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The experience of becoming a clinical supervisor Majcher, Jo-Ann Marie 2001

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THE EXPERIENCE OF BECOMING A CLINICAL SUPERVISOR by Jo-Ann Marie Majcher B.Ed. The University of British Columbia, 1981 M.A. (Counselling Psychology) The University of British Columbia, 1990 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education We accept this thesis as conforming to the required st£»dard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA June, 2001 © Jo-Ann Marie Majcher, 2001 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Educ^VorsA\ «VNC\ Cour>seV\\r\Q CKCAOQV ) ^peo'^\ ^duc^VcrN . The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) A B S T R A C T This study explored the lived experiences of Counselling Psychology doctoral students as they underwent the transition from being a counsellor to undertaking the role of clinical supervisor. Phenomenology provided both the philosophical and methodological framework for addressing the research question: How do supervisors-in-training experience and make sense of the process of becoming a clinical supervisor? Six doctoral students enrolled in a clinical supervision course voluntarily participated in a series of three process interviews over the eight month duration of the course: one at the beginning of the course, one mid-way through and one at the end. A follow-up interview was also conducted with each participant to examine and validate common themes of meaning. Phenomenological themes that were common to all participants were uncovered in each interview set. These shared structures of meaning provided in rich detail the participating doctoral students experiences of becoming clinical supervisors, and how they made sense of their experiences. In addition to the common patterns of experiences that were discovered, a relationship dimension emerged that was shared by all participants, and ran through all themes in all sets of interviews. This study focused specifically on the growth and development of supervisors-in-training. The findings contribute to a greater understanding of the learning process involved in becoming a clinical supervisor. Results are compared to the available theoretical literature related to supervisor development. Implications for supervisor training and recommendations for future research are also discussed. iii TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ii Table of Contents iii List of Tables v Acknowledgments vi CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION 1 Purpose of the Study 2 Rationale 6 Approach to the Research 10 CHAPTER II: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 12 Supervisor Development Models 12 Alonso's Model 14 Hess's Model 16 Stoltenberg and Delworth's Model 18 Rodenhauser's Model 21 Watkins's Model 23 Critique of Current Supervisor Development Models . . . . 27 Research Related to Supervisor Development 31 CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY 40 Approach to the Question 40 Personal Assumptions 43 Bracketing 43 Narrative Biography 44 Presuppositions 44 Procedure 47 Participants 47 Data Collection 50 The Interview Process 52 Data Analysis 54 Comparative Pattern Analysis 55 Ethical Considerations 58 Criteria of Trustworthiness 60 CHAPTER IV: RESULTS 63 Interview One 63 Interview Two I l l Interview Three 183 i v CHAPTER V: DISCUSSION 232 Limitations of the Study 233 Implications for Theory 236 Support for Supervisor Development Models . . . . 236 Contributions to Theory 245 Implications for Supervisor Training 253 Implications for Research 257 Personal Statement 260 REFERENCES 262 APPENDIX A: Narrative Biography 273 APPENDIX B: Supervision Course Outline 284 APPENDIX C: Presentation Outline 294 APPENDIX D: Letter to Participants 297 APPENDIX E: Sample Interview Questions 298 APPENDIX F: Participant Review Letter 300 APPENDIX G: Study Participant Consent Form 301 APPENDIX H: Orienting Statement 303 V LIST OF TABLES Table Page 1. Common Themes and Relationship Dimension 64 v i ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The process of taking on and completing a doctoral dissertation takes a commitment of time, as well as the energy to persevere and the will to move forward on the part of the researcher-writer. These things, however, are not enough. One needs the help, guidance, and support of many people in order to make the dream of completing such a project a reality. I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation and profound thanks to the members of my dissertation committee. To Judith Daniluk, I thank you for your incredible support and encouragement and for the sharing of your professional wisdom, humour, and detailed attention to my document; to Barbara Holmes, for your ongoing interest in and support of my research; and to Bill Borgen, for your insights and questions that helped me to define and carry out my research. This project would never have occurred without the doctoral supervisors-in-training who agreed to participate in my study. I thank you for both your commitment to this project and for allowing me to journey with you as you engaged in the process of becoming clinical supervisors. I am also grateful to the audit reviewer and the non-participant reviewers who gave freely of their time to read through and comment on the document. I have been truly blessed with a circle of loving and supportive family and friends. I would like to thank my mother, Genevieve, for being my long distance cheerleader. A thank you goes to Shaunah, my sister and friend, for taking care of many of the details in my life. I would like to thank my close friends for staying in touch. You provided me with dinners, fun-filled diversions, and welcomed respite from my computer. I would like to remember, in particular, Judith Bertoia for her unwavering belief that I could write with skill and clarity; Janny Thompson, V l l for her careful reading and editorial suggestions to portions of my thesis; to my long time friend, Donna O'Hara, for letting me talk my ideas outloud, and for helping at times to set my thoughts down in an understandable way; and finally, to Mavis Lloyd who helped me to glide royally through my defense. 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. (Oliver Wendel Homes, Jr.) I began working as a clinical supervisor armed with only my own counsellor training experiences and clinical background. Having received no supervisory training before I actually began supervising counsellor trainees I often found myself anxious about whether I was doing "it" right. To help understand my own experiences of being a novice supervisor and gain insight into my counsellor-trainees' experiences and development, I turned to the literature on supervision. I had hoped that the literature would help me understand my own evolutionary process and guide me on my journey of becoming a supervisor. In addition, I had also wanted to know more about the process of becoming a counsellor and how I could better facilitate counsellor growth. The literature provided extensive information regarding counsellor development (e.g., Holloway, 1992; Russell, Crimmings, & Lent, 1984; Stoltenberg, McNeill , & Crethar, 1994) along with guidelines as to what constituted good supervision, (e.g., Bernard, 1979; 1988; Ronnestad & Skovholt, 1993). But, I found very little material describing how individuals evolve into the role of supervisor. I learned much about what my counsellor-trainees might be experiencing and need. However, what I did not find at that time, was concrete information that would help me understand my own learning and development as a supervisor. Now, as I once again explore the research on supervisor development, I have discovered that there are conceptual models of supervisor 2 development (Alonso, 1983; Hess, 1986, 1987; Rodenhauser, 1994; Stoltenberg & Delworth, 1987; Watkins, 1990; 1993). However, I still find that there is little research that has recorded the actual experiences of individuals in the process of becoming supervisors. This lack of empirical data, as well as my own experiences as a beginning supervisor, have given rise to my interest in this new area of study. I have become increasingly interested in understanding the lived experiences of other counsellors who are making the transition into the new and complex world of supervision. Purpose of the Study This study explored the lived experiences of Counselling Psychology doctoral students as they underwent the transition from being a counsellor to undertaking the role of clinical supervisor. The purpose was to engage in a qualitative analysis of the process by which doctoral students take on the roles and identities of clinical supervisors. The focus was on capturing, recording, and describing in depth the experiences of doctoral students as they engaged in the phenomenological process of becoming clinical supervisors, and in articulating how they made sense of their experiences. In the past twenty years clinical supervision has emerged as an area of specialized expertise within the counselling profession. It is considered to be an area of practice that requires specific training, theory development, and systematic research (Wilson, 1992). Although sharing some common overlapping elements with counselling, consultation, and teaching, supervision is a distinct and unique intervention (Bernard & Goodyear, 1998) separated from these other domains by different goals, purposes, and processes. Distinctions between counselling and supervision have been elucidated in conceptual models of counselling and supervision (Dye & 3 Borders, 1990) as well as in related research (Bernard & Goodyear, 1992; Borders & Leddick, 1987). Counselling is the process of helping individuals function more effectively in their lives. Working with the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours of clients, counsellors help them to examine their beliefs, identify goals, and undertake changes to make their lives more satisfying (Egan, 1998; Ivey, Bradford, & Simek-Downing, 1987; Kanfer, & Goldstein, 1991). Supervision on the other hand, is seen as a unique process (Allen, Stebnicki, & Lynch, 1995) serving a different function than counselling (Bernard & Goodyear 1998; Borders & Leddick, 1987). There are a number of working definitions of clinical supervision available (e.g., Hart, 1982; Loganbill, Hardy, & Delworth, 1982), however, these definitions are narrow in scope, focusing only on supervision provided in a one-to-one context. Because the supervision that was provided during this study occurred on a one-to-one basis as well as within a group setting a broader more encompassing working definition of supervision was used. For the purpose of this study supervision was defined as: An intervention provided by a more senior member of a profession to a more junior member or members of that same profession. This relationship is evaluative, extends over time, and has the simultaneous purposes of enhancing the professional functioning of the more junior person(s), monitoring the quality of professional services offered to the client(s) she, he, or they see(s), and serving as a gatekeeper of those who are to enter the particular profession (Bernard & Goodyear, 1998, p. 6). Supervision, then, is considered an educational and evaluative process whereas counselling is a therapeutic endeavour. 4 It has become increasingly evident that effective counsellors should not automatically be considered effective supervisors (Barlett, 1983; Holloway & Hosford, 1983; Dye & Borders, 1990; Leddick & Bernard, 1980; Lanning, 1986). Clinical supervisors have specific roles and goals (Dye & Borders) and it cannot be assumed that because individuals have gained an understanding of, and skill for, counselling that they have also acquired the ability to communicate and facilitate the integration and development of this knowledge and these skills in others. A distinct body of knowledge with identified skills (e.g., monitoring and evaluating, instructing and advising, modeling, consulting, supporting and sharing, Holloway, 1995) has emerged from the conceptual and empirical literature on supervision, indicating that specialized training in supervision is required if competent counsellors are to become competent supervisors (Borders, 1992). It has been suggested that effective supervisor training programs include both didactic and experiential training components (Bernard & Goodyear, 1998; Hoffman, 1994) where supervisors-in-training are given the opportunity to explore models of supervision, examine supervision research, discuss ethical and professional issues (Russell & Petrie, 1994) and undergo graded supervisory experiences (Bernard & Goodyear). Popular wisdom presumes that supervisors know how to supervise because they have been supervised, that skilled counsellors make skilled supervisors, and that more experienced supervisors have greater expertise. The underlying belief is that one learns how to be a supervisor by osmosis (Schindler & Talen, 1996), a belief that is evident by the fact that few clinical supervisors ever receive formal education or training in supervision (Hoffman, 1994; Loganbill, Hardy, & Del worth, 1982). It appears that supervisors in general have attained their positions based on their 5 educational level, tenure, and counselling experiences (Bradley, 1988), and not because they have had specialized training or preparation for the role. For supervisors to provide effective supervision they must think of their counsellors as learners and of themselves as educators who create suitable learning environments. Within the profession, skilled and effective supervisors are not only seen as competent counsellors, they are also considered capable educators who apply their counselling skills, along with their teaching and consulting skills (Borders, 1992) to the attainment of new goals within the supervisory context. There is little evidence to date demonstrating that supervisors naturally improve and become more competent as they gain experience. It seems that once supervisors are at the advanced practicum level of experience they are able to supervise as effectively as their post-PhD supervisor counterparts (Worthington, 1987). In a nation-wide survey of 237 counsellor supervisees Worthington (1984) discovered that supervisees do not rate the supervision they receive from pre and post-PhD supervisors differently in terms of competence, impact on the supervisee, or satisfaction of the supervisee with supervision. In fact, when licensure status (Zucker & Worthington, 1986), degree level (Marikis, Russell, & Dell, 1985; Worthington, 1984), or student-faculty status (Worthington & Stern, 1985) were used to conceptualize the supervision experience, supervisors beyond the master's level appear to be equally effective (Worthington, 1987). According to Worthington (1987) a lack of training may result in individual supervisors perpetuating the mistakes of their own supervisors. As well, their own experiences as supervisors may be insufficient to enable them to view and assess their work objectively or from different perspectives. Without training, supervisors may not consciously take a reflective and self-6 correcting stance towards the services they provide. In fact, it would appear that supervisors' perceived competence and actual competence can be independent of one another (Bernard & Goodyear, 1998). Watkins (1995c) has noted that in much of the developmentally-oriented supervision research conducted, the constructs of experience and development have been viewed synonymously. In fact, development has often been operationalized in terms of experience. The assumption has been that supervisors with more supervisory experience are more developed in the various aspects and skills of their supervisory role. Watkins suggests that experience in and of itself does not assure that development will occur. To further advance an understanding of supervisor growth he asserts that experience and development must be considered as separate entities. In summary, clinical supervision is an area of specialized expertise that requires specific training where skill development and conceptual understanding of the supervisory process is provided within a framework designed specifically for supervision. It would appear from a review of the supervisory literature, however, that little research attention has been directed towards understanding supervisor development and how this process might enhance and advance supervisor training practices . Rationale Although the field of clinical supervision has seen advances and developments in theory building and research over the past few decades, primary emphasis has been on facilitating the process of learning and development for counsellors-in-training. Little notice has been paid to the learning and development of supervisors-in-training. The focus has been on the goals, functions, and methods of clinical supervision (e.g., Borders & Leddick, 1987; Bernard, 1979; Bernard & Goodyear, 1992; Freeman & McHenry, 7 1996); on examining the supervision process (e.g., Bernard & Goodyear, 1992; Kell & Mueller, 1966; Russell, Crimmings, & Lent, 1984); and on the development of supervision theories and models that promote effective practice and facilitate counsellor growth and development (e.g., Holloway, 1995, Littrell, Lee-Bordin, & Lorenz, 1979; Loganbill, Hardy, & Delworth, 1982; Skovholt & Ronnestad, 1992; Stoltenberg, 1981; Stoltenberg & Delworth, 1987). Even though supervision is considered to be a fundamental component of counsellor development, little attention has been given to the development of supervisors (Borders & Fong, 1994). Worthington in his 1987 review of the supervision literature, noted that empirical research on the way supervisors change with experience was "at a rudimentary level" (p. 206), that little research had focused on this area of inquiry and consequently that little was understood regarding supervisor development. In 1992, Borders noted that no empirical investigations regarding the role transition from counsellor to supervisor had been carried out. In 1994, Russell and Petrie found that the supervisor development models that had emerged in the literature were in their formative stages and had not yet been empirically supported. The resulting gap between conceptual models of supervisor development and empirical research has resulted in limited information about how individuals experience the process of shifting roles and responsibilities, as well as how they change and evolve over time into their roles as supervisors. Given that existing supervisor development models are fashioned on counsellor development models (Bernard & Goodyear, 1998; Watkins, 1995a, 1995d) it has been suggested that these models can provide preliminary guidelines for creating effective supervisory training environments (Russell & Petrie, 1994). However, to date there are only five proposed conceptual models of supervisor development as opposed to 22 identified counsellor 8 development models (Bernard & Goodyear, 1998; Watkins, 1995a; Worthington, 1987). For the most part counsellor development models have been converted and adapted into supervisor development models because of the similarity in emphasis on shifts in professional identity and skills that occur with experience and training (Bernard & Goodyear, 1998). These supervisor development models are fully discussed in Chapter Two. Many writers on the topic of supervisor development have recognized the need for a greater understanding of how supervisors learn and develop the art of engaging competently in the supervisory process (e.g., Borders & Fong, 1994; Watkins, 1995(a); Worthington, 1987). In 1987, Worthington called for a focused inquiry into supervisor development. He articulated the need to: understand the ways in which supervisors learn their trade; learn about how supervisor behaviour might vary at different points of development; comprehend how supervisors develop and modify their theory or model of supervision with experience; look at what types of experiences help supervisors improve or impede their progress; and examine how other professional experiences interact and blend with the development of supervision skills. Others have suggested that the key to understanding supervisor development is to track and examine, over time, changes in supervisors' conceptualizations regarding the supervisory process (Bernard & Goodyear, 1992; Borders, 1992; Heath & Storm, 1983). It is thought that the "cognitive shift" (Heath & Storm) that takes an individual from thinking like a counsellor to thinking like a supervisor is central to understanding supervisor development (Borders & Fong, 1994). This cognitive change is seen as a first step in developing a conceptual framework for understanding how individuals take on the role and identity of a supervisor and engage in 9 the process of supervision (Borders & Fong). Becoming a supervisor is an additional step in professional development (Shechter, 1990) that involves shifts in felt responsibility and identity (Bernard & Goodyear, 1998). The shift is not seen as a single, one-time event, but rather as a continuous process because as new supervisors gain experience, they will continue to change in skill and in perceptions of self and role (Bernard & Goodyear, 1998). However, little work seems to have been done beyond the theorizing stage. Many questions have been posed, yet, few have been explored and answered. There continues to be a need to work towards an increased understanding in many areas of supervisor development. Borders (1992) suggests exploring what thoughts and behaviors differentiate supervisors who think like a counsellor and those who think like a supervisor, clarifying how the role transition from counsellor to supervisor occurs, determining what interventions facilitate a shift in perspective, and how this change effects supervision outcomes. Borders and Fong (1994) recommend investigating how supervisors develop self efficacy and learn to apply their supervision knowledge and skills. Blair and Peake (1995) point to the need for a greater understanding of the developmental processes of supervisors and supervisees in order to increase effective supervision. Schinder and Talen (1996) advise looking at how beginning supervisors learn to supervise and apply their supervision knowledge, attitudes, and skills to the supervisory experience as well as what first time supervisors need to know in order to initiate successful supervision experiences. The consensus reached in the literature is that there is a critical need to study supervisor development. Empirical research regarding model testing and supervisor development is negligible (Russell & Petrie, 1994), making research in this area long over due. The focus of this study was to explore the 10 lived experiences of Counselling Psychology doctoral students engaged in the process of becoming clinical supervisors. The research question that was asked was: How do supervisors-in-training experience and make sense of the process of becoming a clinical supervisor? The conceptualization and research on supervisor development is in its formative stages. This current study contributes unique and unprecedented information on the lived experiences of individuals making the transition from the role of counsellor to that of supervisor. Uncovering and describing the phenomenological transformation of supervisors-in-training provides a new and more contextually rich understanding of supervisor development. This information, in turn, may influence the refinement of general theoretical supervisor development models, future research directions regarding supervisor development and training, and the practice of clinical supervision. Approach to the Research Although there has been some theorizing and model building with regards to supervisor development, the empirical research completed in this area is almost non-existent. Therefore, the time for empirical investigation is now. Supervisor development is a complex process which invites many areas of study. In order to effectively and comprehensively examine supervisor development it is important to take a diverse methodological stance (Watkins, 1995b) and utilize methods that are developmentally sensitive (Watkins, 1995c). Research in this area, therefore, should not be limited to traditional quantitative methodologies. There is room for the use of experimental methodology as well as qualitative, phenomenologically based methodology (Watkins, 1995b) in the process of strengthening our understanding of the developing supervisor. 