is an electronic platform for learning therapy skills. It is based on established psychotherapy evidence that suggests the following:

  • Proficient use of therapeutic-relationship skills characterizes effective therapists, regardless of the psychotherapy approach used by the therapist.
  • These relationship skills can be learned through deliberate practice.
  • Student acquisition of these skills facilitates student development as effective therapists. can be used in individual supervision, group supervision, and other classes involving supervision (e.g. practicum classes). The advantages of using Skillsetter in these supervision experiences include the following:

  • Skillsetter focuses supervision on student therapy skills.
  • Students can practice therapy skills on their own, without the anxiety of being observed.
  • Supervisors and instructors provide feedback targeted at specific skills.
  • Supervisors and instructors can monitor student progress across time.

Integrating Skillsetter for Supervision

One of the issues with clinical supervision is that the feedback provided to students is not typically focused on particular skills that therapists need to acquire to be effective. Even when such feedback is provided to students during supervision, students rarely have the opportunity to practice the skills and improve their use of the skill in therapy. Integrating into supervision provides a means to practice therapy skills.

The steps involved in using Skillsetter for supervision are presented below.

Step 1—Integrate Skillsetter into Supervision Contract or Class

The use of Skillsetter for supervision is a novel approach for most students and needs to be discussed early in the process. It is recommended that deliberate practice as a means to achieve expertise is presented along with the research that establishes the skills necessary to be an effective therapist. The use of Skillsetter should be described in the supervision contract or the class syllabus.

Step 2—Adapt Skillsetter to the Supervision Experience

Skillsetter is organized around modules, where the modules contain the components of deliberate practice of a particular skill. These include:

  • Client stimulus videos
  • A rubric for the evaluation of student responses (i.e. the aspects of quality display of the skill)
  • Model responses
  • Notes from the instructor
  • Many other features

Skillsetter has many built in modules which can be modified easily. Alternatively, the supervisor/instructor can design their own modules. If Skillsetter was used previously in a student’s program, the same modules should be used for consistency, although this is not required.

Step 3—Assign Modules

In the course of reviewing a student’s therapy, it is the task of the supervisor/instructor to identify a particular skill for which the student needs to improve. It might be that the student is relatively skilled across the board, but there will remain skills that need additional practice to continue to improve. It may also be the case that the student is below expectation in a multitude of skills.

The instructor can choose stimulus videos that best facilitate the student’s difficulties with particular clients. This can include presenting particular problems, personality, culture, race/ethnicity, among other variants.

The supervisor/instructor can also design the modules to best assist student improvement. It remains important that one module be assigned at a time, so that the student can concentrate on a single skill.

Step 4—Provide Feedback

A critical step in using Skillsetter for supervision involves providing student feedback. After the student has practiced the designated skill on their own, and self-evaluated competent performance, the student submits their response to the supervisor/instructor (or to a small group of peers, if the instructor is using the small group feature). The supervisor/instructor (or the peers) watches the stimulus video and the student response, and then the supervisor/instructor evaluates the response, using the module rubric. The instructor also provides written feedback for each component of the skill. This detailed feedback can then be used by the student to further improve.

Step 5—Assess Progress

Instructors/supervisors can use Skillsetter to monitor progress over the course of the term—observing the degree to which the student is exhibiting improvement of the designated skills with their clients.


Skillsetter is designed to assist supervisors/instructors to facilitate improved skills in therapy. Remember, the supervisor/instructor can consult with Skillsetter staff to answer questions, get pointers, or request advice. Because we are a small enterprise, we can make modifications in the platform to fit instructors’ needs.