This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Impact of Supervision on Counselor Self-efficacy: Working with Suicidal Clients




Powers, Dixie

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling


Crises are becoming more prevalent in today’s society leading to increased preparedness of counselors to work in crisis interventions. Given that suicide rates have increased by 60% in the last 50 years counselors must be trained in risk assessments and feel confident in effectively providing care to individuals who are suicidal. Supervision has been found to promote counselor self-efficacy (Bernard & Goodyear, 2013; Cashwell & Dooley, 2001; Kozina, Grabovari, Stefano, & Drapeau, 2010), but limited research has studied how supervision plays a role in counselor’s self-efficacy when working with suicidal clients specifically. The current study examined the relationship between elements of supervision (e.g. Rapport, Client Focus, Feedback, and Goal setting) on counselor’s self-efficacy when working with suicidal clients. Ninety individuals participated in the study who identified as either counselors-in-training who are currently enrolled in a master’s program or two years post master’s. Participants completed the following measures: The Counselor Suicide Assessment Efficacy Survey (CSAES;Douglas & Wachter Morris, 2015), The Supervisory Working Alliance Inventory (SWAI; Efstation et al., 1990), and The Evaluation Process with Supervision Inventory (EPSI ; Lehrman-Waterman & Ladany, 2001). Results indicated that goal setting in supervision is an important predictor and positively related to counselor self-efficacy when working with suicidal clients. The results of the study provide implications for supervisors and counselor educators in the field by demonstrating the importance of developing specific goals for the supervisee to work toward. Limitations, directions for future research, and implications are further discussed.