At the border of supervision: Critical moments in psychotherapists' development

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The supervisees who benefit from supervision undergo change as a result of the process. The significance of these changes varies according to the interplay between the capacities/needs of the supervisees and those of the supervisors. Supervision always contains within it opportunities for the supervisee's professional development - at times critically so. These features charge both supervisor and supervisee with the responsibility to make the most out of their joint task. Ultimately, supervision no less than psychotherapy, requires a complex and highly personalized set of skills that tax the ability of the practioner of the art. To prepare for the role, it is important to be well grounded in the theory and practice of both psychotherapy and supervision. To add to the complexity, I believe that significant aspects of the supervisory process proceed along lines reminiscent of psychotherapy. Prominent among them is the supervisee-supervisor relationship as a major factor determining the outcome of the process. Supervision is not, nor can it be, psychotherapy. Yet the willingness to utilize the subset of skills common to both, contributes to the success of the supervisory process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-397
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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