University of Limerick
Gavin_2020_Lived.pdf (1.12 MB)

Lived experiences of supervision within the assistant psychology pilot scheme – an exploratory study

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posted on 2023-02-16, 16:20 authored by Jenny Gavin
Introduction: Research has highlighted the different ways in which supervision can facilitate skill acquisition and development. It also demonstrates the impact of poor supervision processes. However, existing literature focuses primarily on experiences of trainee psychologists. The current study aimed to explore the subjective lived experience of clinical supervisors and assistant psychologists being supervised within the pilot assistant psychology scheme in Ireland. The present study attempted to address the gap in the literature, highlight lived experiences, identify what is working well, unmet needs and challenges. Method: A qualitative design was utilised involving the completion of semi-structured interviews with participants. The researcher interviewed eight individuals, four were clinical supervisors and four were assistant psychologists. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim for analysis. Results: IPA was the chosen methodology for this research, and the analysis revealed a number of superordinate and subordinate themes for both groups. The superordinate themes for the clinical supervisor group included “Journey of Growth”, “Sense of Responsibility”, and “Challenges. The superordinate themes for the assistant psychology group included “Good Supervision” and “Negative Psychological Consequences”. Discussion: The study succeeded in addressing several gaps in the supervision literature. It provided greater insight into the experiences of clinical supervisors and assistant psychologists’ working within the pilot scheme. The results are discussed in relation to existing relevant literature, the study strengths and weaknesses are delineated, and several implications for clinical practice, education, training and future research are presented.



  • Faculty of Education and Health Sciences


  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Barry Coughlan





Department or School

  • Psychology

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