Licensed marriage and family therapists' perceptions of supervision: A qualitative study




Sadre, Mahnaz

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The purpose of this qualitative research was to describe marriage and family therapists' (LMFTs) perceptions of quality supervision Convenience and snowball sampling methods were used to contact four hundred LMFTs in the states of Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Ohio, Texas, Florida, Virginia and Minnesota. Participants were prompted to go to a link that would facilitate their access to the consent to participate in research and the two surveys that were created on PsychData. Responses from 30 participants were collected and entered into a word document for the purpose of coding. The coded data were carefully studied and five emerging themes were identified. The emerging themes were: (1) supervision relationship and the self of the therapist, (2) expertise and knowledge of the supervisors, (3) collaboration, (4) personal attributes of the supervisors, and (5) connection, availability, and affordability of the supervisor. This study found that the participants valued the supervisory relationship and express a desire for a supervisee-centered model of supervision. The results of this study showed that the participants needed their supervisors to share their knowledge, expertise, and personal experiences. The participants also shared a desire for a collaborative style of supervision incorporating open communication. This study also concluded that the participants required supervision to be a harmonious system in which, the goals, strengths, and weaknesses of the supervisee are the main criteria for finding the best supervisor who would be a good match/fit for the supervisee. The results of this study revealed that the most valuable supervisors possessed certain personality traits, interpersonal skills, trustworthiness, and clinical skills. This research also concluded that the participants required a higher level of interaction and availability from their supervisors. The best supervision experiences were those which provided more opportunities for connection and access to the supervisor. The results of this qualitative research implied that in general, supervision, whether collaborative or directive is mostly supervisor-centered and limited by the supervisors' levels of competencies and perceptions regardless of the goals, strengths, and weaknesses of the supervisees. Implications are that the participants are seeking a supervisee-centered model of supervision which is focused on the personal and professional needs of the supervisees.



Psychology, Internship, Marriage and family therapists, Self-of-the-therapist, Supervisee-centered, Supervision