States of Consciousness and Supervision

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Analytic literature suggests that to construct the deep meaning of patients’ experiences, supervisor and supervisee enter an altered state of consciousness and “dream up” the patients and the therapeutic relationships. Although this process enables them to connect with implicit knowledge of dissociated feelings and thoughts, it might also present some challenges. Sometimes, moving between states of consciousness evokes anxiety in supervisees, which might emanate from unusual experiences and perceptions characterizing such transitions, reconstructions of past traumatic experiences, and a sense of temporary loneliness. A few principles are suggested for supervisors who enter such altered states and simultaneously wish to monitor and facilitate their supervisees’ transition between states of consciousness. Applying these principles is likely to strengthen supervisees’ confidence that their supervisors share similar challenges, and therefore understand and support their endeavors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-122
Number of pages16
JournalPsychoanalytic Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • States of consciousness
  • dreaming
  • meaning making
  • supervision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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