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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 74-75

Role of supportive supervision in capacity building of ICTC counselors

Department of Psychology, University of Jammu, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Date of Web Publication8-Dec-2015

Correspondence Address:
Sarita Sood
Department of Psychology, University of Jammu, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.170998

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How to cite this article:
Sood S. Role of supportive supervision in capacity building of ICTC counselors. Indian J Community Med 2016;41:74-5

How to cite this URL:
Sood S. Role of supportive supervision in capacity building of ICTC counselors. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 Sep 17];41:74-5. Available from: https://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2016/41/1/74/170998


It is important to highlight the role of supportive supervision in capacity building of the Integrated Counselling and testing Centre (ICTC) counsellors so that the effective counselling services are provided to the clients. ICTC counsellors are the most important functionary as they are involved in pre-test and post-test counselling. They give information on prevention of HIV infection, to cope with an HIV test result and to understand the implications of lifelong treatment in case of positive results. They also provide immediate psychosocial support to the clients in crisis. Regular supportive supervision can be important in making counselling services effective while focusing on the counsellors. Supportive supervision shows improvement in skill development of counsellors in varied health settings.

Supportive supervision is a distinct intervention that is provided by the competent senior member of a profession to a junior member of that same profession. It is an evaluative relationship which extends over time. It ensures enhancement of the professional functioning of the junior members, and also in monitoring the quality of professional services offered to the clients. Counselling supervision is process oriented, and it has to be continuous. It is a conversation based learning which is collaborative with both evaluative and facilitative components. [1] Within counselling it is mandatory to supervise the counsellors as continuous fine-tuning of the skills of counsellors is required. [2] This equips counsellors to address various needs of their clients in comprehensive and sustainable manner.

As a wide variety of tasks make the ICTC counsellor's job highly demanding, it leads to the burnout. The role of supportive supervisor is to provide the support and intervention to the counsellor to an extent that the counsellor is kept involved in rendering efficient services. The supervisor helps take care of the burnout and ensures counsellors regaining and revival. Therefore, all counsellors need supervision to resolve various issues which otherwise can emotionally drain the counsellors involved. The supportive supervision is helpful in attaining certain levels of job satisfaction too.

Project SAKSHAM mainly focused on the supportive supervision initiated by Global funds to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria Round 7 (GFATM R-7) for the capacity building of the counsellors. It involved quarterly visits by the supportive supervisors to the ICTCs. The supportive supervision catered to the professional needs of the counsellors through their continual assessment and development of the competencies. The burnout issues and the job satisfaction of the counsellors were also in the perview of the supportive supervision. Due to the closing of the GFATM R-7 project SAKSHAM in March 2015, the process of capacity building is severed. ICTC counsellors no longer have supportive supervision and they are left in lurch. The mandatory supervision of the counsellors has been evaded though in the previous studies carried out on ICTC counsellors the need for their continuous capacity building has been reflected. [3] The capacity building of counsellors is essential and the supportive supervision is indispensable.

In case the purpose of mentoring, empowering, developing competencies, helping in overcoming difficulties, and managing various issues faced by the ICTC counsellors cannot be carried out with the regular supportive supervision system requiring visits by the supervisor, alternatively technology assisted supportive supervision should be employed as scaffolding. Technology assisted supportive supervision would involve supervisor-counsellor interactions using phone and internet. [4] This would keep them connected for the management of HIV/AIDS. Hence, effective services to clients shall not be affected.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

American Psychological Association (APA). Guidelines for Clinical Supervision in Health Service Psychology 2014. Available from: http://apa.org/about/policy/guidelines-supervision.pdf. [Last accessed on 2014 Dec 24].   Back to cited text no. 1
Pugh L. A helping hand. Nurs Stand 1998;12:22-3.  Back to cited text no. 2
Mukherjee S, Ghosh S, Goswami DN, Samanta A. Performance evaluation of PPTCT (Prevention of parent to child transmission of HIV) programme: An experience from West Bengal. Indian J Med Res 2012;136:1011-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Australian Counselling Association (ACA). ACA policy document on professional supervision 2013. Available from: http://www.theaca.net.au/documents/ACA%20-Supervision%-20Policy%202013.pdf. [Last accessed on 2014 Dec 21].  Back to cited text no. 4

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