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Title: Understanding the supervisory relationship and what happens when difficulties occur
Author: Borsay , Clare
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Clinical supervision is a core activity that contributes to the professional development of clinical psychologists and other health professionals. The quality of the supervisory relationship is recognised as important in influencing the giving and receiving of effective supervision. There are a number of theoretical standpoints from which supervision and the supervisory relationship can be understood. Research has identified that difficulties in the supervisory relationship can and do occur; however, the evidence regarding their management and resolution is limited. The first paper is an integrative review of the contribution of attachment theory - a relatively recent addition to this field - to the theoretical and empirical understanding of clinical supervision. The findings indicate that supervisor attachment pattern influences the supervisory relationship, and does so to a greater extent than supervisee attachment pattern. A particular type of attachment pattern, compulsive self-reliance, may increase supervisee vulnerability to poor supervisory relationships. However, methodological weaknesses in the published literature preclude the presentation of any strong findings. Implications include the need for higher quality studies in this area and the potential benefits of an enhanced awareness of attachment theory when developing and maintaining supervisory relationships. The second paper aims to explore how trainee clinical psychologists experience difficulties in their supervisory relationships. Fourteen participants were interviewed about their experiences and data was analysed qualitatively, using modified grounded theory. An explanatory model was developed that highlighted the importance of trainee and supervisor expectations, outlined the dilemmas that trainees faced when raising difficulties and explored the impact of these difficulties. Implications included the need for increased clarity for trainees and supervisors about realistic expectations for supervisory relationships, training in how to manage difficulties when they occur and support for supervisors with a history of difficult supervisory relationships.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available