Teaching and Supervision in Counseling

Author ORCID Identifier


Author Biographies

Colleen Grunhaus, Ph.D., LCMHC, NCC, ACS, is an assistant professor in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at University of the Cumberlands. Her research interests include counselor wellness such as counselor burnout and secondary traumatic stress, and counselor experiences of client suicide.

Thomas J. Ward is chancellor professor in the School of Education at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Among his primary research interests are the structure of aptitude measures, the use of data modeling for teaching and school improvement, the use of test data in decision making, and at-risk programs evaluation. His doctorate in educational psychology was received from the Pennsylvania State University.

Victor E. Tuazon, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, BC-TMH is an assistant professor of counselor education at New Jersey City University. His primary research interests include addictions, trauma, grief and loss, and multicultural topics.

Kristal James, Ph.D., LCMHC, NCC, ACS is an assistant professor at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Their research interests include mentorship and supervision.




This study investigates the prediction of supervisee burnout and secondary traumatic stress by perceived supervisor servant leadership. Authors hypothesized that the servant leadership of supervisors would predict diminished burnout and secondary traumatic stress of supervisees. A sample of 241 counseling supervisees participated in the cross-sectional study and completed instruments measuring burnout, secondary traumatic stress, and perceived servant leadership of their direct supervisors. Data were analyzed with two simple linear regressions, and a one-way MANOVA was performed to determine if supervisee burnout, supervisee secondary traumatic stress, and perceived servant leadership of supervisors differed significantly according to supervisor type (i.e., clinical, administrative, or dual role). Results confirmed the main hypothesis, and administrative supervisors were perceived to demonstrate significantly less servant leadership qualities than the other two supervisor types. Limitations, avenues for future research, and implications for counselor education and supervision are discussed.

Public Significance Statement

This study indicated that counselor supervisees experience less burnout and secondary traumatic stress when they have supervisors who emulate a servant leadership style of supervision. Additionally, it reported that administrative supervisors demonstrated significantly less servant leadership qualities than clinical supervisors and dual role supervisors. Counselor supervisors might consider including servant leadership attributes in their supervisory approach to promote counselor supervisee wellness.