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Two sides to the coin: An exploration of helpful and hindering supervision events contributing to psychologist competence Open Access


Other title
psychologist competence
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Papile, Chiara
Supervisor and department
Everall, Robin (Educational Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Daniels, Lia (Educational Psychology)
Theriault, Anne (Educational Counselling)
Klassen, Robert (Educational Psychology)
Pei, Jacqueline (Educational Psychology)
Wimmer, Randolph (Educational Policy Studies)
Department of Educational Psychology
Counselling Psychology
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Clinical supervision is one of the most important aspects of a trainee’s development as a professional psychologist, as it fosters the refinement of knowledge and skills necessary for competent and ethical practice (Falender & Shafranske, 2010). It combines teaching, consulting, and supporting (Bernard & Goodyear, 2009), and has recently been recognized as a core competency in the field of psychology (Falender & Shafranske, 2007). The Integrative Developmental Model (IDM; Stoltenberg & McNeill, 2010) offers an intuitive and comprehensive framework for understanding the growth process of psychologists-in-training, positing that effective supervision techniques must align with the trainee’s level of development. This study aimed to explore the critical incidents within the supervisory process that help or hinder supervisee’s sense of competence as psychologists-in-training. Masters- and doctoral-level trainees as well as clinical supervisors were interviewed using the Critical Incident Technique (CIT). The emerging incidents were grouped into categories that best reflected their shared commonalities. Helpful incidents were grouped as follows: (1) direct support, (2) feedback, (3) empowerment and encouragement, (4) process-based supervision, (5) supervisor as teacher and role model, and (6) supervisor vulnerability. Hindering incidents were grouped as follows: (1) feeling unsupported, (2) critical and attacking behaviours, and (3) conflicts with feedback and evaluation. Results from this study did not lend support for the IDM; rather, they were explained best by social role theories positing that supervisors take on specific roles during the supervisory process. Results from this study will contribute to the growing pool of information regarding effective and ineffective supervisory behaviours, techniques, and skills. Implications for training, research, and practice are discussed.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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File title: Chapter 1 - Introduction
File author: Chiara Papile
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File language: en-US
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