A retrospective study: How do clinical psychologists in southern Israel perceive their relationships with their supervisors as trainees in the psychodynamic paradigm?

Degen, Lily (2017) A retrospective study: How do clinical psychologists in southern Israel perceive their relationships with their supervisors as trainees in the psychodynamic paradigm? DProf thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

The aim of the research was to study how recently licensed clinical psychologists in southern Israel perceive their relationships with their supervisors as trainees in the psychodynamic paradigm and to further the understanding of psychodynamic supervision. The study examined the experiences of supervisees in psychodynamic supervision employing a constructivist grounded theory approach, and included 10 participants who had completed their licensing exam within the last three years, and had trained in Israel. The research was retrospective, as time had passed since the licensing exam, and was also reflective, as the participants had gained experience and maturity in the field.

A system of open coding was used to analyze the interviews. Following this stage, the codes were grouped into focused codes, and a summary of the memos were organized for each participant. A constant comparison was made between the focused codes of the interviews until the categories were saturated, that is no new categories emerged, and a core category became apparent. Theoretical sampling was used by interviewing three of the 10 participants a second time in order to fill in gaps in one of the categories. The goal of the study was interpretive understanding.

The findings suggest that classical psychodynamic supervision provides the trainee with an experience of containment and reliance on the expertise of the supervisor during the initial stages of training and supervision. However, relational psychodynamic supervision empowers the supervisee in the latter stages of training by providing mutuality and open dialogue in an asymmetrical relationship. Classical supervision often did not address the self-perception of the supervisee, or the relationship between the supervisor and the supervisee. The failure to process these issues seemed to affect the agency of the supervisee in her relationship with her supervisor and, to some degree, fostered a sense of dependence. The supervisees who expressed their experience in supervision as transformational were those who experienced their own agency, and a sense of empowerment.

In my study, the tension created between the expectation of finding the ideal supervisor and coping with the supervisor in their relationship was the central challenge of supervision.

The ‘teach or treat’ dilemma appeared to be a conflict only in the classical style of supervision, as the boundaries between professional knowledge and personal issues are protected. In the intersubjective relational mode, the boundaries are more permeable, allowing more self-disclosure and temporary focus on personal issues The ‘real’ relationship in psychodynamic supervision was apparent in my study and was contingent on the two people involved in the interaction.

Item Type: Thesis (DProf)
Research Areas: A. > Work and Learning Research Centre
B. > Theses
Item ID: 22571
Depositing User: Jennifer Basford
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2017 10:00
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2017 10:00
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/22571

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