Clinical Supervisors’ Experience of Asking Supervisees for Feedback on Their Supervision: A Consensual Qualitative Research Study

  • Author / Creator
    Luo, Houyuan
  • Clinical supervision is a critical part of training mental health professionals. Feedback has the potential to improve performance across professionals, including clinical supervisors. And, for supervisors, asking supervisees for feedback is an important part of clinical supervision due to its potential to improve supervisory alliances, supervision outcomes, and supervisors’ expertise. Unfortunately, little is known about the process of supervisors asking for feedback from supervisees, as most studies relate only to supervisor-to-supervisee feedback – not supervisee-to-supervisor feedback. The purpose of this qualitative study is to develop an in-depth understanding of Canadian supervisors’ experiences of asking supervisees for feedback. Using Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR), 11 supervisors were interviewed about their feedback-asking approach. Based on interview data, three factors, or reasons for asking for feedback, emerged: internal factors (e.g., motivation to become a better supervisor), external factors (e.g., communication with colleagues), and past experiences (e.g., prior training/professional development). Supervisors also mentioned several challenges, including the possibility of receiving negative feedback and power dynamics. For some supervisors, however, asking for feedback reportedly comes naturally. Additionally, supervisors reported several benefits of asking for feedback, including strengthening the supervisory relationship, enhancing professional growth, and increased efficacy regarding supervision skills. Moreover, supervisors reported using various feedback-asking methods, including diverse formats, frequencies, and techniques. Lastly, supervisors noted various methods of facilitating supervisee-to-supervisor feedback, such as building strong supervisory relationships, communicating clear expectations from the get-go, modelling the feedback-asking process, being openminded, and having a growth mindset. The study’s limitations, contributions to the literature, directions for future research, and implications for supervision practice are discussed.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2020
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
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