University of Limerick
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Clinical psychologists’ experiences of facilitating trainees’learning through supervision – an IPA study

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posted on 2022-12-15, 15:15 authored by Tom Walton
Introduction: Research on supervision is a burgeoning area within clinical psychology. Existing literature has focused primarily on supervisees’ perspectives of supervision. There has been little research in clinical psychology focusing on supervisors’ perspectives, and in particular, how they facilitate trainees’ learning. The present study attempted to address the gap in the literature, and explore clinical psychologists’ experiences of supervision with trainees. Method: The researcher interviewed eight clinical psychologists from the West and Mid-West of Ireland. All supervisors had experience of supervising at least two clinical psychology trainees. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore clinicians’ subjective experiences of supervision, with a focus on facilitating trainees’ learning. Interviews were transcribed verbatim. Results: IPA was the chosen methodology for this research, and the analysis revealed a number of superordinate and subordinate themes in the interview data. The superordinate themes included “Feeling the Responsibility”, “Striking a Balance” and “Letting Go”. Discussion: This study succeeded in addressing a number of gaps in the supervision literature. It provided greater insight into the perspectives of supervisors of clinical psychology trainees, and their efforts to facilitate learning. The results of the study are discussed in relation to existing supervision literature, the study strengths and weaknesses are highlighted, and a number of implications for clinical practice, education, training, and future research are presented.



  • Faculty of Education and Health Sciences


  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Coughlan, Barry





Department or School

  • Psychology

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