A Qualitative Study of Supervisees’ Internal Representations of Supervisors
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Counselling Psychology Quarterly
Eleven US-based doctoral student supervisees were interviewed regarding their internal representations (IRs) of their clinical supervisors. Data were analyzed using consensual qualitative research. In speaking about their overall IR experiences, supervisees reported that their exposure to IRs occurred at off-site practicum placements. The IRs, which were both spontaneous and intentionally invoked, usually were auditory in form, were stimulated by supervisees’ clinical work, were used to guide their clinical performance, and were considered a normal part of their development. When describing one specific IR, supervisees characterized the relationship with the supervisor as positive, and noted that supervision focused on clinical interventions. These brief and vivid IRs were auditory/verbal in form, occurred spontaneously, and consisted of the supervisor instructing or supporting the supervisee when s/he felt challenged or doubted her/himself clinically. The IRs yielded positive effects, but were usually not discussed with supervisors. Implications are addressed.