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Title: A grounded theory study of organisational supervision of counsellors : the influence of the invisible client
Author: Towler, John
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2005
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This research study had been initiated as a direct result of my experience and reflections of supervising counsellors in different organisational contexts over a number of years. I have had an opportunity to reflect and write about this (Towler 1997, 1998, 2001). This Grounded Theory study had set out answer the question - 'what happens in organisational supervision?' with subsidiary questions related to the interrelatedness of influences of all parties and its implications for practice. Twenty three supervisees and supervisors from different organisational settings were interviewed by unstructured in depth interviewing and focus groups. A further thirty people were consulted for theoretical sampling. The tentative findings have uncovered a basic psychosocial process of supervisees and supervisors assimilating and acculturating in the flux and flow of the supervisory field, the result of the influence of the invisible client (the organisation). This process of 'assimilating and acculturating' had been tempered by both supervisors and supervisees exercising ethical judgements in relation to the prevailing organisational culture. A yin-yang of wrestling with relational boundaries and valuing and feeling valued had characterised an often conflicting environment (the flux and flow of the supervisory field) as both parties engaged in and co-created a flexible space and relational focus for supervision to take place. My intention is that the study shall contribute to this under-researched area of practice and asserts that, there is an emerging paradigm called 'organisational supervision' with distinct characteristics. Implications for practice focus on the need for all parties in the supervision to acknowledge and work with the influence of the invisible client of the organisation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available