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Title: Exploring the supervision experiences of recently qualified educational psychologists
Author: Varley, E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 2127
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2019
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Supervision has long been an element of practice for those working in therapeutic professions to support professional development, emotional well-being and client safety (Hawkins & Shohet, 2012). It is now a generally accepted element of the role of the EP, both in supervision undertaken within the profession (Ayres, Clarke, & Large, 2015; Dunsmuir, Lang, & Leadbetter, 2015) and in its provision to other professionals (Callicott & Leadbetter, 2013; Soni, 2015; Wedlock & Turner, 2017). This study aims to add to the body of research exploring supervision within the EP profession, focusing specifically on recently qualified educational psychologists (RQEPs). It was undertaken in two phases and used a sequential mixed methods design. The first phase used online surveys to gather data between 2nd June and 13th July 2017 on the experiences and views of RQEP supervision from RQEP supervisees (n=42), educational psychologist (EP) supervisors (n=22) and principal educational psychologists (PEPs) (n=19), analysed using descriptive statistics and Thematic Analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). The second phase built upon the first phase with follow-up semi-structured interviews undertaken in June 2018 with RQEPs (n=3) and analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2009). The results offer a breadth and depth of data, providing an overview of current supervision and exploring the varying concepts of supervision held within the profession. It also identifies facilitators and barriers to good supervision and explores the unique experience of being an RQEP and how this impacts on the needs of RQEPs in supervision. Results indicate that supervision is undertaken widely but that the experience of supervision is not always positive for EPs, as is seen in other professions (Ellis, 2010). Training, experience and concepts of supervision are diverse and there is some evidence to suggest that supervision by a line manager is common - and that this dual role can be problematic. Those sampled in Phase One all held similar views of what makes supervision 'good' and 'bad' for them and of the facilitators and barriers to good supervision. Themes identified were: Training/Skills, Content, Commitment, Practicalities and Relationships. In Phase Two, global themes were as follows: The Self (comprising The Aware Self and Feelings and Emotions); The Self in Relationship (comprising Relationship in Supervision and Power and Control); The Self in the Professional Context (comprising 'Getting it Right', Growing into an EP, The Elusive Concept of Supervision and Good Supervision) and The Research. Analysis and discussion of both phases combined indicate that RQEPs have unique needs as early career professionals and that establishing a safe supervisory alliance is particularly important to facilitate high quality supervision with RQEPs. The study concludes with implications for EP practice and suggestions for future research.
Supervisor: Norwich, B. ; Tunbridge, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available