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Torby, A. Turner, M.B. Kinzie, J.M. Usher, C. (2015). What we Talk about When we Talk About Supervision: The Clear and the Confusing in Graduate Psychiatric Education. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 63(5):NP7-NP12.

(2015). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 63(5):NP7-NP12

What we Talk about When we Talk About Supervision: The Clear and the Confusing in Graduate Psychiatric Education

Alyssa Torby, Mary Beth Turner, J. Mark Kinzie and Craigan Usher

Supervision plays a key role in psychiatry residents’ professional development. In their early years of training, supervision helps residents learn to deal with acute safety issues and determine appropriate treatments and care settings. In later clinical work, outpatient supervision may more closely resemble supervision as it is thought of in the analytic tradition, helping residents grow into more skilled psychotherapists. However, there is little guidance about the specifics of psychiatry supervision. In this poster we explore supervision's roots in psychoanalysis, general medical education policies including guidelines for supervision, the role of supervision in the unique specialty of psychiatry, and the trainee experience of the supervision process.

Background of Supervision in the Psychoanalytic Tradition

In psychoanalytic supervision, one of the three components of analytic training, candidates meet with a supervisor, usually weekly, to discuss their “control cases.” The trainee presents information through process notes or recollections of a patient encounter, including disclosure of associations and interventions. The supervisor explores the trainee's thinking regarding the case and the session's interventions, suggests alternative ways of listening to and speaking with the analysand, refers the trainee to pertinent literature, and helps the trainee understand countertransferences in the case (Akhtar 2009). Differentiating supervision from treatment, Salmon Akhtar (2009) writes: “the supervisor is not the analyst of the supervisee's character, only of the supervisee's analytic ego as it is engaged in the clinical supervision under scrutiny” (p.

[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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