What is Professional Supervision For Counsellors?


 All practicing full members of ACA (level 1 to 4), including supervisors, are required to undertake annual supervision to maintain their status as practicing members. Supervision is a mandatory requirement of most professional organisations and should be written into any contracts where a counsellor is employed. Counsellors in private practice are responsible for organising their own supervision. To facilitate this, a register of Supervisors can be found on the ACA web site.

College of Supervisors and have met stringent entry criteria.

Supervision is the process whereby a counsellor can speak to someone who is trained to identify any behavioural and/or psychological changes in the counsellor that could be due to an inability to cope with issues of one or more clients. A supervisor is also responsible for challenging practices and informing supervisee’s of alternative theories and/or new practices, as well as changes in the industry. The supervisor is responsible for observing the mental health of their supervisee in turn protecting the public from poor practices. Counsellors can face issues such as transference and burn out without any recognition of the symptoms. A professional supervisor would notice the symptoms long before the counsellor. Supervision is a learned discipline separate from counselling.

Supervision undertaken by an ACA member must be delivered by either a “Registered Supervisor” or an ACA “Recognised Supervisor”.

One on One Supervision: This is possibly the most sort after and popular form of Supervision.

This mode of supervision is as it suggests a coalition of a supervisor and a supervisee. One on one usually takes place in a face to face situation however it can also be conducted using the phone, skype and web.

What constitutes a “Registered Supervisor”


An ACA registered supervisor is an ACA member who is a current member of the ACA College of Supervisors. To verify whether a supervisor is in fact an ACA registered supervisor you can go the ACA Register on the ACA web site and conduct a search for supervisors or ring 1300784333 and an ACA staff member will help you.

Professional Supervision is not


  1. Someone watching over your shoulder whilst you practise.
  2. A discussion between two or more practitioners;
  3. Being supervised whilst on a field placement when completing your initial counselling qualification;
  4. Discussing personal matters with a counsellor.

Supervision is: A formal arrangement for counsellors to discuss their work regularly with someone who is experienced in counselling and supervision. The task is to work together to ensure and develop the efficiency of the counsellor/client relationship. Professional supervision is a process to maintain adequate standards of counselling and a method of consultancy to widen the horizons of an experienced practitioner.

Counselling exposes counsellors to situations that impose a great demand on practitioners emotional and professional well-being. This demand can lead to becoming enmeshed and over involved leading to ineffective practice. Counsellors cannot in all cases be objective about their own abilities, agendas and practices. A supervisor can be objective and help the counsellor to grow and learn. The supervisor can ensure that the counsellor is meeting the needs of their clients and keeping to ethical and professional standards. Supervisors will also help counsellors relate practice to theory and visa versa. Supervisors are most likely to identify potential mental health issues in the Supervisee before they become a problem.

Who needs to have a Professional Supervisor?

  1. All ACA registered practising counsellors;
  2. Any person whose job has a large component that involves them dealing with people in crisis;
  3. Most professionals who work in the Human Services industry;
  4. Any other person who believes it would be advantageous;
  5. Professional Supervisors


How to choose a Professional supervisor?


What are you looking for in a supervisor? How do you best learn? What kind of experience are you looking for in your supervisor that could add value to your practice? What other issues are important to you, such as availability face-to-face, phone or online?  Check with your association regarding their requirement for a supervisor. .

About David as a Professional Supervisor


David Nielsen is a skilled and insightful counsellor with over 20 years’ professional experience. He is a member of the Australian Counselling Association, and has worked extensively in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. David specialises in providing effective therapeutic support to adolescents, individual adults, couples and families. 

David is down-to-earth, non-judgmental and respectful: he creates a safe and trusting environment for his clients to discuss, explore, and resolve their concerns. Even in the most trying of circumstances, David gives his clients the support they need to turn their most challenging circumstances into opportunities for positive change. David equips his clients with practical strategies and workable solutions to all manner of concerns and difficulties. David is especially skilled at helping clients to manage conflict and improve their relationships.

David has a client-centred and outcome-focused approach to counselling. He tailors each session according to his clients’ unique personal needs and situations. David integrates several contemporary modalities of counselling into his practice, including Gottman Method Couples Therapy, Systemic Family Therapy, and Solution-Focused Therapy. He is strongly committed to helping his clients achieve their personal and professional life goals.