11 When an area of study, such as supervisor development, is not well understood, a phenomenological approach to the topic is most appropriate (Colaizzi, 1978; Osborne, 1990). It allows for the exploration of human experience (Baker, Wuest, & Noerager Stern, 1992) and lends itself to the discovery and examination of the phenomena being explored (Osborne, 1994; van Manen, 1990). Phenomenological research focuses on the inner world of individuals by both capturing and illuminating their lived experiences and seeking to understand and make conscious the essential meaning structures of those experiences (Polkinghorne, 1989). Doctoral student's descriptions of their experiences of "becoming" a clinical supervisor were elicited using a series of three in-depth unstructured phenomenologically-oriented interviews over an 8-month training period. These interviews, which were aimed at eliciting each person's story in depth and detail (Mishler, 1986) regarding their experiences were first analyzed and interpreted for emerging structures of shared meaning (Osborne, 1990) and then these common themes were reviewed and validated by participants. Little is known about how individuals experience the process of becoming a supervisor. Turning to supervisors-in-training and exploring with them how they experienced and made meaning out of the process of "becoming" a clinical supervisor provides a rich untapped source of information regarding supervisor development. 12 CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE It's exciting to make order out of chaos, to watch the contagious excitement of our students, and to share in the intimate pleasure of contact over emotional growth and expansion: it's fun to watch someone move from student to colleague, and watch the better parts of ourselves move into posterity. (Alonso) The purpose of this chapter is to review the conceptual and empirical literature regarding the development of clinical supervisors in the field of Counselling Psychology. Other disciplines, such as nursing and veterinary medicine, also have a body of supervision literature; however, in keeping with the purpose and focus of this study, this review is limited to the relevant conceptual and research literature on supervision within the discipline of Counselling Psychology. In the first section each supervisor development model that has emerged in the past fifteen years is presented and then critiqued. In the second section empirical research that has contributed to the current understanding and knowledge of the developing supervisor is examined. Supervisor Development Models Current models of supervisor development are based on counsellor development models (Bernard & Goodyear, 1998; Watkins, 1995a; Watkins, 1995d). These models have been adapted from counsellor development models because of a common emphasis on the changes in skills and professional identity that occur with training and experience (Bernard & Goodyear, 1998). According to Watkins (1995a) supervisor development models share the same basic assumptions as the counsellor development models on which they are patterned. The only difference between the two is that the focus is on the developing supervisor, rather than the developing 13 counsellor. Assumptions that are considered to be shared between counsellor and supervisor development models are as follows: both counsellors-in-training and supervisors-in-training will develop and grow as long as they are not exposed to harmful training environments; their development will advance through a sequence of stages, from being less developed to being more developed; during those different stages individuals will struggle and deal with a variety of developmental issues and concerns such as competence and identity; and both supervisors of counsellors-in-training and supervisors of-supervisors in-training need to take into consideration the developmental level of their supervisees when structuring supervision for optimal learning (Watkins, 1995a). Supervisor development models are concerned with describing how supervisors change as they gain experience. Their aim is to focus on "the process that supervisors themselves experience in 'becoming' a supervisor" (Watkins, 1995a, p. 647). To date, five supervisor development models have been presented in the literature (Bernard & Goodyear, 1998). The models proposed by Alonso (1983), Hess, (1986,1987), Stoltenberg and Delworth (1987), Rodenhauser (1994), and Watkins (1990, 1993) are all conceptually based, descriptive in nature, and employ a three-or four-stage model to describe supervisor development. Although each of these models proposes chronological stages of supervisor development none of them discuss a time frame for development, nor do they discuss the process of transition between stages. At present, there is little empirical research to support these models of supervisor development (Worthington, 1987; Watkins, 1995a), however, it has been suggested that they do provide preliminary information that can be used to facilitate and guide future investigations (Watkins, 1995b). 14 Alonso's Model One of the earliest models of supervisor development was proposed by Alonso (1983). It is based on her own experiences of learning and teaching supervision. Influenced by both psychodynamic and life-span developmental perspectives, Alonso examined the development of the supervisor from the context of the professional life-span. Supervisors are seen to move from novice to midcareer to late career stages of development, working through particular developmental tasks and issues at each stage. Alonso's model indicates that at each stage of development the supervisor encounters and has to deal with three recurring issues. The supervisor needs to grapple with and resolve issues regarding self and identity, the relationship between supervisor and therapist, and the relationship between the supervisor and the administration. According to Alonso, it is the resolution of these issues at one stage that facilitates movement to the next stage. It is not clear, however, how long it might take for an individual to resolve the issues at any one stage before moving on to a higher stage of development. At the beginning of their careers, supervisors in the novice stage work towards developing a supervisor identity and nurturing the dream of what they may become. They struggle with assuming new levels of responsibility and are often plagued with identity diffusion and anxiety regarding what Alonso (1983) terms, "narcissistic developmental needs" (e.g., a need for validation, approval, and role models). She suggests that in relation to their counsellor supervisees, supervisors "resemble an older sibling — one who can still clearly remember what it feels like to be in the therapist's place, but for whom the competitive issues are still hot" (p. 31). This competitiveness, arises as supervisors may feel the need to defend themselves as novices again after achieving a level of mastery as therapists. These issues can be 15 exacerbated by the fact that their counsellor-supervisees are usually the same age and are also career novices taking on new levels of responsibility. Novice supervisors may have the need to be recognized by their institution as a non-student. This need to be seen as a skilled professional may result in them being more rigorous in their expectations and critical of their supervisees than they will ever be again. Another possibility is that unfinished issues left over from their own counsellor training may cause them to over-identify with students whom they perceive to be at the mercy of a "victimizing power structure" (p. 32). At the midcareer stage, supervisors become less concerned with themselves and more focused on others. They are, as described by Levinson (1978), the ideal mentor. Supervisors at this stage are seen as moving outside of themselves towards others. Being a supervisor provides an opportunity to process some of the separation and individuation issues that emerge in their lives. During this time supervisors are well established within the power structure of their work organization and, because of this, are able to negotiate differences between students and administration. They have the added advantage of seeing both sides of arising disputes. Supervisors in the late career stage may be faced with the challenge of maintaining self-esteem within a culture that often devalues older members of society. They may struggle against society's stereotypes of older people. On the other hand, the supervisory role at this stage may become the vehicle for expressing wisdom and expertise. Supervisors may enjoy the status of "village elder", admired for their knowledge and wisdom. Supervisors at this stage are provided the opportunity to work through conflicts regarding integrity and despair. Free from administrative constraints, they enjoy the esteem of the system. They have the advantage of a long term perspective 16 and can be the "voice for optimism and calm, having seen a multitude of crises rise and abate, often with benevolent results" (Alonso, 1983, p. 32). Alonso's model makes a unique contribution to the process of supervisor development because it assumes a lifelong process of development. This is in contrast to the other models presented herein which do not specify a time frame. This model is limited, however, in two ways. First, it has no empirical validity as it is based only on Alonso's supervisory experiences. Second, although Alonso indicates that resolving the three recurring issues at each stage will propel a supervisor into the next stage of development it is not clear how long it might take for an individual to progress through the stages of development. Hess's Model Hess (1986, 1987) proposed a three stage model of supervisor development. Although each stage (beginning stage, exploration stage, confirmation of supervisory identity stage) is described, the basis for the model (i.e., clinical experience, research) is not addressed. The process by which supervisors are believed to move from one stage to the next is briefly explained, however, there is no discussion regarding how long it might take an individual to move through the stages of development. Hess suggests that most poor supervisors are "stuck" in the beginning stage. The implication here is that supervisor development from one stage to the next is not guaranteed. Hess (1987) suggests that for supervisors to make the shift from the beginning stage to the exploration stage two things will need to occur. First, there will be a change away from the prediction of supervision on formal power (i.e., grades, program requirements) to informal power (i.e., learning needs of the student). Second, supervisors will begin to focus on the 17 supervision literature and engage in other related professional activities (i.e., workshops) that facilitate the development of a supervisor identity. The shift from the exploration stage to the confirmation of the supervisor's identity stage is characterized by an "excitement for supervision on the part of both the supervisee and the supervisor" (Hess, 1987, p. 253). Supervisors are motivated to provide counsellor trainees with effective supervision. Degree and licensing requirements become secondary to the excitement of learning. In the beginning stage, supervisors experience a role status change. They go from being supervised to being the supervisors, often with little formal training in supervision (Hess & Hess, 1983). This change in reference group from fellow students to experienced clinicians carries demanding expectations for novice supervisors because their standard for comparison now becomes senior clinicians. Their self-consciousness at this stage makes supervisors sensitive to peer and trainee criticism. Because they may be unaware of supervisory issues (e.g., the structuring of supervision and techniques of supervision), beginning supervisors often concentrate on what is concrete, relying on a client or technique focused approach to supervision. In the second or exploration stage, supervisors become more confident and effective. Supervisors internalize supervision as a valuable professional activity. They begin to explore the supervision literature and participate in other professional activities that lead to a professional identity as a supervisor. Supervisors are able to differentiate between better and worse supervision, and more or less competent counsellor supervisees. As well, they come to realize their own impact on supervisees and modify supervision to accommodate supervisees' learning needs. Two pitfalls that can lead to supervisee resistance have been identified for the supervisor at this stage. The first has to do with the supervisor who uses only one role or 18 promotes only one particular technique or theory. The second problem arises when supervisors become intrusive, using supervision as a means for conducting therapy with their supervisees. In the third or confirmation of supervisor identity stage, supervisor identity is consolidated. Supervisors have become skillful practitioners, confident in their abilities and professional in their dealings with supervisees. They receive their fulfillment and professional satisfaction from their supervisees' successes, as opposed to validation for being "good supervisors". Supervisors at this stage facilitate high levels of trust and confidentiality. There is "less worry about the relationship, and more relationship per se" (Hess, 1986; p. 64), which in turn frees supervisors to focus directly on the learning needs of each trainee. Although Hess's model provides a descriptive explanation for each identified stage of supervisor development it has a number of limitations. First, it is not clear what the model is based on. Second, minimal information is given regarding the transitional process from one stage to the next and finally, there is no indication as to how long it will take supervisors to progress through the stages of development. Stoltenberg and Delworth's Model Stoltenberg and Delworth (1987) offer a four stage model (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 3 Integrated) of supervisor development. It is based on their own developmental perspective and has been informed by their understanding of the supervision literature, and their own supervisory work experiences. They have suggested that supervisors go through stages of development that are similar to those that they have presented in their counsellor development model. 19 Stoltenberg and Delworth (1987) have hypothesized that a connection exists between supervisors' own counsellor development and their performance level as supervisors. In order to advance through supervisor development levels individuals must also progress through counsellor development levels. This type of thinking has implications for training counsellors. According to Stoltenberg and Delworth, a Level I supervisor should have reached the stage of at least a late Level II counsellor to work effectively with a beginning supervisee. To create optimum supervisory environments they suggest that consideration should be given to matching appropriate supervisee and supervisor developmental levels. Stoltenberg and Delworth (1987) have suggested that for supervisors to move towards a higher level of supervisor development they must accurately assess their current level of functioning as a supervisor. To do this, they propose that supervisors use the model's descriptions of supervisor levels in conjunction with an examination of their own level of counsellor development, supervisor training experience (didactic and experiential), experiences as a supervisor (amount and type), and functioning in the three areas of motivation, autonomy, and awareness, as they relate to the supervisor role. This self-assessment is considered to be helpful to both supervisors and their trainers in addressing issues that will permit movement toward the next level of development. In this model, Level 1 supervisors can be characterized as somewhat naive, very anxious, and overly concerned about doing the "right thing". They tend to be mechanistic in their approach to supervision and often see their role as one of being the expert. When reflecting on supervisory sessions they are usually most concerned with their performance. At this stage it is common for supervisors to try and influence supervisees towards the 20 supervisors' own theoretical orientation. Stoltenberg and Delworth suggest that supervisors at this stage are more effective with beginning supervisees who need structure and concrete guidance, than with more advanced supervisees who are more process-oriented. At Level 2, supervisors are plagued by confusion and conflict as they realize that the supervision process is more complex and difficult than previously anticipated. Supervisors may focus exclusively on the trainee and lose their objectivity and the ability to guide and confront. Their motivation to provide supervision may fluctuate and with it their emotional stability. They may blame supervisees for their own problems of being a supervisor and as a result become angry and/or withdrawn from the supervisee. Stoltenberg and Delworth (1987) note that this stage of development is usually short-lived, although a specific time frame is not provided. This stage is short-lived because most supervisors at this level are functioning at Level 3 as a counsellor and they use this knowledge, with the help of their own supervisors, to push themselves to improve in their supervisory role. Stoltenberg and Delworth suggest that those supervisors who seem unable to progress further often withdraw at this point from the supervisory role. Stoltenberg and Delworth (1987) suggest that most supervisors reach Level 3. Supervisors at this stage view supervision as an integral component of their professional identity. They are consistently motivated to provide supervision and are able to evaluate their own abilities and balance their own needs with the needs of the supervisee and the demands of the clinical environment. Although they function relatively autonomously these supervisors seek consultation or supervision when necessary. They are able to identify their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as the type of supervisees with whom they are best suited to work. 21 Supervisors at the Level 3 integrated stage of development are considered to be "master supervisors". They are able to work equally wel l wi th supervisees at all developmental levels. Wi th in their agencies they often take on a supervisory role wi th other less experienced supervisors. Stoltenberg and Delworth's (1987) model of supervisor development contributes to the supervision