Date of Award

Summer 2008

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Knox, Sarah

Second Advisor

Burkard, Alan

Third Advisor

Melchert, Timothy


The impetus for this investigation began with my introduction to clinical supervision as a practicum student. As a supervisee, I experienced a number of examples of both appropriate and less-than-appropriate boundary crossings in supervision. Believing that one's supervision experiences are critical to quality training as a clinician, I became interested in exploring research in the area of clinical supervision. Specifically, I was interested in supervision boundary issues. Similar to boundary issues in counseling, supervision boundaries may sometimes be difficult to manage from both the supervisor and supervisee's perspective. However, if boundaries are managed in an ethical and appropriate manner, the supervision relationship, like the therapeutic relationship, may further the growth of the supervisee. This study investigated how Positive Boundary Crossings (PBCs) influenced the supervision relationship, the supervisee' s personal growth as well as her/his professional growth. To accomplish the task, 11 supervisees were interviewed regarding their experience of a PBC. Interviewing fellow doctoral trainees was an enriching experience and I thank them for their participation. I hope that their experiences and this study will add an important element to the current empirical literature on the supervisory relationship. Most of the current research in this area focuses on negative or poor outcomes from a boundary crossing. This study filled a gap in the extant literature; specifically, that not all boundary crossings should be considered bad, and that some may even be beneficial to the supervisee as well as to the supervision relationship.



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