Understanding and Developing Relationships

Topics: Learning, Educational psychology, Psychology Pages: 17 (4785 words) Published: December 29, 2012
Critically evaluate how the supervisory relationship
evolves, advances and how it can be sustained,
through a greater understanding of our
strengths and opportunities in the developing relationship?


Clinical Supervision has been evolving for over a century in many forms and within that time has developed significantly. This assignment aims to critically evaluate how the supervisory relationship evolves, advances and how it can be sustained through a greater understanding of our strengths and opportunities in the developing relationship. A relationship is normally viewed as a connection between people and comprises two or more individuals. Relationships usually involve some level of interdependence and those involved in the relationship tend to influence each other, share their thoughts and feelings, and engage in activities together. Because of this interdependence, most things that change or impact one member of the relationship will have some level of impact on the other member (Bersheid & Pepau, L.A. (1983) By exploring and reflecting upon our own belief systems, values, ethics and levels of knowledge and experience, reinforced by continuous learning, self-challenge and the use of feedback loops (from a wide range of sources), there is strong evidence to suggest that relationships can be sustained by recognising one’s own strengths and opportunities as well as those of our supervisee(s) to optimise and get the most out of each relationship. History and Development of Clinical Supervision

Clinical supervision began initially in the late 19th Century within psychoanalytic spheres, where there was evidence that small groups gathered to evaluate each other’s client work ‘informally’. Freud (1902) first termed supervision: "as a number of young doctors gathered around me with the express intention of learning, practising and spreading the knowledge of psychoanalysis". As a result of an International Psychoanalytic Congress in Budapest 1918, to deliberate ‘Training Analysis Compulsory for Psychoanalysts’, one of the leading psychoanalysts at that time, Dr Eitingon cited “one can no longer study psychoanalysis without undergoing analysis oneself.”

Following on from this congress, the first institute for psychoanalytic training was set up by Drs Eitingon and Abraham, with the Berlin Outpatient Clinic in 1920. The training was based upon the Eitingon model and consisted of three key parts including training analysis; supervision analysis and theoretical training. Both Freud’s statement regarding supervision and the fact that Drs Eitingon and Abraham were key facilitators in the establishment of a training clinic, infer that the role of clinical supervisor was at its inception stage, albeit informally, and was perceived to be a vital component to the supervision activities Freud (and many others) were participating in throughout the period. Similarly, within this era, the industrial revolution was extremely prolific and economy-changing, with many organisations using ‘supervisors’ to manage and control their day to day operations to ensure all resources were maximised to acquire the greatest profit. This type of administrative supervision was a very different model to that of the clinical supervisory function, although both were similar in terms of power. Supervisors in both clinical and administrative settings, had the upper hand and level of authority within the relationship, and to this day, the balance of power, due to the nature of the roles, is generally perceived to be unequal. Both administrative and clinical supervision still work under two separate models with different purposes, different operations and different rule books.

As supervision progressed into the 1950s, there was a swing towards other types of counselling and psychotherapy, such as CBT and REBT, in addition to the traditional psychodynamic approach. Their founders, Dr Beck and Dr Ellis...

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