field by proposing a connection between counsellor development and supervisor development. Firstly, it suggests that a supervisor's own counsellor development w i l l affect his or her own development as a supervisor. Secondly, supervisor developmental level may interact wi th counsellor trainee level, which in turn, may affect the quality of supervision. In this model, it is understood that to become a more effective supervisor, it is essential to also become a more competent counsellor. Al though this model provides valuable information it has two limitations that need to be mentioned. First, the model lacks empirical support. It is based primarily on the authors' developmental perspectives and supervisory experiences. Second, it fails to address how long it might take supervisors to progress through the different levels of development. Rodenhauser's M o d e l Based on his review of the supervision literature, Rodenhauser (1994) proposed a multidimensional model for psychotherapy supervision. This model is based on the premise that developmental stages among all participants (supervisors, supervisees, clients) in the supervisory triangle influence the supervisory process. Wi th in this large, all encompassing model, a four stage model of supervisor development is presented. Supervisors are seen to progress through the emulation stage, conceptualization stage, and incorporation stage, before reaching the consolidation stage. Although a description of each stage is provided there is 22 no information given regarding how long it might take supervisors to move through the various stages of development or what facilitates the transition from one stage to the next. In the emulation stage, identifying and emulating previous role models is seen as the first step in the development of the supervisor. Having to adjust to their new professional role supervisors find that they must go beyond the limits of emulation to search for a systematic way of engaging in the supervisory process. In the second stage, conceptualization, supervisors feel safer about disclosing their uncertainties to colleagues as well as asking questions about methods of supervision so that they can develop their own structure and guidelines for teaching. Because they seek out and build alliances with other supervisors, they reduce the possibility of over-identifying with counsellor supervisees. During the third or incorporation stage, supervisors become increasingly aware of how their personal style and approach to supervision impacts their relationship with supervisees, as well as relationships that supervisees have with clients. Along with this increased understanding of the importance of relationship comes an awareness of individual differences based on culture, race, gender, or lifestyle that will influence the interactive processes of the supervisory triad (supervisor, trainee, and client). Supervisors begin to recognize issues related to parallel process and understand that parallel process can occur in both forward (client to counsellor to supervisor) and backward (supervisor to counsellor to client) directions. The final stage of supervisor development is identified as the consolidation stage. Supervisors at this stage have integrated both theoretical 23 and experiential learning. Experienced supervisors are able to both use supervisees' countertransference in supervision and honour supervisees privacy. Regular monitoring of parallel process for instructional cues can become an effortless and natural part of the supervisor's repertoire of skills. A strength of Rodenhauser's (1994) supervisor development model is that it has been presented within the larger supervisory context. Supervisor development is seen as one of the components that might affect the quality of supervision, and in turn, affect client progress. Rodenhauser points out that further development of a comprehensive, multidimensional model will depend on further research. There are a few limitations that need to be noted in regards to this model. First, this model is based only on Rodenhauser's (1994) review of the literature. It lacks both clinical and empirical support. Second, what is missing is a discussion regarding the length of time it might take supervisors to progress through the different stages of development. Thirdly, there is no information on what facilitates the process of development through the stages. Watkins's Model Watkins (1990, 1993) has proposed a four stage model of supervisor development (role shock, recovery and transition, role consolidation, and role mastery) that can be applied to newly graduated professionals who find themselves with the responsibility of providing clinical supervision. Watkins (1990) has based this model firstly, on his own experiences as a clinical supervisor, his observation of others who are working to improve their skills as supervisors, the supervision literature, and his own reflections and questions about the process of becoming a supervisor. Secondly, he has drawn on the counsellor development model of Hogan (1964) and refined by 24 Stoltenberg (1981). Because of this direct affiliation, Watkins (1990, 1993) has called this model the supervision complexity model (SCM). Supervisor developmental tasks, crises, and stage specific characteristics that are inherent to each of the four stages have been identified. An effort has been made to attend to the perceptual, cognitive, affective, and behavioural experiences of the supervisor. In this model, beginning supervisors are all believed to progress through the stages of development in a linear developmental manner with personality characteristics, learning style, and other related variables affecting the speed and ability with which they negotiate and move through the stages. Watkins (1990) acknowledges that he is "hesitant to specify a timetable for supervisors' development" (p. 558) because individual differences will affect how effectively supervisors cope with and master the various tasks, crises, and responsibilities at each stage. Although developmental issues (i.e., confidence in current supervisory skill, insight about impact on supervisees, approach to a theoretical framework, sense of professional identity) that need to be negotiated at each stage are identified, no information is provided with regards to what facilitates movement from one stage to the next. Stage 1, role shock, (and the impostor phenomenon) marks the role change from counsellor to supervisor. At this stage supervisors feel as if they are "impostors' masquerading as supervisors. Highly anxious and lacking in confidence, they struggle with concerns about competence, having little awareness of their strengths or weaknesses. Questions about role boundaries and role definitions arise along with the feeling of being overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing supervision. Lacking a "supervisor identity" and feeling hypersensitive about their own perceived inadequacies, these supervisors offer supervision in a tentative and insecure manner. Two 25 patterns of behaviour often emerge. The first, "retreat and withdrawal", may be employed by supervisors to protect themselves from being exposed as impostors. Their input into the supervisory process is minimized as they keep their distance from the supervisee and avoid initiating any proactive action. The second pattern, "advance and attack", has supervisors engaging in their supervisory role in a concrete manner. They overemphasize rules, procedures, and basic skills, have little tolerance for ambiguity, and give minimal attention to the process aspects of supervision (Watkins, 1990). Supervisors draw on support from other beginning supervisors, seasoned colleagues, as well as their own supervisory introjects ~ supervisors whom they have regarded as being helpful or unhelpful in their own training — for nurturing and sustaining them during this initial period of development, and for directing their interventions. In the second stage, recovery and transition, supervisors gain some perspective on the process of supervision and recover from the "shock" of "being" a supervisor. It is at this stage that the beginnings of a supervisor identity take shape. There is some conditional acknowledgment of strengths and increased confidence in their ability to supervise, however, these supervisors continue to vacillate between feeling good and feeling inadequate about the supervision they provide. Although still anxious and tense, supervisors are no longer dominated by their insecurities and are able to tolerate some ambiguity. They begin to recognize both the process aspects and the transference and countertransference issues related to supervision, although as yet, they are unable to deal with these in an effective manner. They continue to seek guidance from others; however, they are less dependent on this support than in the previous stage. 26 Supervisors at stage 3, role consolidation, have gained a broader, more informed perspective about supervision, and are more consistent in the way they think, act, and operate in supervision. They are more trusting and confident of their supervisory abilities and have a more realistic and accurate perception of their strengths and weaknesses, supervisory style, and impact on supervisees. As they become more self-reliant they recognize themselves as a resource to supervisees. More and more they are able to focus the supervision enterprise around the needs of their supervisees and supervisees' clients instead of their own egocentric needs. At this stage they begin to address and work with transference, countertransference, and process aspects of supervision, although this does not yet occur on a consistent basis. Individuals have generally developed a concept of self as "supervisor" and feel qualified for their role. Supervisor identities are strengthened, refined, and consolidated, as a coherent supervisory style emerges. In stage 4, role mastery, supervisors have achieved a sense of mastery over their supervisory efforts. They are consistently effective, competent, and professional. They manage supervision problems skillfully and now recognize and use the transference, countertransference, and process aspects of supervision in their relationship with supervisees. Supervisors are comfortable in their role and are able to maintain a balanced perspective on their work. At this stage supervisors are characterized as having a strong professional identity, a highly integrated and effective personal supervisory style, and a theoretically consistent approach to supervision. These individuals are considered to be "master" supervisors. A major strength of the SCM is in its comprehensive presentation of each identified stage of development. It details the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that are said to occur for supervisors at each stage of the process. 27 It is limited, however in two ways. Firstly, it is based primarily on Watkin's own clinical experiences and secondly, it fails to discuss how supervisors make the transition from one stage to the next stage of development. Critique of Current Supervisor Development Models There is considerable similarity among supervisor development models (Russell & Petrie, 1994; Watkins, 1995b). All of the models share a developmental focus and are oriented towards achieving professional autonomy. As Russell and Petrie state: The theoretical models presented offer slightly different perspectives; however, all appear to describe a general process through which supervisors move from a new role in which they are overwhelmed, self-conscious, anxious, and insecure to an integrated identity where they feel comfortable, secure, and competent (p. 34). Although the various models highlight different issues at different stages, the issues, processes, and evolution across the models are more similar than different (Watkins, 1995b). Russell and Petrie noted that there appears to be clinical support for these models and that what is now needed is model testing rather than model building. Watkins concurred with this observation and suggested that the supervision field would be best served by consolidating these models into one comprehensive model which could then be refined, revised, and extended. Although all supervisor development models are described in the literature in varying degrees, it is the SCM that has received the most attention. Watkins — heeding Worthington's (1987) call for the creation of an "explicit testable theory" to focus and drive supervisor development, and Russell and Petrie's (1994) request for model testing — has worked diligently towards delineating a comprehensive model of supervisor development. 28 This has included: comparing and incorporating features from other models into the S C M (Watkins, 1995b); identifying key concepts and variables, key assumptions, and hypotheses of the S C M (Watkins, 1993); and identifying what supervisor trainees need from their supervisors at various stages of development (Watkins, 1994). Research supporting supervisor development models is sparse. In 1995 Watkins (1995b) noted only two experimental studies. Both are associated with the S C M . The first is an unpublished doctoral dissertation that found some support for the S C M (Stevens, 1994). The second is the development of a measure to assess four key issues (competency vs. incompetency, autonomy vs. dependency, identity vs. identity diffusion, and self-awareness vs. unawareness) considered to be inherent in the S C M (Watkins, Schneider, Haynes, & Nieberding, 1995). These basic issues, considered to cut across all four stages of the S C M , reflect core developmental concerns and vary by stage. The resulting Psychotherapy Supervisor Development Scale (PSDS) was found to provide a general measure (but no subscale scores) of supervisor development. Further validation work is needed, although initial findings suggest that the PSDS possesses adequate (alpha) reliability, (content) validity, and can be used for research purposes (Watkins et al., 1995). In 1994, Russell and Petrie suggested that existing supervisor development models could provide direction and hypotheses for research on supervisor development. They also suggested these models were at the stage of conceptualization that allowed for the testing of specific hypotheses regarding supervisors' behaviors, thinking styles, emotions, and perceptions. A recent examination of the empirical research by this author did not uncover any additional studies related to supervisor development models. It would appear that research progress in this area has been, and continues to be, 29 minimal. In order to contribute to and advance the knowledge and understanding of supervisor development, a concerted effort is needed to link theory, research, and practice. All of the supervisor development models operate from a developmental perspective, however, it is only Alonso's model that specifically provides a professional life span view of the process. The other models do not comment on how supervisors change over the course of their professional career. They are silent with regards to the time and circumstances that may impact on the progress of individuals' development as supervisors. Because these models do not address the time frame in which individuals develop as supervisors nor the circumstances that might facilitate development, it is difficult to interpret and apply these models within a supervisor training context. Research will be needed to determine whether there are normative developmental stages that occur within a specific time frame for most supervisors, or whether the time frame for supervisor development is largely individual or influenced by many variables. At this time these issues are unexplored. In formulating a comprehensive model of supervisor development it would seem important to address both short and long term changes in how supervisors develop, grow, and evolve in their supervisory role. Watkins (1995b) has suggested using phenomenological based methodology to discover what the experience of "becoming" looks like over time. Supervisors could be interviewed at different points in their career (i.e., one year vs. three years vs. five years). Findings from such interviews would expand our knowledge and understanding of the developing supervisor and of the process of supervisor skill and identity development. 30 The descriptive models of supervisor development discussed in this chapter have made a significant contribution in drawing attention to the necessity of examining the growth and development of the supervisor. Although these models are in their formative stages they do provide a conceptual foundation for further research and theory building. The application of developmental concepts and principles to the process of supervisor development has resulted in the formulation of supervisor development stages that are seen as existing along a continuum ranging from minimal skill, identity, and effectiveness, to maximum skill, identity, and effectiveness (Watkins, 1994). These theoretical stages of development have been useful in stimulating thinking about the process of supervisor development. Although helpful, present models of supervisor development are not without limitations. First, it needs to be recognized that supervisor development models have been created by adapting counsellor development models (Bernard & Goodyear, 1998; Watkins, 1995a). Theorists have used their own clinical experiences, observations, and understanding of developmental concepts and principles (Watkins, 1994) to produce these models of supervisor development. These models have proven to be appealing because they are meta-theoretical (useful to supervisors of diverse theoretical backgrounds), have direct practice and training implications, and provide a structure for tracking supervisor progress over time (Watkins, 1995a). However, at present, models of supervisor development lack empirical validation (Bernard & Goodyear, 1992; Watkins, 1995b). Researchers must endeavour to move beyond the descriptive stage of model development to empirically investigate whether these models accurately represent the actual experiences of developing supervisors. 31 A second issue that may limit thinking about supervisor development is the fact that currently, all supervisor development models have been conceptually based on a developmental paradigm (Bernard & Goodyear, 1992). These models share the same disadvantages that are associated with developmental models in general (Watkins, 1995b). Bernard and Goodyear (1992) have identified three of these disadvantages. The first is that developmental models may "potentially disallow certain things. For example, at certain times and under certain circumstances an advanced (supervisor) might need conditions associated with beginning (supervisors)" (p. 24). Secondly, "most models do not adequately accommodate for divergent developmental paths" (p. 24). Variables such as personality, age, gender, and life experiences that may interact and influence the learning process are ignored, and thirdly, they "do not address relapse or 'no progress'" (p. 24) as they assume a linear growth pattern. In summary, current models share a developmental focus but lack empirical validation. Research Related to Supervisor Development To date there have been two reviews that have focused on both the theoretical and the empirical literature regarding supervisor and supervisee developmental models and research. The first review, published by Worthington in 1987, covered material appearing through 1985. The second review, published by Watkins in 1995(a), updated this first review and went on to examine new information that had appeared since 1985. For the purposes of this paper only the information regarding supervisor development is presented and discussed. At the time of his review Worthington (1987) found only two supervisor development models (cf. Alonso, 1983; Hess, 1986). He concluded that "the field (was) at a rudimentary level" (p. 191) and that theorizing 32 related to supervisor development was just beginning to emerge as a distinct area of inquiry. Although there were no studies that focused directly on supervisor development, there were several studies that made inferences and provided some limited information. In studies that investigated the effectiveness of supervision (see Cross & Brown, 1983; Heppner & Handley, 1981; Worthington, 1984; Worthington & Roehlke, 1979; Worthington & Stern, 1985; Zucker & Worthington, 1986), Worthington noted that various levels of supervisor competence were found. As well, perceived differences in supervisor skillfulness were related to the attraction of supervisees to supervisors (Hester, Weitz, Anchor, & Roback, 1976). Worthington concluded that "there are differences in skillfulness across supervisors" (p. 203). In studies that conceptualized experience as degree level (Marikis, Russell, & Dell, 1985; Worthington, 1984), licensure status (Zuckerman & Worthington, 1986), or student-faculty status (Worthington & Stern, 1985), Worthington (1987) noted that supervisors who had reached the advanced practicum level of experience did not differ in effectiveness of supervision from post-PhD supervisors. He concluded that "supervisors do not become more competent as they gain experience" (p. 203). This appears to be in contrast to the current models of supervision (Alonso, 1983; Hess, 1986, 1987; Rodenhauser, 1994; Stoltenberg & Delworth, 1987; Watkins, 1990, 1993) which suggest that supervisory expertise develops with time and experience. Stoltenberg and Delworth, however, did note that supervisors who do not move beyond Level 2 in their model of