Structural factors affecting the supervisor's devotion

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The system of supervision in psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy consists of a young, relatively inexperienced trainee and a senior, experienced and knowledgeable supervisor. The issues generally discussed during the course of supervision are related to the dynamics of the patient, therapeutic values, difficulties encountered by the trainee and feelings aroused in him or her in connection with the patient and the therapy. The trainee goes through a process of growth and development in both the personal and the professional sense. This process may thus be studied by analogy with the process of human growth and development as it appears in the theoretical literature in the context of the mother-child or the therapist-patient relationship. The theoretical questions at the focus of the present paper are concerned mainly with a number of structural factors in the relationship between the supervisor and the trainee. These factors go beyond the differences in the participants' personalities. These factors are built into every supervisory system and serve to increase the supervisor's devotion to the trainee. The paper examines the components of the supervisor-trainee interaction that may help the supervisor ignore his or her own needs, wishes and self, and concentrate on the needs and wishes of the trainee. This enables the supervisor to create an accepting environment that permits the trainee to grow and develop as a professional and as a person.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-194
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Contemporary Psychotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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