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Title: Women counselling psychology trainees' accounts of clinical supervision : an exploration of discursive power
Author: Dobson, Nick
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 7161
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2012
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This research has drawn on poststructuralist thinking to posit that assertions of supervision being a benign and necessary process or activity rely on modernist assumptions. Utilising Foucault’s work on discourses and power, this study conceptualised supervision as a social construction that has implications for practice and subjectivity, and that this process, within the context of counselling psychology, with its particular epistemological underpinnings, is worthy of further exploration. This study makes an original contribution through extending the work by Crocket (2004, 2007), who has investigated supervision’s shaping effects on professional identity, to apply it to the particular epistemological and theoretical context of counselling psychology, a profession said to value postmodern ideas such as pluralism and ambiguity (Rizq, 2006). Semi-structured interviews with six women counselling psychology trainees were analysed using Foucauldian discourse analysis, a social constructionist methodology, and found a number of discourses implicated in trainees’ subjectivity and practice. Whilst expert, developmental and gender discourses were found to be implicated in constructions of supervision as hierarchical, which was seen as a key aspect of constructions of power in supervision, other discourses were identified that offered positions from which to resist this. The researcher acknowledges that the discursive resources identified are based on this particular sample, could have been read in other ways and does not assume they can be applied to all trainee counselling psychologists. Rather, it is hoped this study may contribute to debate around supervision and it’s shaping effects and consequently be useful in enhancing counselling psychology’s reflexivity in research and practice.
Supervisor: Dubowski, Janek ; Moon, Lyndsey Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Foucault ; counselling psychology ; professional identity