supervisor development often withdraw from the supervisory role. In a final group of studies reviewed by Worthington (1987), he concluded that "supervisors change little in other ways as they gain 33 experience" (p. 205). In the first study (Miars, Tracey, Ray, Cornfeld, O'Farrell, & Gelso, 1983) supervisors were divided into those with low (1-5 years), medium (6-11 years), and high (12 years plus) levels of both post-PhD counselling experience and supervision experience. It was found that supervisors with differing amounts of counselling or supervision experience did not differentially discriminate counsellor needs as counsellors gained experience . In a second study (Goodyear & Robyak, 1982), supervisors were divided into those with 0-8 years of post-PhD experience and those with 9 years or more of experience. No differences were found across levels of experience in the focus of the supervisor on the person of the supervisee, in the skills of the supervisee, or in the conceptualization of the client's problem. When supervisors were then divided into those who had supervised fewer than 25 supervisees and those who had supervised more than 25 supervisees there were no main effects found for supervisor experience. Again, what current models of supervisor development suggest, a sequential progression through stages, is not supported by the reviewed research. It appears that supervisors can plateau at different levels of skill development. It seems that a missing element to this process is a discussion of how supervisor training might influence supervisor development, and how this in turn might effect the supervision that supervisors provide. Two final studies (Stone, 1980; Marikis et al, 1985) explored whether supervisors at different levels of experience made different planning statements before supervision. Stone, in a study that used inexperienced supervisors (undergraduate students), graduate supervisors (PhD students), and experienced supervisors (PhD students who had an additional 2 or more years of applied experience) to investigate the impact of experience on 34 supervisor planning found that inexperienced supervisors and experienced supervisors differed in only two of the nine categories of planning statements. They found that the total number of planning statements (productivity) systematically increased with experience, and that inexperienced supervisors focused more on subject matter at a factual level, whereas the experienced supervisors were most concerned with supervisee-oriented planning statements. The graduate supervisors focused equally on subject matter and the supervisee. Marikis et al. (1985) improved on Stone's (1980) study. Only individuals from a counselling psychology background who had counselling experience were included in the study. Three levels of supervisor experience were represented — no-experience (first year graduate students in Counselling Psychology), low-experience (advanced graduate students), and high experience (post PhD). No significant differences were found regarding the planning behaviours of the different experience-level groups. In addition, the most frequent planning behaviours were counsellor-oriented statements, followed by client, subject matter, and process statements. In general, the results of the two studies (Stone, 1980; Marikis et al., 1985) indicate little difference in planning statements across supervisor experience levels. Where Stone found differences (total number of planning statements and focus of supervisor attention) these differences were between undergraduates with no counselling background and PhD students with a strong background in counselling. When Marikis et al. eliminated undergraduates from the mix no differences were found. It appears that once individuals have engaged in a supervised counselling practicum the differences in planning statements between experienced and inexperienced supervisors disappears. 35 There appears to be two possible explanations for these results. The first explanation is that supervisors don't change with experience. The second explanation, however, would suggest that this may be a case where development has been operationalized as experience (Watkins, 1995c). It is possible that supervisors who have more experience are not any more developed in their supervisory skills than their more junior colleagues. Given that all of the studies were conducted in either graduate-level counselling or psychology programs or university counselling centers, and that none of the studies directly investigated supervisor development, Worthington's (1987) conclusions must be cautiously interpreted. His conclusions are limited because these studies do not represent all supervisors in all situations. Studies reviewed by Worthington (1987) that made inferences to supervisor development failed to record supervisor change based on experience. It seems that these empirical findings have had little impact on emerging developmental models of supervisor growth as all of these developmental stage models rest on the premise that supervisors develop into more confident and competent supervisors as they gain experience. In order to determine whether these developmental models are an accurate reflection of actual supervisor development, researchers need to separate supervisor developmental level from experience level, and attend to how formal training or lack thereof influences supervisor competence (Watkins, 1995c). Although Watkins believes that training and experience are important in becoming an effective supervisor, he hypothesizes that there may be another variable which he calls "self-criticality" (p. 116) that pushes supervisors into becoming more competent and effective over time. Self-critical supervisors would be described as those who actively seek out ways to 36 increase their supervisor knowledge and improve their supervisory skills. Watkins says, "experience in and of itself may not matter; experience in conjunction with self-criticality may matter a lot" (p. 117). A second review of supervisor and supervisee development was completed by Watkins in 1995(a). He updated Worthington's (1987) earlier review. Watkins identified and examined four developmental models (Hess, 1986, 1987; Rodenhauser, 1994; Stoltenberg & Delworth, 1987; and Watkins, 1990, 1993) that have emerged in the literature. He noted that although there were far fewer supervisor development models than supervisee development models it seemed that more attention in the literature was now being paid to supervisor development. Having said that, he recognized that the models were still missing important elements (i.e., the identification of specific impediments to supervisor growth, the identification of critical incidents that facilitate supervisor development), and that they "could benefit from more specification and detail" (p. 674). He suggested that questions "be raised about how specific supervisor cognitions and intentions might change with experience; what contributes to their modification over time; and how do such cognitions and intentions enter into and affect the supervision of supervision process" (p. 674). Watkins (1995a) reported that current models lack research support and a transition theory that would explain how transition occurs between stages. As well, they fail to take into account moderating variables such as openness, flexibility, and motivation (Watkins, 1993) that may influence supervisor development. He concluded that as all of the models describe a similar process of development it would be best to refine, revise, and consolidate these into one model. He suggested that the SCM would be the best model upon which to focus such efforts because its 37 stage descriptions provide the most detail, incorporate features of the other models, and have been extended into practice (Watkins, 1995c). When examining the literature for research that dealt directly with supervisor development or with supervisor development models Watkins (1995a) was able to identify only three empirical research articles (Ellis & Dell, 1986; Ellis, 1991; Watkins, Schneider, Haynes, & Nieberg, 1995). Ellis and Dell (1986), in a study using a multidimensional scaling (MDS) research design, investigated the underlying structure (or dimensionally) of supervision by empirically testing competing models (Bernard, 1979; Littrell, Lee-Borden & Lorenz, 1979) of supervision. Nineteen volunteer participants, ranging from novice supervisors (doctoral students) to experienced supervisors (licensed psychologists) made dissimilarity judgments of nine supervision role-functions (MDS stimuli) adapted from Bernard's Model. Three dimensions (process vs. conceptualization, consultant vs. teacher/counsellor, personalization vs. teacher) with multiple interpretations emerged from the MDS solution. These dimensions were able to be interpreted based on supervisor roles, supervision environment, supervision function, and characteristics of supervisor roles. The results partially supported Bernard's model but provided only minimal support for Littrell et al.'s developmental model. Both models were found to be simplistic as neither model could account for the three dimensions. No significant differences were found for the developmental nature of supervision. In particular, no differences were found between experienced and inexperienced supervisors. In Ellis's (1991) naturalistic study, Loganbill, Hardy, and Delworth's (1982) and Sansbury's (1982) propositions regarding supervision issues were applied to the supervision of supervisors-in-training and to counsellor 38 supervision and then tested. Participants included 9 counsellor supervisees (counselling psychology doctoral students in their first counselling practicum) and 9 supervisor trainees (advanced counselling psychology doctoral students receiving supervision on their supervision). Critical incidents, which were obtained after each counsellor-supervision session and each supervisor-supervision session, were rated on 10 supervisory issues (i.e., relationship, competence, emotional awareness, autonomy, personal issues). Results provided limited support for Sansbury's hierarchy of supervisor issues in both supervision contexts. As discussed earlier in the chapter, an initial effort to generate and validate a theory-driven scale that could be used to assess supervisor development was undertaken by Watkins et al. (1995). Key issues (competency vs. incompetency, autonomy vs. dependency, identity vs. identity diffusion, self-awareness vs. unawareness) that are considered to be inherent in the SCM (Watkins, 1993) were used in to generate a pool of items. The results of their efforts led to an 18-item scale, the Psychotherapy Supervisor Development Scale (PSDS), that provides a total score (but no subscale scores) that reflects a general measure of supervisor development, that has good (alpha) reliability (.90), and is able to discriminate between supervisors at different levels of experience. In a summary of their findings Watkins (1995c) reported that some of the dimensions that define supervisor's perceptions or cognitive maps of supervision have been identified (Ellis & Dell, 1986; Glidden & Tracey, 1992); that level of experience has not been found to affect supervisor's cognitive maps of supervision (Ellis & Dell); that some issues (i.e., competency) which are critical to supervisor trainees have been identified (Ellis, 1991); and that 39 more experienced supervisors appear to have a more highly developed view of themselves as supervisors (Watkins et al., 1995). With regards to adapting supervisee developmental models to supervisor development he noted that the models of Littrell, Lee-Borden, and Lorenz (1970) and Loganbill, Hardy, & Delworth (1982) received minimal to no research support (Ellis, 1991; Ellis & Dell, 1986). Sansbury's (1982) supervisee developmental model, or hierarchy of supervisory issues, on the other hand, when applied to supervisors, was partially supported (Ellis). Watkins found that all three studies employed only psychologists or psychologist trainees, required the completion of self-report instruments, and were of a cross-sectional design. He noted a number of limitations which included: small sample size (Glidden & Tracy, 1992), a limited number of item ratings (Glidden & Tracy), questionable validity and stability of findings (Glidden & Tracy), single site representation (Ellis, 1991), and skewed experience level (Watkins et al., 1995). In general, Watkins found supervisor development research to be limited. He concluded that the empirical investigation of supervisor development continues to be "at a rudimentary level" (Worthington, 1987, p. 206). 40 CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY Researchers are detectives trying to uncover the world's mysteries. Researchers are explorers taking human understanding to places where it has not been yet. (Patton) This qualitative study looked at the experiences of counsellors engaged in the process of becoming clinical supervisors. A series of three in-depth interviews over an 8-month period was used to discover, describe, and explain the meaning that participants made of their journey as they moved through the supervisory training process to become clinical supervisors. Grounded in the phenomenological tradition, the lived experiences of the individual participants were examined for emerging structures of shared meaning that emerged out of the common experiences of the participants. Approach to the Question Phenomenology provided both the philosophical and methodological framework for addressing the research question: How do supervisors-in-training experience and make sense of the process of becoming a clinical supervisor? Within this phenomenological study the question was addressed by examining individual participant's transcripts for emerging structures of shared meaning. Themes generated through a comparative analysis of the individual transcripts for each of the three sets of interviews revealed common patterns of experience across all participants. In designing this study different qualitative approaches were considered including critical incident, narrative, grounded theory, and phenomenology. The critical incident technique, retroactively examines critical experiences that detract or contribute to a person's experience of an event (Flanagan, 1954). Although this research method may inform the 41 development of the supervisor it was viewed as too limiting because it would not have captured the process of becoming a supervisor over time. A narrative approach would have captured detailed accounts of supervisors-in-trainings' experiences (Polkinghorne, 1988); however, it would not have provided a rigorous method for identifying commonalities among their experiences. Furthermore, the publication of narrative accounts was seen as a potential threat to participant confidentiality given that the participants in this study were selected from a single supervisor training site. The purpose of grounded theory is to generate an explanatory theory about psychological or social phenomena (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). The aim of the current study was not to develop theory, although the results are discussed within the context of current theories, it was to explore the lived experiences of supervisors-in-training as they engaged in the process of becoming supervisors. Interpretive phenomenology, therefore, was considered as the optimal approach for exploring in-depth accounts of participants' supervisory experiences with a view to identifying common themes of meaning. The phenomenological approach and the research procedures of analysis followed in this study are informed by and based on the works of Colaizzi (1978) and van Manen (1990). Phenomenological research is the study of lived experiences (Colaizzi, 1978; Osborne, 1994; van Manen, 1990). The focus is on understanding people's experiences of their world(s) (Giorgi, 1970). "Phenomenology provides a way of exploring lived experience — the actuality of experience — from the inside" (Osborne, p. 170 ). From this insider perspective the researcher explores how people experience, describe, and interpret phenomena. According to van Manen, "anything that presents itself to consciousness is potentially of interest to phenomenology, whether the object is real or imagined, empirically measurable or subjectively felt" (p. 9). It 42 invites the exploration and study of the essential structures of experience, legitimizing the study of the inner human world. From a phenomenological perspective "there is no separate (objective) reality for people. There is only what they know their experience is and means. The subjective experience incorporates the objective thing and a person's reality" (Patton, 1990, p.69). It is neither the objective nor the subjective world that can be described, only the world as experienced by the subject that can be illuminated (Merleau-Ponty, 1964). Phenomenologists posit that there is no distinct objective reality, there is only what individuals know about their own experience and what those experiences mean to them personally. It is understood that people exist coconstitutionally with their world , that they are "of the world rather than in it" (Osborne, 1990, p. 80), that they shape and are shaped by their environments. In this study the process of becoming clinical supervisors was documented as it was lived and experienced by participants in the course of their doctoral training. Phenomenology provides researchers with the opportunity to "reclaim that part of (the) human being that has been so long neglected due to the prevailing view that human science must be natural science" (Osborne, 1994, p. 168). According to Colaizzi (1978), traditional psychology excludes human experience, intent only on operationalizing and measuring behaviour, whereas phenomenology employs a descriptive methodology that "attempt(s) to explore conscious experience directly through a specialized form of introspection rather than inferentially through overt observation, as does cognitive science" (Osborne, 1994, p. 168). It "contacts the phenomenon as people experience it" (Colaizzi, 1978 p. 57) and endeavours to remain true to the individual's experience as it is lived and understood. The aim is to make that which is implicit explicit, "to describe the world-as-experienced by the 43 participants of the inquiry in order to discover the common meanings underlying empirical variations of a given phenomenon" (Baker et al., 1992, p. 1356). In this way the essential meaning-structures of experience can be articulated in a way that permits the phenomenon to speak for itself. Following customary phenomenological practice, this study engaged participants in a process of exploration and self-description for the purpose of illuminating their lived experiences of becoming clinical supervisors. In addition, this research sought to determine whether there were shared structures of meaning based on the experiences of the participants, whether "there is an essence or essences" (Patton, 1990, p. 70) to the shared experiences of these supervisors-in-training. Personal Assumptions Bracketing "Existential-phenomenology recognizes the unavoidable presence of the researcher in the formulation of the question, the determination of the data, the collection of the data, and their interpretation" (Osborne, 1990, p.81). To engage in the process of phenomenological inquiry researchers must, therefore, examine their own experiences for presuppositions and bias regarding the phenomenon of interest. This detailed process of self-reflection known as bracketing (Osborne, 1990; 1994) serves two purposes. First, it allows researchers to see beyond their own experiences (Beck, 1994; Kvale, 1983; Osborne, 1990) and become aware of their own presuppositions. It provides them with the ability to stand back, examine, and question their own perceptions regarding the phenomenon of interest. Although "it is impossible for a researcher to be completely free of bias in reflection on the experience being studied" (Beck, p. 500), this process does afford the researcher distance and perspective. 44 The second purpose for engaging in the process of bracketing is to provide the reader with the researcher's interpretative framework. When examining the document the reader is able to take into account the researcher's perspective and approach to the phenomenon (Osborne, 1990; van Manen, 1984). Knowledge that comes from a phenomenological inquiry is not objective, rather it is perspectival (Osborne, 1990). It is up to the researcher to convince the reader that the research practices employed and the words used to describe and interpret the phenomenon are defensible (Osborne, 1994). A Narrative Biography To understand how I came to be interested in looking at the process by which counsellors move from the role of counsellor to the role of supervisor I have written and included my own narrative biography (Appendix A). The purpose of providing this autobiographical account is three-fold. First, it has provided an opportunity for me to clarify and articulate how I came to choose my topic of study. Second, I was able to reflect on my own experiences with regards to the topic and examine my preconceptions and biases. Third, it provides the reader with information about who I am, how I have arrived at the decision to study the topic, and how I oriented myself to the topic and interpreted the subject matter. Presuppositions My presuppositions about supervisor development have arisen out of my own experience of becoming a supervisor, a review of the supervision literature, and numerous discussions that I have had with other supervisors on the topic of supervisor development. The following presuppositions have been articulated in relation to the current study. 