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How Highly Effective Psychotherapy Supervisors Supervise: A Longitudinal Study of Supervisees’ Experiences

  • Author / Creator
    Pott, Terilyn
  • The supervision of pre-professional psychologists is a mandated and essential training process. Supervisors have two overarching roles: (a) they are gatekeepers to the profession, protecting the public from incompetent psychologists and (b) they are providers of essential training to pre-professional psychologists to enable them to become fully competent. Research has explored what constitutes good supervision to better understand the process and help enhance training programs. Examining how expert supervisors provide supervision is a new way to study this, as experts have different ways of conceptualizing their work than novices. For example, expert supervisors appear to have distinct skills, behaviours and cognitions that may affect supervision. This study focused on identifying supervisees’ experiences of being supervised by an expert supervisor to better understand this process, and identify what supervisors do well that enhances supervision. Through the use of snowball sampling and peer nominations based on a set criteria, eight expert supervisors were identified, of which four had students participate in this study. Seven supervisees participated in three semi-structured interviews over the span of their year internship to discuss what expert supervisors do well within supervision. Experts were identified as having specific attributes in comparison to their counterparts, such as being a supportive ally, being adaptive and being credible. Supervisees identified that experts were able to create a positive alliance, focused on engaging in responsive teaching, and actively used their own backgrounds and experiences in supervision. Supervisees also indicated that expert supervisors impacted their practice by enhancing their growth and development, both personally and professionally, and by helping supervisees improve their perceived outcomes with clients. Results from this study help capture the characteristics and behaviours of expert supervisors that make supervision work, and provide insight on what impacts the supervision dynamic.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2018-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3H12VQ1V
  • License
    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.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Department of Educational Psychology
  • Specialization
    • Counselling Psychology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dr. Derek Truscott (Department of Educational Psychology)