Imagination, Embodied Experiences, and Meaning in Supervision

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In psychoanalysis, there is a growing emphasis on being and becoming, personally embodied experiences, self-expression, spontaneity, and presymbolic understandings. Therefore, the supervisee and the supervisor search for the meanings of the verbal and nonverbal, presymbolic and symbolic, and mental and bodily therapeutic and supervisory materials. This paper will describe the spontaneous, subjective, and prereflective understandings that emerge in supervision. These understandings require an open dialogue between the participants to formulate experience-near interpretations that feel real. To create an effective and fruitful dialogue, the supervisee and the supervisor should recognize and validate each other as separate and autonomous professionals who view their similarities within the context of otherness. Mutual recognition enables them to achieve higher-order conceptualization and creative interpretations of the therapeutic reality that unfolds in supervision. To strengthen mutual recognition, the supervisee and supervisor can acknowledge their vulnerability as people and professionals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychoanalytic Social Work
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • dialogue
  • embodied experiences
  • imaginings
  • mutual recognition
  • Supervision
  • versions of reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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