On the Dialectical Dialogue in Supervision

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Whereas the therapeutic action centres on emotional participation and containment of the patient's intolerable experiences, the supervisory action centres on interpreting the reconstructed therapeutic reality. Since the emergent interpretation is subjective and contextual, it requires processing in a dialogue between the supervisor and the supervisee. However, their existential need to define and assert themselves as professionals often urges them to highlight the differences between their perceptions and beliefs and keenly convince each other. Uncontained, this dialectical tension might disrupt the supervisory process and the participants' well-being. Despite the existential urges, when the supervisor and the supervisee recognize and validate each other as independent and autonomous professionals, they can restrain their competitiveness, maintain a productive dialectical dialogue, achieve creative and integrated understandings of the therapeutic process and consolidate their professional identities. Moreover, despite the hierarchical supervisory relationship, acknowledging their vulnerability helps supervisors recognize and validate their supervisees and facilitate the dialectical supervisory dialogue.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Psychotherapy
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. British Journal of Psychotherapy published by BPF and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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