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Watkins, C.E., Jr. (2015). Toward a research-informed, evidence-based psychoanalytic supervision. Psychoanal. Psychother., 29(1):5-19.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 29(1):5-19


Toward a research-informed, evidence-based psychoanalytic supervision

C. Edward Watkins, Jr.

Although establishing an evidence base for psychoanalytic practice has become a matter of increasing practical and accountability concern, the establishment of an evidence base for psychoanalytic supervision has yet to be given any consideration. In establishing a more comprehensive evidence-informed approach to treatment and training, the corollary need to build an evidence base for psychoanalytic treatment supervision would accordingly seem an important next step to address. What research supports the use of psychoanalytically informed constructs in supervision? With that research base considered, is there any sort of an evidence base for psychoanalytic supervision practice itself? In this paper, I would like to examine those two questions, giving particular attention to two psychoanalytically derived variables of supervision import: the supervisory alliance and parallel process. Based on research review, data thus far provide a high degree of empirical support for the supervisory alliance as perhaps being the crucial fundamental and foundational variable in making supervision work or not. While comparatively far more limited and less robust in nature, data about parallel process offer a tentative degree of support for that construct's importance in supervision as well. While still only in its most formative period, we at least appear to have an informed and informing evidence base for psychoanalytic supervision beginning to take more substantial shape.

[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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