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Spotnitz, H. (1974-75). Clinical Supervision of the Psychiatric Resident.Deniel B. Schuster, John J. Sandt, and Otto F. Theler. New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1972. xv+334 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 61(4):637-638.

(1974-75). Psychoanalytic Review, 61(4):637-638

Clinical Supervision of the Psychiatric Resident.Deniel B. Schuster, John J. Sandt, and Otto F. Theler. New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1972. xv+334 pp.

Review by:
Hyman Spotnitz

Three professors of psychiatry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry have enriched the literature on the supervisory situation with this timely and meaty book. They aptly summarize its content as follows:

We have attempted to assert our belief in the importance of sound clinical training for a psychiatric physician and the role supervision plays in this training. We have enunciated some principles of the clinician, reviewed the literature on this subject, pointed out some developmental aspects of psychiatric training and described our own program—including some of its defects. Finally, through the dialogue of a conference on supervision we have attempted to illustrate specific issues involved in the supervisory experience. (p. 326)

This approach enables the reader to obtain a good picture of the problems encountered in clinical supervision and the different approaches to their solution. The book does to communicate definitive answers, but it suggests that many minds are working constructively on these problems.

A long chapter—virtually half of the book—on the supervisory conference uses tape recordings of the residents’ interviews with patients. Tapes of the interchanges between residents and supervisors and among the interdisciplinary faculty members who participated in the weekly conference (viewed as a “staff development” exercise) are also used. The material in this chapter thus serves as a springboard into specific aspects of the supervisory process and some of its major issues. For example, two sections are devoted to the problems surrounding the “pedagogy versus therapy” issue, and the discussions testify to the difficulty of achieving a balance meeting the students’ own needs and meeting the needs of the patient. As Thaler states,

the pedagogic role and the therapeutic role should be distinct and clear and separate as much as possible.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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