45 The first presupposition addresses the underlying assumptions found in current supervisor development models. These models assume that supervisors go through recognizable stages of development and that the experiences of individuals will fit "neatly" into these hypothesized stages. I question the simplicity of these linear developmental stage models. They lack the contextual complexity of real life. I believe that an effective and competent supervisor is always in the process of "becoming". My sense of the process, is that it is more cyclical than sequential, that a spiral of increasing comprehension, knowledge, and experience would have individuals revisiting and recycling through previous issues with new vision and insight. The ability to draw on supervisory experiences coupled with the learning of new information about their role would enable these novice supervisors to become increasingly knowledgeable and skillful when working with counsellor trainees. The second presupposition is related to supervisor identity. Initially, individuals would experience identity diffusion and role confusion. They would struggle with defining their role in the clinical setting with both the senior supervisor and the counsellor trainees. At the beginning they might identify more with trainees than with the senior supervisor because they know how to be a counsellor trainee but they don't know how to be a supervisor. Their primary worry would be about "doing a good job" and surviving the experience. Because they lacked a conceptual framework for providing supervision these individuals would likely feel anxious and overwhelmed with their new responsibilities. As their supervisory experience accumulated and they had the opportunity to discuss the supervisory process and their role in it, their identity as a supervisor would begin to take shape. They would be able to begin to articulate and expand on 46 their theory of supervision and more clearly define their role, its boundaries, and their responsibilities as a supervisor. The third presupposition is related to competency and self awareness. At the beginning of their experience individuals would lack confidence in themselves, and would have little awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses with regards to their skills as a supervisor. They would spend time carefully watching the senior supervisor for clues of how to proceed. Because they were limited to their own experiences of having been supervised, the complexities of the supervisor role would be very much a mystery. As well, their definitions of supervision would likely be vague and undifferentiated. In their attempts to provide supervision these individuals might mistakenly focus on clients and "counsel" through the counsellor trainees. They might also concentrate exclusively on counselling techniques, impose their theoretical orientation on trainees, or provide "therapy" to trainees. With experience, these individuals would become increasingly confident and begin to step outside of the themselves and become focused on the interactive processes of supervision. Individuals would become increasingly aware of how their personal approach and style to supervision would impact on the relationships they had with counsellor trainees as well as on the relationships that the trainees had with their clients. These supervisors-in-training would begin to balance their own needs with the needs of the counsellor trainees and the demands of the senior supervisor and the clinical environment. They would begin to evaluate their own abilities and consciously work towards improving their skills. The fourth presupposition is related to professional autonomy. Initially, these novice supervisors would be dependent on their senior supervisor and seminar instructor for guidance and support. They would 47 look for clear direction about what they should be doing and how they should be doing it. As they began to feel more confident and competent in their role, and as counsellor trainees sought them out asking for help, these supervisors-in-training would begin to function more autonomously. They would move towards independence, from relying on senior clinicians to consulting with them. The fifth presupposition recognizes that individuals involved in learning how to be a clinical supervisor would achieve varying levels of expertise. Some individuals would become more skilled than others at providing supervision. This might be due, in part, to individuals' abilities to consciously reflect on their own learning process and a willingness to continue their own education in the area of supervision. Procedure Participants A phenomenological study is designed to describe the essence of a given phenomenon. Participants are chosen because they have lived the experience being investigated (Baker, et al., 1992) and are able to express and describe the phenomenon of interest because they have actually experienced it (Osborne, 1990). The phenomenological researcher borrows people's experiences to make sense of the deeper meaning structures of the phenomenon within the context of the entire human experience (van Manen, 1984). Criteria. Volunteer participants for this study were recruited from the Counselling Psychology PhD program at the University of British Columbia. To address the research question participants had to be engaged in the process of learning how to become clinical supervisors. This meant they must have completed their first year of the PhD program. Specifically, they had to have 48 successfully completed a counselling clinic at the doctoral level where they had received supervision regarding their counselling skills, the doctoral counselling theories course, and their doctoral clinical comprehensive exam. It was also necessary that participants be enrolled in the clinical supervision course which required them to be on a clinic team in the capacity of a supervisor trainee, as well as to participate in a consultative seminar designed specifically to teach and facilitate learning about the process of supervision. Finally, to participate in the study individuals had to agree to a series of three process interviews over the 8-month period of the supervision course as well as in one follow-up interview to review and validate shared themes. Supervision Course. The Supervision of Counselling Practice course is designed for second year doctoral students in the Counselling Psychology program at UBC (see Appendix B for course outline). In this 8-month course each student is placed on a counselling team as a supervisor trainee. Composition of each team generally includes masters level counsellor trainees, a first year doctoral counsellor trainee, a second year doctoral supervisor trainee, and a supervising faculty member. Supervisor trainees, working under the direction of the faculty member help to provide supervised training in counselling to counsellor trainees. In addition to working one day a week on a counselling team within a clinical setting, supervisor trainees also participate in a doctoral seminar every second week. The seminar component is designed to expose students to the research and professional literature on supervision, provide opportunities to discuss the supervisory role and related ethical issues, and provide a formal opportunity for students to integrate theory with their practice of supervision, as well as reflect on their ongoing supervisory experiences. 49 Recruitment. Potential candidates who met the requirements listed above were recruited at the end of their second supervision seminar. To ensure confidentiality, the course instructor, who was my thesis advisor was not present during the recruitment process. I made a presentation that described the nature of the study (Appendix C). As well as verbally outlining the purpose, procedures, expectations, and time commitment, a written summary letter (Appendix D) was provided to each student. In keeping with the collaborative nature of the phenomenological enterprise I provided students with the opportunity to ask questions and enter into a discussion regarding the project. Phenomenological research is a shared venture between researcher and participant. The process is based on respect, trust, cooperation, and a shared interest in illuminating the phenomenon (Osborne, 1994). Therefore, each prospective participant was fully informed regarding the nature of the study and the manner in which it was going to be conducted. Because potential participants were enrolled in a university credit course the voluntary nature of this project was emphasized. Students understood that participation in this study was entirely voluntary and was not related in any way to course requirements. They were clearly informed of their right to refuse to participate or withdraw from the study at any time without penalty. To avoid the possibility of coercion, students interested in participating were asked to phone me at their convenience. At that time, I answered and clarified any questions students had regarding the study or the nature and parameters of their participation. When a student made the decision to participate a date and time was arranged for the first interview. All six students, four women and two men, enrolled in the clinical supervision course volunteered to participate in this study. 50 Data Collection The sources of data for a phenomenological study are the individuals who have lived the reality that is being investigated (Baker et al., 1992). It is the verbal and written accounts of their lived experiences (Osborne, 1990) that the researcher uses to understand and identify the commonalties that run through the diverse appearances of a phenomenon. In phenomenological research, data sources can be verbal or written accounts of phenomenal experience (Osborne, 1990, 1994). The interview is considered to be the primary method for gathering data (Becker 1986; Kvale, 1983; Osborne, 1994). Other data sources include conversation, group dialogue, diary, autobiography, or personal narrative (Osborne, 1990). In the present study participants' experiences of becoming clinical supervisors were accessed through verbal dialogue and the use of their own personally written material. Data collection was done in an interactive and collaborative manner. Personal interviews were used as the primary means of data collection. As part of the supervision course students were required to keep a reflective process journal of their supervisory experiences. Although I did not have direct access to this material, participants were asked to use these journals as a vehicle to reflect on their experiences and enrich the interview process. The Interview as a Method of Data Collection. "Qualitative interviewing begins with the assumption that the perspective of others is meaningful, knowable, and able to be made explicit" (Patton, 1990, p. 278). In this study, the purpose of the research interview was to elicit in depth and detail each person's experience of becoming a supervisor (Mishler, 1986). It was the role of the interviewer to keep the interviews focused on the topic of investigation (Polkinghorne, 1989). 51 All interviews were conducted by myself, the principal researcher. In an atmosphere of respect and trust, participants were encouraged to describe as fully as they could their experiences related to becoming a supervisor. In dialoguing with participants I employed empathic reflections, probes, and open-ended questions to facilitate participants' exploration of their own experiences. The emphasis was on helping participants articulate and share their experiences. I consciously worked to avoid leading participants in the direction of my own preconceived ideas or hunches (Osborne, 1990). Questions that I was curious about were only used to prompt participants when they had exhausted their own thoughts, or as Osborne noted when they had "run out of steam" (p. 84, see Appendix E for a list of sample questions). As each participant spoke, I kept track of information that needed elaboration or clarification. These points of interest were revisited only after the participant has finished expressing his or her thoughts. This open-ended dialogue worked towards minimizing interviewer bias and possible interference, while capitalizing on the natural flow of the participant's thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Reflective Tournal. As part of the supervision course requirements students were asked to keep a journal of their important learnings and experiences throughout the year. The goal of this assignment was to help individuals keep track of, and process, their supervisory experiences for their final assignment in the course, which was to construct their own theory of supervision. For the purpose of this study participants were asked to review their journals prior to each interview and were encouraged to bring them along to the interview. This was to help the participants prepare for the interview as well as give them the opportunity to refer to their own notes when talking 52 about their experiences. Participants' journal reflections provided a means for tapping into additional information that had the potential to enrich and deepen the interview process. The opportunity to engage in an ongoing dialogue with participants as well as having them use their journal reflections to compliment their "in the moment" reflections operated in the manner of an interpretive circle (Osborne, 1990). Ongoing discussion with participants provided the opportunity for further reflection, discussion, and interpretation. The Interview Process Each participant engaged in a series of three in-depth, audio-taped interviews over the 8-month period of the supervision course, as well as in one follow-up interview to review and validate themes common to all six participants. The duration of each interview lasted between one and two hours. The interviews took place in the Counselling Psychology interview rooms at UBC or in another private location (e.g., participant's home), when requested by a participant. All interviews were completed at the convenience of the participants. The purpose of the first three interviews was to have each participant describe how he or she was experiencing and making sense of the process of becoming a clinical supervisor. The first interview took place as participants were beginning the supervision course (week 5 of the course). The second occurred just past the midway point of the course (week 20), and the third interview took place at the end of the 8-month course (week 34). By interviewing participants at the beginning, middle, and end of the course I was able to access, over time, participants' experiences and changing perceptions of how they experienced the process of "becoming" a clinical supervisor. 53 The purpose of the follow-up interview was to give participants the opportunity to examine and validate the themes common to all six participants. Participants were invited to read the common underlying themes of supervisor development that were extracted from each of the three process interviews and to determine whether they "resonated" with their own experience of becoming a supervisor. The follow-up interviews took place after all of the themes had been identified and described in written detail. In addition to being given the written themes, participants were provided with a letter (Appendix F) that included guidelines for validating these shared meaning structures. All participants were given a number of weeks to inspect the resulting themes before taking part in the follow-up interview. At the beginning of the initial interview I worked towards establishing rapport, answered any questions about the study (Osborne, 1990), and ensured informed consent. Participants were again told about the voluntary nature of the project and their right to withdraw from the study at any time. The provisions made to ensure confidentiality were reviewed. These provisions included participants choosing a pseudonym in the first interview to ensure anonymity and having participants examine the written themes for identifying features that needed to be removed in the final interview. The only person who knew the identity of the participants was myself. As well, since my thesis advisor was also the supervision course instructor participants were again informed of this situation. It was explained that this individual would not review any transcripts or themes until participants had received their grade for the supervision course. Another member of the thesis committee acted as consultant to the interview process, thus avoiding the possibility of an inappropriate dual relationship. After being briefed, each 5 4 participant was asked to sign two copies of an ethical consent form (Appendix G). One copy was kept by myself and the second copy was retained by the participant. Following the explanatory component of the first interview an orienting statement (Appendix H) was read to each participant. This statement provided a starting point for the formal interview. After reading this statement the participant was asked to answer the main interview question: "How do you experience and make sense of the process of becoming a clinical supervisor? Please describe your experience of becoming a supervisor in as much detail as possible". Additional interview questions were prepared and were used when necessary to ensure that participants fully described their experiences (Appendix E). Prior to the second and third interviews each participant was asked to read their reflective journal entries. They were then invited to reflect upon their supervisory experiences and the meaning they had made of those experiences, since the last interview. Data Analysis The data analysis for this study involved two stages. This is described in detail in the section that follows. In the first stage a comparative pattern analysis was undertaken and themes common to all participants were identified for each of the three sets of interviews. In the second stage three separate data analysis procedures occurred. First, participants reviewed the findings to determine whether the descriptions were personally meaningful and were an accurate reflection of their experiences. Second, two doctoral students who had previously engaged in a similar training process examined the common underlying themes to determine if these shared structures of meaning fit with their own experiences of "becoming" supervisors. Third, a Counselling Psychology faculty member from another university, who is 55 actively involved in the area of supervision, reviewed the three transcripts and audiotapes for one participant and the common themes of shared experience that emerged as a result of the comparative analyses. In addition this person also reviewed the process by which the phenomenological analysis was undertaken. The purpose was to ensure that the data analysis was carried out in a trustworthy manner and that I had stayed true to participants' experiences. Comparative Pattern Analysis A separate comparative pattern analysis was completed for each of the three sets of interviews. Transcripts were reviewed at each data collection point and themes common to all six participants were extracted at each of the three points in the participants' process of supervisor training. Each theme was constructed using the audio-tapes and transcripts of the participants' interviews. Immediately after each set of interviews had been transcribed I began the process of content immersion. By reading and listening repeatedly to the interviews I was able to immerse myself in the data and become familiar with each participant's experience. I engaged in a thematic analyses of the data. The goal was to determine whether common themes or patterns of experience existed across many or all of the participants. The focus was upon discovering the deep meaning structures (Osborne, 1990) which characterize the process of becoming a supervisor. The method of data analysis used in this study was informed by the analytical procedures recommended by Colaizzi (1978). Analysis began with the investigation of each person's account and then moved to a comparison across individuals. In order to determine the common themes, significant statements that pertained to the experience of becoming a supervisor at each stage of the data 56 collection process were extracted from each participant's transcript and these were organized together into clusters that were similar in meaning. Care was taken to eliminate repetitions and redundancies. I then engaged in the formulation of meanings for each cluster of statements. At this stage I engaged in what Colaizzi calls "creative insight" (p. 59) making ineffable leaps from what participants said to what they meant. To ensure that the formulations of meaning were representative of the participant's experience they were continually evaluated and reevaluated in light of the original recordings and transcriptions (Colaizzi, 1978). After completing the above process the aggregate formulated meanings were subjected to thematic deduction and organized into clusters of themes which were common to all six participants. The themes were again referred back to the original transcripts for validation and refinement. Missing information was incorporated and distortions eliminated. The common themes from each of the three interview sets were then presented to individual participants for comment in the follow-up interview. Participants were asked to determine how accurately these common themes reflected their experience. Participant feedback was used to further refine the themes. Participant Review. The participant review process took place during the validation interviews. The purpose was to ensure that the themes accurately reflected the common experiences and meanings of each participant. Participants were asked to read and review all three sets of themes. Participants were asked to reflect on the common themes that emerged from the comparative analyses. Participants' confirmations were sought regarding the accuracy and relevance of the themes to their own experience of becoming a supervisor. 