The supervisor as witness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adopting the role of witness can help supervisors to cope with emotional flooding and fluctuations in the supervisees' self-experience. Assuming the role of witness aids modification of the supervisors' tendency to hold the supervisees' in mind and to respond to their selfobject needs and provides the supervisees with a participatory yet external presence, which enhances the supervisees' creativity. The meaning and the uses of the role of witness in the supervisory context are explained and illustrated in the present article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-486
Number of pages15
JournalPsychoanalytic Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Psychological Association.


  • Analytic therapists
  • Developmental struggles
  • Supervision
  • Witness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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