Trainee therapists' experiences of supervision during training : a meta-synthesis

Wilson, Hannah and Davies, Jenny Shuttleworth and Weatherhead, Stephen (2016) Trainee therapists' experiences of supervision during training : a meta-synthesis. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 23 (4). pp. 340-351. ISSN 1063-3995

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Purpose Supervision is typically mandatory for therapists in training and plays an important role in their professional development. A number of qualitative studies have considered specific aspects of supervision. This systematic review aimed to synthesize these studies' findings and explore the experience and impact of supervision for trainee therapists. Methods A systematic search of the literature was conducted, and inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied. This led to a sample of 15 qualitative studies, with which a meta-synthesis was conducted. Results The meta-synthesis led to four key concepts: supervision as a learning opportunity, the supervisory relationship, power in supervision and the impact of supervision. These themes explored helpful and unhelpful aspects of supervision, including some concerns regarding the evaluation of supervision. Conclusions Supervision can effectively support trainee therapists in their personal and professional development. However, it can also lead to feelings of distress and self-doubt. Supervisors need to consider the power differential within supervision and attend to different factors within the supervisory relationship.  Key Practitioner Message Supervision can encourage personal and professional development, but it can also have a detrimental impact on trainee therapists' well-being, and consequently their clinical work and clients' experiences. Supervisees may not disclose unhelpful events or impacts from supervision, for fear of negative evaluation. Evaluation of supervisors should be facilitated and encouraged, to maintain good practice.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Wilson, H. M. N., Davies, J. S., and Weatherhead, S. (2016) Trainee Therapists' Experiences of Supervision During Training: A Meta-synthesis. Clin. Psychol. Psychother., 23: 340–351. doi: 10.1002/cpp.1957 which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? meta-synthesisqualitativesupervisiontherapists in trainingclinical psychology ??
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Deposited On:
16 Mar 2016 11:56
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 15:55