57 All participants believed that the common underlying themes accurately identified their experience of "becoming" a supervisor. This is reflected in the following comments made during participants' follow-up interviews. As one person noted: I got into looking for myself and looking to see who said what and at some point it seemed like I was saying everything. That was kind of weird but I think it was testimony that a lot of it really fit. Another individual concurred, "It was just amazing how accurate my part was and how well the themes depict my view of the supervisory experience...I can see myself in it." A third participant commented on having the opportunity to review the experience and said: "It was striking to me to have the process laid out so clearly and look back on it. It helped me to appreciate the complexity of the experience I had had." Non-participant Reader Review. As part of the data analysis the common themes were shared with non-participants who had previously had a supervisor training experience similar to participants. The purpose of this step was to determine the extent to which the interpreted structure resonated with their experiences of learning to become clinical supervisors (Osborne, 1990). Two doctoral students who in previous years had completed the supervision course, were invited to review the common themes. They were asked to comment on whether their own experience of "becoming" a supervisor corresponded to the shared meaning structures that emerged out of the participants' supervisory experiences. Both reader reviewers stated that the descriptions reflected their own experiences. As one non-participant reader stated: "As I read the document it 58 resonated with my experience. There was no need to stretch my imagination and see how it fit with me. It was like reading my diary". Auditor Review. As a final component of the data analysis a Counselling Psychology faculty member from another university reviewed and compared the audio-taped interviews and resulting transcripts for one participant with the common themes that emerged as a result of the comparative analyses. This individual also reviewed the process by which the data analysis was carried out. The purpose of this process was to aid in the determination of the rigor and trustworthiness of the qualitative data analysis and theme development (Beck, 1993). The audit reviewer confirmed the integrity and trustworthiness of the analysis . As this person stated: In reviewing the logic of moving the transcripts towards themes, I was able to follow and agree with your reasoning...I did not pick up any evidence of personal bias. There seemed to be a clear path between what was said and conclusions drawn. Ethical Considerations According to Kidder and Fine (1997) the open-ended, questioning stance of qualitative methodology produces ethical concerns that are different from experimental or survey work. In qualitative work, research participants are not anonymous. The researcher and the participant are known to one another. This relationship makes both parties personally vulnerable in a way that the guarantee of confidentiality does not totally alleviate (cf. Liebow, 1993). Individuals who participate have a personal investment in how the data will be represented and used. To ensure that this study was carried out in an ethical manner with the informed consent of all participants the following steps were taken. First, during the recruitment presentation, individuals were fully apprised about 59 the purpose of the study, the data collection procedures, my expectations as the researcher, and the parameters of participation. It was made known that participation was voluntary. It was made clear that individuals did not have to participate and that those who did were free to withdraw from the study at any time. They were also told that during the interview process participants could choose not to answer questions or elaborate on topics which made them uncomfortable. Each participant was provided with a letter outlining the study, its format, and the terms of involvement (Appendix D). Second, as my primary thesis advisor was also the supervision course instructor students were informed of this situation. It was explained that the instructor would not review any transcripts or themes for the duration of the course. Another member of my thesis committee acted as the consultant to the interview process, thus eliminating the possibility of an inappropriate dual relationship. Third, at the beginning of the initial interview each participant was asked to give written consent (Appendix G) and choose a pseudonym. Two copies of the consent form were signed. I retained a copy and participants were given a copy for their personal records. The pseudonym that the participant chose was used throughout the data collection process. To ensure anonymity neither participant names nor pseudonyms were used in the final dissertation document. Rather, the words participant, individual, person, and supervisor-in-training were used interchangeably. All identifying information was removed to ensure that only myself as the primary researcher knew the identity of the participants. Fourth, participants were encouraged to ask questions and clarify their understanding of the process as the study unfolded. Fifth, each person was asked to read the common themes and request changes or omissions in identifying biographical information to ensure that personal identities were protected. 60 Criteria of Trustworthiness Qualitative research is not concerned with whether another investigator would discover the same concepts to describe or interpret any given data set but whether the findings are worthy of attention (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). In a phenomenological inquiry this will depend on the extent to which the findings reflect the essence or underlying structure of a phenomenon as experienced by the participants in a study (Baker et al., 1992). It is the trustworthiness of the results that must be supported. Lincoln and Guba (1986) have identified credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability as the four "criteria of trustworthiness" (p. 77) related to qualitative research. These four criteria have been used to discuss the present study's attention to rigor and trustworthiness. Credibility "measures how vivid and faithful the description of the phenomenon is" (Beck, 1993, p. 264). Participants and readers who have had the experience should be able to recognize the described experiences as their own (Beck). Since meaning is considered to be a constructive and ongoing process, there is no final interpretation "for all times" (Reinharz, 1983, p. 183). The aim is to develop an adequate interpretation that is validated by participants, confirmed by readers, and cognitively satisfying to the researcher. The purpose of this interpretation is not to give definitive answers but to keep the dialogue going (Reinharz, 1983). Five strategies that enhance credibility were incorporated into the current research design. First, I conducted a comparative pattern analysis for each set of interviews. This included an active search for negative instances of categories. Discounting and adjusting thematic content worked to ensure the credibility of the common themes. Second, I engaged in the ongoing process of peer debriefing. This involved engaging a professional peer in 61 examining and testing the emerging thematic structures. This exercise helped to keep me, as the researcher, "honest", assisted in uncovering the shared structures of meaning, and helped to obtain emotional catharsis (Lincoln & Guba, 1986). Third, participants reviewed and validated the common underlying meaning structures. Erroneous material was discarded and missing information was incorporated into the document. Fourth, non-participant reader reviewers who had undergone a similar process of becoming a supervisor were asked to confirm whether the common themes that had evolved fit with their experiences. Fifth, I consulted with committee members during the data collection and data analysis to prevent researcher bias and selective attention (Beck, 1993; Lincoln & Guba, 1986). Transferability or "fittingness measures how well the working hypotheses or propositions fits into a context other than the one from which they were generated" (Beck, 1993, p. 264). Transferability in this study was addressed in two ways. First, thick descriptive data (narrative developed about the context) was provided so that judgments about the degree of fit or similarity could be made by others who might want to apply all or part of the finding elsewhere (Lincoln & Guba, 1986). Second, the discussion of the results has been restricted to the study's population. Dependability or auditability is the "ability of another investigator to follow the decision or audit trail" (Beck, 1993, p. 264). This decision trail includes all of the decisions that the researcher makes at every stage of the data analysis. Dependability was enhanced in three ways. First, a tape recorder was used to record the interviews. Recording and transcribing the interviews in their entirety enabled a critical evaluation of the transition of raw data to the compilation and accurate presentation of themes (Beck, 1993). Second, an in-depth description of how the data was collected and analyzed 62 was provided. Others, in reviewing the material were able to follow the decision trail and understand the process used to arrive at the results. Third, a formal audit of the process was carried out by an external audit reviewer who inspected the process by which the phenomenological analysis was undertaken. Confirmability deals with the issue of neutrality and objectivity (Lincoln & Guba, 1986). To minimize researcher bias four steps were taken. First, I actively engaged in the process of self reflection regarding supervisor development. I became aware of my assumptions and made known my presuppositions. Second, during data analysis I continually referred back to the original transcripts for the verification of themes. Participants' verbatim accounts were used to substantiate the common meaning structures that were discovered. Third, participants were asked to validate the results of the thematic analysis (Colaizzi, 1978). The purpose was to ensure that the findings accurately reflected participants' perceptions of their experience. It is recognized that the problem of social desirability may have occurred during the validation process. To counteract this problem I emphasized that participants needed to speak openly about their reactions to the results. Participants were encouraged to give their honest opinion, rather than what they thought I wanted to hear. Fourth, the audit reviewer examined the transformed data against original transcripts to ensure that I was staying true to participants' experiences. In following these steps I ensured, to the degree possible, the trustworthiness of the common themes. 63 CHAPTER IV RESULTS Phenomenological research is the study of lived experience, (van Manen) The intent of this study was to explore the lived experiences of Counselling Psychology doctoral students as they underwent the transition from being counsellors to becoming clinical supervisors. Over the 8-month duration of their clinical supervision course, six doctoral students voluntarily participated in a series of three process interviews and one follow-up interview to review and validate common themes of meaning. This chapter contains the phenomenological themes that were common to all participants at each of the three interview time points as well as the relationship dimension that emerged and was shared by all participants and ran through all themes in all sets of interviews. Table 1 provides an outline of the common themes of meaning and this overarching relationship dimension. Interview One: Relationship Dimension and Common Themes of Meaning Five phenomenological themes that were common to all participants were uncovered in the first set of interviews. These included: Role Ambiguity and Uncertainty; Boundary Setting; Sense of Incompetence; Sense of Excitement; and Sense of Accomplishment. Overarching all of these shared structures of meaning was a relationship dimension that was shared by all participants and ran through all themes. The Relationship In the first set of interviews a relationship dimension emerged that was common to all participants and ran through all themes. There was an overwhelming awareness on the part of all participants of how significant 64 Table 1 Common Themes of Meaning and Relationship Dimension Interview One 1. Role Ambiguity and Uncertainty 2. Boundary Setting 3. Sense of Incompetence 4. Sense of Excitement 5. Sense of Accomplishment Interview Two 1. Awareness of Being in a Transformative Process 2. Sense of Increasing Confidence and Competence 3. Sense of Greater Identification with the Supervisory Role 4. Ongoing Struggles in Determining the Focus of Supervision 5. Sense of Increasing Confidence in Professional Judgment 6. Sense of Role Clarity and Differentiation Vis-a-vis the Senior Supervisor 7. Sense of Increasing Boundary Clarity 8. Increasing Role Clarity Vis-a-vis the Counsellor Trainees 9. An Awareness of, and Appreciation for, the Multifaceted Nature of the Supervisory Role 10. Sense of Responsibility Interview Three 1. Sense of their Counselling Being Informed by their Supervisory Experience 2. Appreciation of and Commitment to the Supervisory Enterprise 3. Awareness of What Constitutes Effective Supervision 4. Congruence Between Self, Theoretical Perspective, and Supervisory Role 5. Awareness and Appreciation of Having Been Through Significant Process , of Growth and Change J R E D L I A M T E I N O S N I S O H N I P 65 relationships are to the process of clinical supervision. As one individual reported: To me it's the foundation. I mean that's the foundation of my counselling theory and...I can't imagine that changing...in my supervisory theory. The little that I've read so far certainly talks about the importance of the relationship and I think that's key, that if there is no supportive, trusting relationship...then forget what you say. Building and maintaining supportive working relationships between all members of the clinic team was seen by participants as an essential component of supervision. It was the foundation upon which all subsequent learning took place. The development of personalized relationships between supervisors and individual trainees was seen by these supervisors-in-training as vitally important for the success of the supervision enterprise. In reflecting upon what constituted effective supervision one participant said: I think good supervisors or good supervision is a lot of one on one time where you are having somebody watch and then spend time saying: "What was going on for you in that session?...What was your process?"...Somebody that spends time with the group but less time with the group and more time individually. Somebody that is very aware and intuitive and very quick to pick up...trainee's sort of foibles or nuances about where they are as a person and how to motivate them to go to the next level...Somebody that is really centered on the personal process, relationship building...that kind of thing. Participants also recognized that by developing relationships among all clinic team members, an atmosphere of trust and caring would evolve. They quickly came to realize that it is within a safe and protective environment 66 that counsellor trainees would be able to challenge themselves to take greater risks with their learning. As one person reported: I think I knew this before but it's just been reinforced and confirmed, and that's how important rapport building and team work is, and building a strong team and building the trust. That's really evident. I don't think that we could give each other the kind of feedback that has been happening in there if that weren't the case. I don't think people would be as receptive to the level of sharing that I'm already seeing. Participants identified how vital and necessary to their own learning process were their relationships with their senior supervisors, seminar instructor, doctoral peer group, and past supervisors. Some of them also spoke about how critical it was going to be for them to develop and maintain positive working relationships with their counsellor trainees. Drawing on both their past experiences as counsellor trainees and their present experience of being supervisors-in-training participants recognized that effective supervision must be based on trusting and respectful relationships. The relationships that participants developed with their senior supervisors, seminar instructor, doctoral peer group, past supervisors, and counsellor trainees will each be discussed separately in the following section. Senior Supervisor. All of the supervisors-in-training spoke about their relationship with their senior supervisor. Individuals who considered themselves to have a positive working relationship with their senior supervisor felt valued, respected, and trusted, and in return, also came to value, respect, and trust their supervisor. It seems that when the supervisors-in-training experienced a positive connection with their senior supervisor they felt more comfortable and secure in their new role. As one participant reported: "I'm with (senior supervisor) who I have a great relationship with 67 and a lot of faith and trust in." Another participant also feeling at ease with the senior supervisor said: "I found that my supervisor in the clinic is flexible and very warm and very open and she's giving me enough responsibility, but not too much responsibility, so I feel very comfortable when working with her." Some supervisors-in-training spoke about the value, of being treated like they were in partnership with their senior supervisor. As one individual noted: "It's like being treated as an equal by my clinic supervisor, it's being sought out for knowledge, for insight. It's like a partnership...I really feel like a valuable asset to this clinic." Participants felt empowered by their supervisors and encouraged to actively take on and share in the supervisory role and related responsibilities. A number of participants spoke about the nonexistence of power issues between themselves and their supervisors, leading them to feel freer to act on their own knowledge and instincts, and to contribute more fully to the growth and learning of the counsellor trainees. These individuals experienced a sense of equality and balance in their relationship with their senior supervisor. As one person remarked: I appreciate (senior supervisor) because I feel that she's giving me responsibility to supervise half the clinic on my own, right from the start...So I feel like I'm treated in a way that respects my abilities as opposed to having someone watch over me and making sure that I'm not going to screw up. For a few participants, there was a dawning realization and appreciation for the fact that the positive relationships that their senior supervisors were developing with them would, in turn, influence how they themselves would interact and develop relationships with their counsellor trainees. As one person explained: 68 When you have somebody that is at that level that values, I have (senior supervisor) that values me, therefore, I will then value the people that I supervise that same way. So there are all kinds of processes going on. The way I feel valued by (senior supervisor) is the way I hope to...value the people who I'm supervising. In contrast to the other participants, one individual experienced a sense of disconnection and detachment from the senior supervisor. This person struggled with feelings of isolation, disappointment, and disconnection. Feeling cheated this person said: "I feel...very much alone again in this process, you know I feel kind of ripped off." Initially excited, but now dissatisfied with both the relationship and the lack of direct supervision this person said: I ended up with (senior supervisor) and I was quite excited about that. What I thought would happen of course was that he would be really excited and we would set specific times that he would get together with me and I found out quickly that that was not going to be the case and that if I wanted to seek him out that's great but in the meantime, you know, you're kind of on your own. Because this supervisor-in-training did not feel a personal connection to the senior supervisor, and did not feel committed to the supervision experience that was being provided in the clinic, this individual talked about disengaging as a way of coping with the situation. This person recognized that: "I have a tendency to be Casper and I tend to...kind of fade away and I know that is probably not helpful." It is clear that participants felt that the development of positive and productive working relationships between themselves and their senior supervisors played a critical role in their growth and development as 69 supervisors. When they felt their senior supervisors treated them as valued junior colleagues, participants were more able to engage in the process of learning the role of the clinical supervisor. Seminar Instructor. All participants spoke about the positive relationship that was beginning to develop between themselves and the seminar instructor. These supervisors-in-training found that the instructor was respectful and supportive of their learning processes as well as ethical and trustworthy in all of her interactions with them. One participant, reflecting on the issue of trust noted that she had the same level of confidence in the seminar instructor as the senior supervisor, even though her previous contact with the seminar instructor had been minimal. As this individual said: "I trust (senior supervisor). I have that same sense with (seminar instructor). I haven't worked with (seminar instructor) as much...but just how she set out our first part of our supervision seminar she's very trustworthy, very right on." Sharing a similar sentiment another participant acknowledged: "I just feel so supported by the Prof, that's teaching the supervision class." Participants spoke positively about the safe learning environment that the instructor was creating for them within their seminar group. They saw her as both honouring their learning processes and gently challenging them to examine their supervisory beliefs and practices with a view to expanding their vision of their supervision role. As one person responded: Probably the biggest thing I do know is that in the seminar what I enjoy is just being able to talk about our own process, for me my own process in a safe environment...even when things are said, I would guess that she doesn't agree with or maybe reactive to, she's very respectful and just brings it around in away that just conveys the ultimate respect. 