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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book describes an events-based model of supervision. It is pantheoretical and can be used within different disciplines, such as psychiatry, psychology, social work, and nursing. It focuses on interpersonal events rather than working through a developmental model.
Purpose: According to the authors, this is intended as "a guidebook for supervisors of mental health practitioners as well as a text for supervisors in training and the faculty who train them." The authors add that the book "will help supervisors understand and handle the most frequently encountered dilemmas in psychotherapy supervision. We selected dilemmas that, in or experience, frequently challenge supervisors regardless of their discipline or the settings in which they work. These include handling supervisees' role conflict and ambiguity, cultural and gender related misunderstandings, sexual attraction to clients, countertransference and projective identification, skill difficulties and deficits, and problematic attitudes and behavior." The book definitely meets the authors' objectives.
Audience: According to the authors, "our audience includes academic and clinical supervisors in counseling and guidance, counseling psychology, clinical psychology, school psychology, social work, psychiatry, and psychiatric nursing in public and private colleges and universities, agencies, and hospitals." Graduate students these clinical disciplines also would gain much from this book because they will be the future supervisors. The authors are credible authorities.
Features: An events-based model of supervision focuses on the supervisory working alliance, broken down into three parts — marker, task environment, resolution. Topics include remediating skill difficulties, negotiating role conflicts, working through countertransference, managing sexual attraction, among others. The book is organized fairly uniformly, with each chapter including the same elements: marker, assessing knowledge, exploration of feelings, normalizing the experience, focus on countertransference, focus on the therapeutic process, and resolution. Chapter six on managing sexual attraction is revealing and enlightening. Chapter three on heightening multicultural awareness is right on target. The vignettes are valuable for learning. The book is written from a transtheoretical vantage point, so all persuasions can learn from these authors.
Assessment: This is one of the finest books on supervision I have read. It is practical, easy to read, and addresses the tough issues. The vignettes are superb and teach volumes. It is must reading for all who will supervise. The authors walk you through the process of supervision and their events-based model is a good way of conceptualizing clinical material. Their suggestions of intervening with and remediating students, within the case material, are a great way to learn the supervision process.