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Title: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of supervisors' experiences of the supervisory relationship : can attachment theory help us understand the supervisory relationship?
Author: Pitt, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 562X
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2018
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Background: The supervisory relationship (SR) is central to psychotherapist development and client outcomes. A review of the literature on attachment theory (AT) and supervision failed to clarify whether the supervisor’s or supervisee’s attachment was more significant for the relationship and whether a distinct supervision-specific attachment exists. This suggested that the relevance of AT to supervision is not fully understood. Objectives: To explore in-depth how supervisors experience and make sense of the SR and whether AT can assist in the understanding of it. Method: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach was used to interview and analyse data from seven Clinical Psychologists working in the National Health Service (NHS) with experience of supervising Trainee Clinical Psychologists. Results: Three superordinate themes were identified: The SR is important to me; we both contribute to the SR and attachment underpins my understanding of the relationship. Conclusion: The findings suggest that AT has some relevance to the way in which Clinical Psychologists understand the SR. However, it is possible that this is a product of the dominance of AT within Clinical Psychology rather than the nature of the supervisory relationship. Nevertheless, the findings do clarify Clinical Psychologist’s understanding of good quality supervision, suggesting that the SR is improved when both supervisor and supervisee are open and when the supervisor takes on a caregiving role providing a secure base.
Supervisor: Gleeson, Kate ; Holmes, Nan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available