7 0 Given that supervision occurs within the context of relationships, the supervisors-in-training felt that the quality of their supervisory process and their final learning outcomes were directly linked to the relational bonds that developed between themselves and their supervisors. In this particular circumstance, the seminar instructor worked on developing productive supervisory relationships with all of the participants and encouraged them to interact and build relationships with their fellow supervisors-in-training. It is the relationship that the seminar instructor was forging with these individuals that enabled her to challenge participants to examine themselves in relation to their new role without feeling threatened or intimidated. Participants willingly participated because it was safe to do so as the instructor actively supported them in their struggle to define themselves as supervisors. Doctoral Peer Group. Many of the participants spoke about the relationships that they were developing with their fellow supervisors-in-training during the seminar class. They saw themselves supporting and being supported by their peers as they shared in the journey of becoming supervisors. The following comments reflect these sentiments: "I really value my time with my colleagues," "the class itself I find very supportive," and "my peers in the supervision course...are very supportive." Participants found that as they became familiar with one another their level of comfort increased and with it, their ability to speak more openly about what they were experiencing. As their relationships evolved participants felt increasingly more secure about sharing their supervisory challenges and struggles with one another. As one person reported: There are six of us in the class and really five of the six of us have ...have formed relationships to the extent that we really feel comfortable with each other and then I value a lot of what they're 71 bringing as individuals so that just creates an even more free and enriching environment. Participants spoke about looking forward to receiving feedback from their peers regarding their work with counsellor trainees. These supervisors-in-training took turns bringing in video-taped segments of their supervisory sessions with individual counsellor trainees for their peers to view and comment on. As one individual said: "I'm really looking forward to the feedback and bringing that video tape of me. I just trust everybody in the class that it will be a safe place to do that." As the level of trust and safety increased between class members, their anxiety decreased. They became increasingly more willing to explore with their peers, their positive and negative experiences of becoming a supervisor. Past Supervisors. All participants spoke about how their relationships with past supervisors had influenced and shaped their former supervisory experiences. They discussed both the positive and negative impact that different supervisors had made on their own development as professionals, and how these experiences had shaped their view of what constituted good supervision. They took these experiences and perceptions into their own work as a guide of what to do and what not to do with their counsellor trainees. The most highly regarded supervisors were those individuals who had taken a personal interest in their supervisees, and who had provided caring, encouraging, and respectful supervisory experiences. As one participant reported: "The supervisors that have meant the most to me have been the warm fuzzy kind of people, that I know really care about me." Participants saw good supervisors as being those individuals who had provided them 72 with supervision that had been based on a personal understanding and connection with them. As one person recalled: I've had some awesome supervision and I think the biggest part of that was about feeling that I was seen for who I was and yeah, I think that was probably one of the biggest things, feeling that the person took the time to really see who I was and communicate with me based on my needs and what was going on for me and what not. I guess also...really addressing personal process...It's been foundational to me developing some of my values and ideals about...who I want to be in this position. Particular supervisors were remembered warmly because they had built relationships with their trainees that had made it safe for them to take risks with their learning. Participants noted how important it was to have a relationship with a supervisor who they knew cared about them and supported their learning. One participant, in speaking about a past supervisor, said: He was really helpful in building confidence and looking at some of the reasons why I was lacking confidence in a lot of areas. He was incredibly affirming. I think the biggest thing I got from him was that this person really cared about me. He doesn't care about me because I'm perfect, he knows I'm not. Even in the supervision seminar he used to invite us to bring in mistakes and almost the more mistakes, the more vulnerable you could be, the more supportive he was. Supervisors who were able to establish a supportive link with their trainees were seen as also being able to help trainees address their most difficult learning issues in nonthreatening ways. As one participant remembered: 73 I also had a clinic supervisor who was very very...she wasn't just supportive and into building rapport, but was able to ask very incisive questions without being in any way hurtful. Questions that were good at just getting at things. Getting me to reflect deeply and move my process along. These past supervisors were seen as giving their trainees the gifts of positive regard and acceptance. Rather than emphasizing trainees' lack of experience and focusing in on their inadequacies, these supervisors chose to illuminate and work with their strengths. They nurtured their trainees' talents and skills and drew from them, their best effort. As one participant recalled: She saw my strengths. She saw the pieces of me that are just going to go somewhere and she totally encouraged and supported and allowed me to see those pieces...and it's just been foundational to me, like it's just been a huge piece of my process to getting to where I've come. I mean she had more faith in me than I did probably. For a few participants, relationships with some of their past supervisors had been so powerful and impactful that they had internalized these individuals' faith in them. These participants continued to feel supported by these internal mentors: So the people that have been, or really influenced me...I carry them with me and they are still with me and obviously some of what I've talked about...it's like it happened yesterday. In reflecting upon the supervisory relationships that they considered to have had the most positive influence on their development as trainees, participants were able to begin to identify those supervisor characteristics that they most wanted to emulate. Just as their supervisors had supported, 74 encouraged, and helped them address their learning issues in nonthreatening ways so too did they want to support, encourage, and provide a safe learning environment for their counsellor trainees. Some participants also talked about supervisory relationships that had impacted on them in a negative fashion. They spoke about being caught in supervisory relationships that had emphasized the hierarchical nature of supervision, where the power inequalities had negatively affected their ability to learn. In the words of one participant: I've really only had one...two experiences of less than supervision and I would say characteristics of that have been power...power stuff, arrogance, not really interested in making...I guess...keeping a lid on where the connection is, the relationship...between me and that person, like it's an authority relationship...I just don't work well in those kinds of situations and they've...stood out for me. In reflecting upon their negative supervisory experiences some participants were beginning to identify what differentiated good from bad supervision and how they wanted their trainees to have a different and more positive experience than they had had. They recognized that the quality of the learning experience was directly related to the quality of the relationship between supervisor and supervisee. As one person noted: I've been told enough things myself by people that I don't trust and you just don't listen to them or you don't take them seriously. Before I can be vulnerable enough to hear...to talk about constructive criticism which is kind of focused on weakness...yeah, for me to be able to hear that...to be vulnerable, I need to feel that this person is saying that out of caring...this person really cares about me and that's what's meant the most. So I think that is vitally important for me to display to the 75 counsellors-in-training that I'd been working with...I need to build up a relationship. Counsellor Trainees. Although at this early stage in their learning process participants did not focus as much attention on the importance of their relationships with counsellor trainees as they did on their other supervisory relationships — due likely to the fact that they were still concerned with their own survival and the need to determine the parameters of their own relationships with their supervisors — a few of them did speak about the need to develop positive supervisor-trainee relationships. In talking about providing supervision to counsellor trainees one individual pointed out: "I obviously can't give good feedback if we don't have a sound, supportive, caring relationship." Based on their previous experiences as trainees and on their current relationships with their senior supervisors, the seminar instructor, and their peers in the supervision class, participants were beginning to realize that it was their responsibility to initiate and nurture the relationship between themselves and their counsellor trainees. In trying to determine how to do this one participant suggested: Holding the space. I think it's about seeing that person...I think it's about respecting that person for who they are...I think it's about being really plugged in, really attentive and connected. Connected is kind of a generic thing but I think it's just kind of being in the moment...really holding that moment with that person. When I do my work, what I've come to understand in my work as a counsellor is that when I'm plugged in that way with my clients it's magic. I guess I'm kind of hoping there is going to be some magic in the clinic. 76 Participants realized that providing feedback to trainees would be most effective within the context of a good working relationship. As one participant noted: I think one of my strengths will be to, be able to carefront...It's my own little thing about confronting while maintaining relationship...so it's like caring and confronting but combining the two so that it doesn't have an impact that throws somebody off the rail. In summary, all participants recognized that the development of positive working relationships is an essential and necessary component of successful supervision. These individuals understood how necessary their relationships with their senior supervisors, seminar instructor, and doctoral peers were to their own growth as clinical supervisors. As well, they recognized how important their past relationships with their clinical supervisors had been in shaping their own counsellor development and perceptions of effective and ineffective supervision. Finally, some participants spoke about the importance of building positive relationships with counsellor trainees in order to facilitate counsellor development. Role Ambiguity and Uncertainty A sense of role ambiguity and uncertainty was experienced by all of the supervisors-in-training. Participants, in varying degrees, struggled with how to define and operationalize their role as a supervisor. Participants were just beginning to process and determine what it meant to take on the role of supervisor. As such a sense of confusion and vagueness characterized their experiences of themselves as supervisors and their understanding of their roles. Many individuals had difficulty articulating a basic understanding of their supervisory role. They were unclear about what it meant to be a 77 supervisor and were uncomfortable with the ambiguity of not knowing exactly what was expected of them. This uneasiness is reflected in the words of one participant: What's my role? Just, can I do this, whatever it is I'm suppose to do?...I mean it's a bit nebulous you know. What am I suppose to do here? I don't know if I can do it if I don't know what I'm doing. Participants recognized that by virtue of taking the supervision course they had been propelled into a new learning situation. This, in turn, had precipitated feelings of nervousness and uncertainty about whether they knew how to handle their new role. As one participant reported: "I never really had an idea of what supervision was going to look like. Having no idea, like...I'm back to square one in some ways in terms of being a beginner." Participants spoke candidly about the ambiguity and uncertainty and their sense of not knowing what to do in their role as supervisor. One person put it quite simply: "My understanding of my role is basically...well it's not very clear to me at this point." One supervisor-in-training who seemed to speak with more confidence than his peers with regards to what constituted the supervisory role made a statement regarding his understanding of the role, but in the end qualified it. In talking about the teacher, consultant, and counsellor roles embedded within the larger supervisory role this individual said: "So those three roles really fit for me. I mean they sound textbook but that's really what's happening, I think." Another participant took a trial and error approach in trying to define her role as supervisor. This individual noted: "I haven't really come up with a metaphor of what supervision looks like to me. I've been doing it by process of elimination and cutting out things I know that I don't want to talk like." 78 In trying to define their roles as supervisors, a number of individuals looked to their past experiences for assistance and clarity. Participants who had held supervisory positions within other contexts drew upon their experiences to help make sense of their current situation. One individual, in trying to define her supervisory role reflected on her role and responsibilities vis-a-vis the clinic instructor: I don't want to be the big boss and as I said I know with (senior supervisor), the buck stops with her so in a sense she is the big boss. What is that? Is that more implied than overt?...She just doesn't act on that and I don't want to do that either. In jobs in the past, I mean I've done a little bit of supervising interns but supervisory positions aren't something that I've really set my sight on...even as a (profession) I wanted to see the interns develop and I didn't have much training to do that, I was just kind of thrown in places...I had to give extensive kinds of feedback to them and just kind of hoped that it would go over well. So I think I'll go with that...so as a supervisor I don't want to be the top dog...I know I can't be a friend. I know there's a distinction there so it's looking at what's in the middle and how's that going to work out. In some sense we're not equals because I'm in a different role. Because participants were students themselves, and in some cases peer colleagues of the students they were supervising, the issue of role clarity and uncertainty was exacerbated. The struggle to define their supervisory role within the clinic setting was compounded by the fact that they were still students and were having to figure out what it meant to be both a supervisor and a supervisor-in-training. 79 Some participants reflected on their clinic experience from the previous year as a way to gain some role clarity. One individual felt somewhat at a loss because there had been no supervisor-in-training in her previous clinic — so she did not have a model of what this role entailed. As this person reported: "I started thinking about what this is going to mean, we didn't have a doctoral supervisor in our clinic last year so I really didn't have a role model." Participants who, in their previous clinics, had watched their doctoral peers negotiate the supervisor-in-training role found that their observations now provided them with points of reference with regards to how they were going to interpret their role. As one participant remarked: I had a couple of memories of how I had seen other supervisors-in-training be in clinic. I didn't want to be totally limited by this. I found myself even reflecting on those memories before the first clinic and not wanting to be too stuck on that model...so I saw my experience could be very different and it was different. Yet another participant, having observed a supervisor-in-training really struggle with the supervisory role in the previous year, now had a greater appreciation for the student's struggle with finding her place. As the participant noted: "I have much more empathy around understanding the struggle this year, about finding what our role is." It was this prior experience that had made the participant conscious about wanting to take on and learn the role of supervisor without hurting others. A few participants related their present supervisory experience to their counselling background and experiences in an attempt to help define their role. One individual, not feeling confident in his new role reported: 80 I'm not too sure of my role yet and because of my own uncertainties about what it is to be a good therapist, to sit back and watch other people work with clients and then to not just focus on the client, is very hard for me. Participants were beginning to recognize that the process of supervision was different from the counselling process. They had yet, however, to figure out how these two processes were related, yet different especially since they were much more comfortable with the counsellor role and more confident with their counselling skills. As one individual noted: Confidence wise, Tm just not having a good idea of what this is all about yet and just how to do it, knowing enough to know that, and having read enough to know that this is different than counselling. I can bring a lot of my skills from counselling into it but it is different. I'm not fully understanding how it is different and not knowing do I have the skills to do this, do I need to develop more skills, I don't feel terribly confident most of the time, just how to go about it. Most participants compared themselves to their senior supervisors in trying to understand their supervisory roles. In attempting to clarify their roles they made observations and comparisons between themselves and their senior supervisors in terms of personality, style, and orientation. One individual, in reflecting at different time points during the interview noted the difference in her level of skill and confidence compared to the clinic instructor: Because (senior supervisor) is the faculty supervisor...I know I'm not going to look like her. Tm not going to look like her anyway...she is her own person and I am mine. Just how do I fit into the spectrum of things?...! probably compare myself to (senior supervisor), she makes it 81 look so easy. She just always seems to have an assurance about her. She's thought through in her mind why she's doing things while sometimes I just kind of go by the seat of my pants and I couldn't tell you why I'm doing something. Another individual reflected on why the experience she was having this year as a supervisor-in-training was superior to the