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Szecsödy, I. (2013). Supervision should be a mutual learning experience. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 36(2):126-129.

(2013). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 36(2):126-129

Supervision should be a mutual learning experience

Imre Szecsödy

The primary task for supervision is to help the trainee to comprehend the “system of interaction” with his patient. This also means that the trainee has to be able to “step out” of the system of interaction he has with his patient, to be able to observe and understand it. This can be facilitated by the creation of a “formal system for supervision”. This means that trainee and supervisor agree not only on theories about development, psychopathology and psychotherapeutic technique, but also on the rules of their interaction, constituting the frame for their work. To establish the frame, the supervisor has to maintain the boundaries around the primary and specific task of supervision, by separating it from the trainee’s task of conducting psychotherapy/psychoanalysis. Rather than giving support, advice and suggestions, the supervisor should encourage the trainee to organize information actively. By consistently focusing on and helping the therapist to reflect on the combined interaction of the patient (patient-therapist) therapist, the supervisor maintains the formal system and can enable the trainee to step out of and observe his own system of interacting with the patient. Doing so, the supervisor has also the opportunity to learn more about what is happening during supervision and how to encourage mutual learning. It is also most important to train supervisors and to continuously carry out research on it.

According to the Webster Dictionary, supervision is: “An overseeing, surveillance, to inspect, scrutinize, examine, to have control over, to manage, to direct, to conduct”.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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