Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services


This investigation examines the delivery of immediate, in-session feedback using the “bug-in-the-ear” (BITE) as an instructional technique in conjunction with live supervision during the counseling practicum. The study was conducted to explore an effective means of supervisor intervention which did not disrupt the counseling session. Few empirical investigations have been conducted in this area, and previous studies on this instructional aid used in models of live supervision were largely narrative in design.

Counseling self-efficacy, trainee anxiety, and counseling performance were examined for twenty graduate student counselor trainees enrolled in the department of counseling at a northern plains university. Ten participants received immediate feedback via the BITE in conjunction with a live supervision model of training during the first half of 10 practicum sessions conducted at a community counseling clinic. Ten participants serving as controls received live supervision without the BITE feedback during their 10 sessions.

Results indicated that participants who received immediate feedback via the BITE demonstrated significantly greater increases in counseling self-efficacy throughout the course of the investigation than did the control group participants. Changes in participant anxiety levels did not differ significantly between groups. BITE or no-BITE feedback condition, changes in counseling self-efficacy and changes in anxiety level combined to account for significant portions of the variance in participants’ scores on two measures of counseling performance. Participants reported no adverse effects due to the immediate feedback, although problems with the physical equipment were noted. A series of exploratory analyses based on previous BITE investigations were also conducted. Attempts to theoretically explain the benefits of incorporating immediate feedback in live supervision using Bandura’s (1977) self-efficacy theory are presented. Implications for the training of graduate students in the counseling practicum and suggestions for future research in this area are discussed