Comfort and challenge: a thematic analysis of female clinicians’ experiences of supervision

Starr, Fiona and Ciclitira, Karen and Marzano, Lisa and Brunswick, Nicola and Costa, Ana (2012) Comfort and challenge: a thematic analysis of female clinicians’ experiences of supervision. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice . ISSN 1476-0835

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8341.2012.02063.x

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Abstract

Objective: The supervision of counsellors, counselling psychologists and psychotherapists is generally perceived to be an invaluable component of training and practice. The present study analysed this process to explore the meanings of supervision for counselling psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors, and to consider outcomes for clinical practice. Design: This study presents the accounts of 19 psychological therapists who experienced supervision while working at an established London-based women’s therapy centre that deals with women’s mental and physical health and well-being. Method: Demographic information was collected by questionnaire, and semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore aspects of the supervisory experience. The qualitative data were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Supervision has complex and paradoxical meanings, and it impacts on clinical counselling practice in multifarious ways. Dominant themes highlighted were: the usefulness of supervision; fear of exposure versus gaining new information; the comfort versus the challenge of supervision, and supervision as a containing space. Conclusions: An experiential model of supervision was developed from the data. This model could be used in future training and supervision contexts. Findings are also discussed in relation to the existing literature on clinical supervision, the helping relationship, evidence-based practice and new government initiatives.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:School of Health and Education > Psychology
ID Code:9192
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Deposited On:18 Jun 2012 06:00
Last Modified:06 Feb 2013 14:49

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