for those who hold a Diploma or Degree in Counselling, Social Work, Sociology, Psychology or other related disciplines.

As programme leader on PCI College’s Advanced Diploma in Supervision Programme, I would like to introduce myself, my team and the programme for 2016/7.

The Team
I have been lecturing with PCI College (in collaboration with Middlesex University) on their B.Sc. Programme for the past 10 years, having previously worked as a lecturer in WIT. I have a private practice in Kilkenny for over 15 years, offering therapeutic and supervision services. When PCI College (also in collaboration with Middlesex University) decided some years ago to offer an Advanced Diploma in Supervision (following IACP’s directive for Supervisors to have formal training), I was immediately drawn to the module that trains students in the key arena of the multi-dynamics of Supervision Ethics and Contracts, i.e. “Ethics and Professional Issues in Supervision” which deals with the ethical complexities of supervision and the many role and responsibilities of Supervisors. This is just one of 3 such interesting Modules on our Programme, the others 2 being “Theories & Skills in Supervision” (Lecturer: the vastly experienced Germaine Morrissey who has been lecturing with PCI College for many years) and an introduction to “Group & Organisational Supervision” (Lecturer: Mike Hackett, Faculty Lecturer with PCI College, who previously worked in Private Practice and the Corporate Sector).


The team of Germaine, Mike and I are all accredited members of either IACP or IAHIP and offer an interesting blend of theoretical approaches, lecturing styles and indeed personalities!

The Programme
The Programme is 100 hours in total, is run over 8 weekends from Oct to May in one academic year, and has an appropriate component of external clinical work under supervision.

Who is it geared towards? The Programme is ideal for those whose career development has taken them to a place where they feel that Supervision is the next logical step. It is suitable for those who hold a Diploma or Degree in Counselling, Social Work, Sociology, Psychology or other related disciplines.

What’s it’s Purpose? Supervision has many roles, which will to a large degree be determined by the format or forum within which the supervisor is practicing. But in general, PCI’s vision of the role can be collectively defined thus: to bring objectivity to what can be a very subjective experience for the supervisee, to bring structure to what at times seems like a pretty unstructured process that is therapy, to bring clarity to what may be unclear and to bring kindness, support, strategies and vision to the inevitable isolation and self-doubt suffered by most therapists at some stage of their careers.

Some of the practical issues explored are: what is the purpose of supervision... what is the role of the supervisor....what are the essential skills of the supervisor...and what might a typical supervision session agenda look like? Other issues explored are: is supervision the same as training? Is it the same as counselling? What makes it different? These are just some of the questions with which our Programme engages its student as the crucial role of supervision and the wonderful comfort, enlightenment and security it can bring to supervisees.

Our Programme prepares our students in all of these vital areas.

Training Methodology: Much research literature is now available regarding Supervision and Supervision training from varying theoretical and philosophical perspective; hence a simple a “cut and paste” approach from the many splendid Theorists, Books and Academic Papers on the subject would have in itself make for a really interesting programme. But that is not the PCI way and isn’t in keeping with my own “experiential” brain which would perceive that model of training to be more “transmissional” than “transformational” and of limited benefit to students. Rather I feel it’s much more productive if the students are given a solid introduction to those Theorists, Books, Articles and Papers and then have those theories integrated in the classroom in an experiential “on-the-ground” approach to the counselling supervision process, using role-plays, debates, videos, PowerPoint Presentation and practice...ideal training for both the end-of-year Viva examination and a future career as a Supervisor.

IACP: Our Programme meets IACP’s criteria for such a training Programme, including a significant element of further Personal Development throughout our Programme to ensure the ethical nature of the Supervisory Role.

Why more Personal Development? If we simplistically view the supervisor as a product of Theoretical Training, Skills Training and Ethical Training, then in theory we should all practice the same in our supervisory capacity...but experience tells us that each supervisor, aside from their philosophical position on supervision, is different. Have you ever wondered why? It’s because there is another key component of each practitioner, i.e. the “Self”. It is this Self which ensures that, despite the consistency and monitoring/evaluations of all training institutes regarding theoretical understanding and skills, all supervisors will be different. This Self component is potentially the best attribute of the practitioner but also potentially the worst if key personal development training has not brought unconscious issues to light such as transference, counter-transference, projection, mirroring and Blind Spots....the supervisor must be aware of the Self in his/her own role, in terms of the potential shadow side of the need to control, communication efficiency, feedback style and other potential blind spots.
PCI’s programme incorporates all such training in a very real and meaningful way.

Career Potential: Once you graduate, you can immediately apply to IACP or other accreditation bodies for accreditation as a one-to-one supervisor either in Private Practice or in an Organisational setting.

As such I would warmly recommend it to anyone thinking of furthering their knowledge or careers at this developmental point of their training.

Willie Egan Programme Leader, Advanced Diploma in Supervision


Willie Egan MIACP

Programme Leader


Willie is a Faculty Lecturer and Core Tutor for PCI College where he lectures on the Certificate and Degree Programmes. He is an experienced and fully accredited therapist & supervisor offering counselling and psychotherapy services to individuals in private practice and supervision to Counsellors. Willie also has expertise is in the field of adolescent culture and he is a HSE Adolescent Mentor.


Click here to enrol on the Advanced Diploma in Supervision

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