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Psychotherapy (Chic). 2010 Mar;47(1):28-34. doi: 10.1037/a0018847.

Humanistic-existential psychotherapy competencies and the supervisory process.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30308, USA.


There has been an increasing focus in recent years on articulating foundational and functional competencies for practice in professional psychology and how a competency-based approach might inform psychology training. With the aim of contributing to the dialogue in this area, the discussion herein explores psychotherapy competencies through the lens of a humanistic-existential perspective and describes implications for psychotherapy training and supervision. Specifically, competencies pertaining to facilitating the client's experiential awareness and use of the psychotherapy relationship to engender client change are described. Next, the foundational and functional competencies within professional psychology that are particularly salient to a humanistic-existential psychotherapy framework are discussed. Finally, the ways in which a humanistic-existential supervision framework contributes to the development of psychotherapy competencies in trainees is considered. A brief vignette is presented to illustrate the supervision process.

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