1st Edition

The Supervisory Relationship
A Contemporary Psychodynamic Approach

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ISBN 9781572306219
Published March 1, 2001 by Guilford Press
247 Pages

USD $47.00

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Book Description

In the past two decades, many psychodynamic therapists have begun to view the relational processes taking place between patient and therapist as a central source of transformation. Yet traditional paradigms of clinical supervision, focusing primarily on didactic teaching, have limitations for training therapists to work in these new ways. This groundbreaking volume is the first to elaborate a comprehensive contemporary model of supervision. Using a wealth of examples and vignettes, the authors show how working within the vicissitudes of the supervisory relationship can allow the supervisee to gain a deeper understanding of the treatment method being taught. Key topics discussed include issues of power and authority, regression in the supervisory relationship, rethinking the teach/treat question, parallel process as a relational phenomenon, working with group process in case conference, and the role of the organization in supporting training. This is a richly informative resource for psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, psychoanalysts, and others involved in clinical supervision and training. It also will serve as a text for courses in supervision and organizational psychology.

Table of Contents

1. Historical Perspectives on Psychoanalytic Supervision
2. Models of Supervision
3. A Relational Model of Supervision
4. The Supervisor's Knowledge, Power, and Authority, Part I: Mutuality, Asymmetry, and Negotiation
5. The Supervisor's Knowledge, Power, and Authority, Part II: Evaluation, Externality, Sexual Boundaries, and Gender
6. Rethinking Regression 7. The Teach/Treat Issue
8. Parallel Process Revisited 9. Contemporary Case Conference
Conclusion: The Supervisory Dyad and Beyond

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Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea, PhD, is a faculty member and supervisor at the Derner Institute for Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University, Garden City, New York; the Minnesota Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalytic Studies; and the National Training Program in Contemporary Psychoanalysis in New York City. She also is on the continuing education faculty of the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis, Inc., in New York City. Coauthor with Jody Messler Davies of Treating the Adult Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse, Dr. Frawley-O'Dea is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in clinical and supervisory practice in New City, New York.

Joan E. Sarnat, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Berkeley, California. She is Board Certified in Clinical Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology and is a member of the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California. She is on the adjunct faculties of the California School of Professional Psychology and The Wright Institute, Berkeley, California. She has supervised and led case conferences for over 20 years, and conducts consultation groups for supervisors.


This book makes a major contribution to the literature. Thoughtful, scholarly, and readable, it deals with contemporary relational supervision based upon mutuality between supervisor and supervisee. This teaching-learning-experiential matrix is cogently presented and demonstrated with lively vignettes. There is much here for experienced supervisors seeking an update, novice supervisors learning the craft, and supervisors of case conferences, as well as students who are interested in how supervision works. --Leopold Caligor, PhD, Training Analyst, William Alanson White Institute; Coeditor of Clinical Perspectives on the Supervision of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy

Over the past couple of decades, psychoanalysis has been undergoing a thorough reevaluation, recasting, and revision of all its fundamental concepts, in terms of both theory and clinical practice. Many new angles and fresh ideas about supervision have been introduced, but there has until now been no comprehensive, comparative text exploring different models of supervision, their theoretical underpinnings, and their clinical implications. This book is a timely, much-needed project. In its thoughtfulness and thoroughness, it should be of considerable use as a text for all levels of clinical training and as a stimulus for new thinking for clinicians of all persuasions. --Stephen A. Mitchell, PhD, Founding Editor, Psychoanalytic Dialogues: A Journal of Relational Perspectives

This book provides a definitive relational approach to psychoanalytic supervision, and it does more. The authors give us an evenhanded and illuminating account of major psychoanalytic perspectives on supervision, making their points additively rather than by criticism and dismissal of alternate views. They address potential faultlines and dilemmas that all supervisors have felt at one time or another: transferences and countertransferences in the supervisory relationship; the problems and uses of regression; the teach-treat dilemma; conflicts between collegiality and inequality or dependence; and the supervisor's multiple loyalties to institution, supervisee, and patients. This openness and clarity, along with a hands-on feel that includes a rich sampling of extended case vignettes, will make this book of great use to supervisors of all psychoanalytic persuasions. --Nancy J. Chodorow, PhD, psychoanalyst and author of The Power of Feelings
A very important book. It enriches an all-too-small literature on supervision and consultation. It invites supervisors and clinical consultants to examine their theoretical positions on the supervisory process and consider their technique. Ultimately, the authors encourage the readers to challenge their underlying assumptions about the task and process of supervision and consultation. The book is rich with clear arguments and compelling examples of supervisory dyads in the midst of a complex relational process of both observation and participation....I spend a third of my professional work life as a clinical consultant and supervisor. I am delighted to have this thoughtful and thought provoking book to help me grapple with the plethora of choice points in the complex, multi-level relational process of clinical supervision.
--Psychoanalysis (APA Division 39 Newsletter), 12/8/2000ƒƒ_x000D_Useful reading for supervisors and psychiatric residents in supervision. It illuminates important relational concepts....Offers a wonderful teaching opportunity, illustrating the diverse opinions in the field of psychoanalysis and the importance of pressing forward with a program to bring psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic supervision under the umbrella of natural science.--Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 2/3/2002