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Br J Clin Psychol. 2008 Nov;47(Pt 4):381-96. doi: 10.1348/014466508X304414. Epub 2008 Apr 18.

Supervisor trainees' and their supervisors' perceptions of attainment of knowledge and skills: an empirical evaluation of a psychotherapy supervisor training programme.

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  • 1The Division of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK.



This study aimed to evaluate the success of a 2-year, part-time training programme for psychotherapy supervisors. A second aim was to examine factors that might contribute to perceived knowledge and skills attainment during the training course.


This is a naturalistic, longitudinal study where several measures are used to examine group process and outcome.


Supervisor trainees' (N=21) and their facilitators' (N=6) ratings of learning (knowledge and skills), relations to the supervisor and supervision group, usage of the group, and supervisor style were completed at three time points.


The findings suggested that both trainees and their supervisors perceived that the trainees attained a substantial amount of knowledge and skills during the course. In accordance with the literature and expectations, the regression analysis suggested a strong negative association between a strong focus on group processes in the initial and middle phases of the training and perceived knowledge and skills attainment in the final phase of the training. The expected, positive role of relations among trainees in the supervision group in the first half of the training and perceived knowledge and skills attainment in the final part of the training was obtained, whilst the hypothesized significance of the relationship between trainee and supervisor did not receive support.


The supervisory course seemed to provide a training that allowed trainees to attain knowledge and skills that are necessary for psychotherapy supervisors. The results of this pilot study also emphasize the need of more research on learning in the context of group supervision in psychotherapy.

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