Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
Kriofske Mainella, Alexandra
Feedback has been described by researchers and supervisors as an important tool of clinical supervision contributing to supervisees’ development (Hein et al., 2011; Jaworski & Kohli, 1991; Nelson et al., 2008; O’Donovan et al., 2011; Sapyta et al., 2005; Worthington, 2006). Because feedback often comes from one perspective, generally the supervisor’s, it seems reasonable to expect supervisors and supervisees may see feedback differently. This difference in perspectives may foster disagreement between the supervisor and supervisee. Not everyone is comfortable discussing disagreement, nor even conflict, which can lead to larger difficulties in supervision. The act of censoring information provided to supervisors in reports or feedback can be viewed by supervisors as willful nondisclosure (Farber, 2006; Gibson, 2017; Knox, 2015; Ladany et al., 1996). Ultimately, concerns with supervisee nondisclosure potentially impact the supervisee’s growth as a clinician, but more importantly, impact whether the nondisclosure has any implications for client well-being and care. The present study filled the existing gap in literature by focusing on the supervisee experience of receiving feedback with which they disagreed but did not share their disagreement as well as the potential implications for their choice to not disclose. A qualitative approach was taken to comprehensively explore the supervisee’s experiences and perspectives, while gathering the rich details of each experience. A sample of twelve supervisees participated in a single, 60-minute semi-structured virtual interview. Supervisees described effective and ineffective feedback, responses to the feedback with which they disagreed, and discussed reasons for the disagreement. Further, supervisees shared why they chose to not disclosure their disagreement to supervisor feedback and what they learned from the nondisclosure. Limitations and implications of the research are discussed. The study concludes with an exploration of future research directions to address gaps in the literature on feedback, nondisclosure, and supervision.