previous year's experience of having been a doctoral level counsellor. This individual believed that she and the clinic supervisor were very compatible in their roles as senior supervisor and supervisor-in-training as they shared similar perspectives, ways of doing counselling, and most importantly were able to talk about their respective supervisory roles. As this person said: In some ways this year feels like it's more clearly defined. What my role is as a supervisor rather than just the PhD student in clinic. We never talked about this with my supervisor last year. We never once talked about what my role was as a PhD person in the clinic. She never once talked about how to be with the PhD advisor...we never talked about that stuff right...so in some ways this year it's more clear what my role is. Within that of course I have to figure out what my role is. Another participant, needing to confirm that the supervisory role that she was playing in clinic was appropriate, initiated a conversation with the senior supervisor looking for input and validation: I've never had any advanced plan discussed with (senior supervisor). I just sort of...here I am doing this stuff, so I thought, maybe it's time for me to just check this out with her. I mean, I knew if anything was really horrible or anything was wrong I would have heard about it, but I wanted to hear her musings and hear whether she felt I was on 82 track...it was really a check in and you know I think I really needed that because it's a new situation and I'm trying out things to the best of my ability...there wasn't a part of me that was feeling, oh, I'm way off or anything like that but more, I just need that support, just to check in. Another supervisor-in-training was unsure about how to operationalize the supervisory role. This participant was feeling caught in his own fears and did not perceive that the senior supervisor was providing the necessary guidance and support he required to successfully negotiate this new role. As this person said: So I'm really uncertain about what it is to be a supervisor and of course that brings me to a point where I come up against my own walls because I have to go and say well, I need to make tapes of you or I need to make tapes for my own purposes...so I have to structure all of this myself and I don't get any input from my supervisor. It is evident that the working relationships that developed between senior supervisors and their supervisors-in-training played a significant part in helping participants sort out and clarify their role. Some participants seemed to be more accepting of the ambiguity and uncertainty associated with learning the supervisory role. These individuals appeared to have attained a certain level of comfort with letting the process of becoming a supervisor unfold. As one participant reflected: "I just have to go through the process and try to stay open, be prepared in some ways for the unexpected because I don't really know all the time what will happen and that's okay too." These participants recognized and accepted that being uncomfortable was part of learning how to be a supervisor. As one person noted: "I expect that there will be lots of ambiguity and uncertainty and I expect at times that will make me feel anxious and other times it won't." 83 In summary, all participants experienced a sense of role ambiguity and uncertainty. Most were unclear regarding the tasks and functions of their role. They looked to past experiences as well as to current relationships with their senior supervisors for some guidance and to make sense out of their experience of becoming clinical supervisors. Some individuals were more able to accept the ambiguity associated with learning their roles and more willing to let the process unfold. For others, especially those who lacked a role model of this position in their previous clinical training experiences, or who didn't feel like they were getting the direction and support they needed to define their role within the clinics, found coping with the ambiguity and uncertainty more difficult. Boundary Setting Within the context of relationships, boundaries mark the limits which separate acceptable and appropriate behaviours from those behaviours which are inappropriate or harmful. Structurally, boundaries are created to help meet the needs and expectations of all parties within a relational system. They define roles and responsibilities and enable each individual to develop a sense of identity and learn how to relate to others in meaningful ways. All participants experienced and spoke about issues regarding the setting of boundaries between themselves and other members of their clinic team. In some instances participants were able to describe their interactions with others in ways that suggested an understanding of clear boundaries. However, in many of the relationships participants experienced more ambiguity and uncertainty around the setting of boundaries. The struggle to define the parameters and boundaries related to the supervisor-in-training role was apparent in participants' relationships with masters level counsellor trainees, first year doctoral student counsellors, and senior supervisors. 84 Counsellor Trainees. In general, the supervisors-in-training questioned how to be in relationship with their counsellor trainees. As they sought to define themselves as supervisors, participants found themselves having to address many role-related boundary issues. One such issue centered on participants having to determine what trainees' expectations were of them as supervisors, and then trying to figure out what the boundaries needed to be, given their role. As one individual said: I think the most apprehension really that I had was the idea that I am going to be meeting this new group of people. They don't know me, I don't know them, and what is their expectation of me going to be. Recognizing that the development of healthy working relationships would facilitate the supervisory process participants found themselves in the position of having to establish clear relational boundaries between themselves and their counsellor trainees. The task lay in determining the professional limits of these relationships. As one person reported: It all boils down to I'm in no way, shape or form a better person, I'm not a worse person either, I'm just in a different role. I can say that in my head I just, I haven't got the full grasp of what it looks like or how it's going to play out and some of the dynamics with the masters students. Part of me wants to almost befriend them. I think about it. I know there's some boundaries here...I don't know what the boundaries look like. What's okay? Even some of them I drive with and that was a question in my mind...is it okay to drive with them? Probably if I went out and socialized with them all the time, then the boundaries get a bit fuzzier. So learning what those boundaries are is going to be a challenge. 85 Being in both the roles of student and supervisor created additional problems for participants when it came to determining their professional boundaries with counsellor trainees. They were having to learn how to relate to their fellow students within the context of their new role and questioned whether they had the knowledge and skill that qualified them to provide supervision to their peers. Feeling awkward about being both a student and a supervisor one person remarked: It feels a little bit incongruent because I'm a student and yet I'm a supervisor so that role is a bit hard for me. When I teach I'm also a student and also a teacher but I'm teaching undergraduates so it seems different than supervising Masters students because they are closer in development to me. In trying to establish the boundaries between themselves and the counsellor trainees in their clinic team some participants also expressed concerns about being caught in dual relationships. Knowing that they were now simultaneously juggling the student and supervisor roles they struggled with how to reestablish the boundaries between themselves and their fellow students, especially with those individuals with whom they had a previous relationship. As one person pointed out: I feel that I have a dual role in a sense and that some of the persons I'm supervising I have taken courses with in the past so I feel that they are peers, yet at the same time I'm supervising them so that feels like a dual role...in a sense, or they were peers...I'm in transition obviously...I feel uncomfortable in suddenly becoming sort of almost like an authority to someone who I began the training with at the same level and it feels almost phony...I'm not sure how to explain it. 86 Yet another participant found herself having to deal with the dilemma of having already established a social relationship with a masters level student during the Counselling Psychology Orientation Program only to find out that this person was now one of the counsellor trainees that she would be providing supervision to in the clinic. As this person reported: The other woman actually is a little older than me and I met her a year ago, we did orientation together when I first came into the program and I think we went out for coffee a couple of times during the orientation so it started out as a social kind of relationship and we never pursued it. I had not seen her in about a year and she showed up at clinic. But there, you know, there might be a potential, I know we share some common interests. Would it be okay to go hiking with her?...I have to think about this because I really struggle with this whole dual relationship thing. Supervisors-in-training who had recently completed their own counsellor training found themselves being able to relate to, and identify with, the counsellor-trainee role and experience. As one participant said: I've just recently come out of my own process of training...I have a really good understanding or empathic understanding of what they might be feeling...going through it themselves because it's so recent for me. So I think it helps. These novice supervisors recognized the potential danger of over-identifying with the counsellor trainee role rather than with their role as supervisor. They were concerned that they would treat trainees as peers rather than students and that the blurring of boundaries would make it difficult for them, as supervisors, to provide objective and fair supervision. 87 Recognizing and finding a way to balance the need to be liked with the need to provide the constructive feedback and supervision necessary for counsellor development was seen as a challenge by some participants. They recognized that they had to have boundaries that would delineate how they could be in relationship with their trainees and at the same time honour their supervisory responsibilities. They also seemed concerned with how their relationships might change and how they might be perceived differently because of being in an evaluative role with their peers. These concerns are reflected in the words of one participant: I expect that not everybody is going to like what I say to them and that that will be challenging at times. That is going to be a challenging piece around knowing that you are not going to please everybody all the time and that you are going to say things that people aren't going to like and that you are going to show up the next week and so are they...and working it all out. I expect that to happen. Some participants turned to their senior supervisor to help them sort out their role and role-related boundaries with trainees. They found themselves having to figure out how to be in relationship with their peers given their new position of authority and power. One person who spoke with her supervisor about this dilemma noted: In the ethics class we did last year, I struggled with dual relationships. I think I have number of them in my life, so that's a tough one, figuring out what those boundaries are. I talked a bit about that to (senior supervisor) and she asked me once, do you have the same problem with me? I said no, I don't...I'm not sure why, going the other way it's such an issue, but I think it's one that I just sort of maybe I don't want 88 to be different than them, I want to be part of the group, I want to be liked, I want to be accepted. It is because this participant still saw herself as a student, and had yet to fully identify and take on the supervisory role that she struggled with setting appropriate boundaries. Some participants also expressed difficulties with deciding who and what they should be focusing on when providing supervision to their counsellor trainees. Some individuals struggled with determining the difference between being a counsellor and engaging in the counselling process and being a supervisor and supervising the work of another counsellor. In the words of one participant: It's a struggle there and I was very aware of the struggle last time. I was looking at last week, of wanting to focus on the client, thinking you know, oh, I wish I were in that session, I know just what I would do right now, to focusing on the counsellor and their process. It felt good that I was aware of that fight that was going on within me, that was the conflict and aware that I need to keep the focus on the counsellor here and their process, this isn't my counselling session. I'm not in there. Others were unsure of where the boundary was between doing therapy with trainees and providing supervision to them. As one individual noted: "Sometimes I feel uncomfortable about the therapeutic aspect of it. I don't know how far to take something with a trainee...I mean in a therapeutic way, if they are disclosing something." Participants recognized that the purpose of supervision was to facilitate counsellor development and not to provide trainees with therapy, however, these lines of distinction were still unclear for some of them, especially when the trainees working with their clients appeared to be affected by their own issues and struggles. 89 A few participants also recognized the potential for issues around power and gender to arise especially when there were gender differences between the supervisors-in-training and their counsellor trainees. Some participants had to wrestle with their discomfort and find a way to clarify relational boundaries as they pertained to the opposite sex. As one participant reported: Present(ing) myself as a kind of warm fuzzy male that is approachable is a very interesting process that I'm still not certain how to deal with...For me it's meant I've had to watch the things I say...be aware all the time that this dynamic may or may not be in play...of the power differential or the assumed power differential...both male, female and as a supervisor-in-training, supervising master students. So I'm sort of watching it on both fronts. It's been quite interesting. So I'm aware of that most of the time I'm in there. First Year Doctoral Students. In developing a relationship with the first year doctoral students, participants were having to find a way to balance their responsibilities as a supervisor-in-training with their concerns about being in authority with individuals who were their peers. Some participants set up clear expectations and boundaries from the outset. As one individual said: I've already made some sense out of the fact that I see myself as a consultant to the counsellors and specifically to the first year doctoral students...and I've already told them that I won't be doing active supervision but I'll be a consultant to them. If they want my help I'll be happy to give it. Another participant, recognizing the predicament that she found herself in, made a decision about how she wanted to be in relationship with the first 90 year doctoral student, and then informed the senior supervisor that she was not comfortable evaluating this student. The participant told the supervisor: "I see myself more with him as a consultant...I don't want to be in the evaluator role...that's fair." Yet another participant in establishing the roles and boundaries with a first year doctoral student stated that: I think of the PhD student that is counselling in the clinic as more of a peer than anything so I don't feel that I'm going to be giving her a ton of information, although she did ask for some articles that I have and I passed them on to her, but more than anything she'll just sort of consult with and check in. In contrast, other supervisors-in-training seemed to really struggle with defining the parameters of their relationship with the first year doctoral students in their clinics. This was especially true for individuals who were having to deal with the issue of dual relationships between themselves and their fellow doctoral students. For one participant the struggle was particularly difficult as the first year doctoral student in the clinic was also a personal friend. Even before the clinic had begun this participant had spoken with the senior supervisor about being uneasy with this potential dual relationship. As this person recalled: I was more concerned about how it was going to look with A. How we were going to work this? Could it be a dual relationship? I guess I wasn't even sure, you know, how much of this I could share with A ...of my concerns. Just really not knowing the boundaries and roles you know. As the term progressed this participant continued to grapple with the friend versus supervisor quandary: 91 I haven't fully figured out what the boundaries are there...Is there anything that's crossing the line? What may be unethical?...I want to share with her...I know certainly it's pretty black and white, I'm not going to discuss anybody else with her, just the whole working of clinics...I think I'll just sort of have to play that one by ear and go back if I feel it's okay. If I try some things out and they don't feel okay afterwards, well, I'll just have to deal with it. Issues of power and gender were also apparent in participants' relationships with their first year doctoral student peers. They recognized the importance of setting clear boundaries, however, in some cases this seemed to pose a challenge for participants. For example, one participant found it particularly troublesome to determine boundaries because of the composition of the clinic. As he reported: I'm with a male faculty member, so here I am with seven women, myself being a male, and my supervisor. We also have two doctoral students. That is a very precarious situation that I find myself in. I'm very aware of the power structure and the power differential that I'm male and with seven females. It appears that this participant struggled not only with how to engage and supervise an all female group of counsellor trainees but also struggled with his boundaries with the first year female doctoral students as well. As he said: "having two female doctoral students in the class makes it somewhat awkward." Senior Supervisor. Some supervisors-in-training were quite comfortable with the boundaries that defined the relationship between themselves and their senior supervisors. It seems that when senior supervisors developed collegial relationships and worked towards 92 establishing clear boundaries concerning roles and responsibilities participants felt that they were valued for the contribution they could make to the supervisory process. As one participant reported: The senior supervisor has started off on a footing where he has introduced me as his associate and he constantly defers questions...What do you think about this? Can you talk about your experience with this? So it's been really rewarding and uplifting to have somebody that I think values my perspective and I really feel that from him. A number of participants engaged in discussions with their senior supervisors around role-related boundary issues. These individuals were seeking to clarify the parameters and limits of their role in relation to their supervisor as well as to other clinic members. For some individuals, speaking with their senior supervisor helped them to compare their perception of their role and related boundaries with that of the senior supervisor. This is reflected in the words of one participant: The senior supervisor and I have spoken and he really sees my triple role with the Masters students and he certainly supports my role with the doctoral students and being a consultant that they can tap into for whatever their needs are. There were some participants, who although they had not yet spoken to their supervisors, were considering dialoging with them about the responsibilities of their supervisory role. Rather than guessing at what their duties would entail these participants were recognizing that what they needed to do was get a firm idea of what they would and would not be doing. This, in turn, would then enable them to determine and establish appropriate role-related boundaries with their supervisors. For example, one individual 93 spoke about the need to speak with the senior supervisor and clarify her involvement in the evaluation process. As she noted: I should probably ask (senior supervisor) whether or not...how much she wants me to be involved in the evaluation because I think for myself, I would want to be able to explain how I arrived at a grade for myself and probably potentially for a student. In comparison to their colleagues, some supervisors-in-training experienced greater confusion and discomfort around establishing boundaries with their senior supervisors. It would appear that neither they nor their supervisors initiated discussions to clarify role-related boundaries and as a result these individuals felt frustrated and disappointed. As one individual said: I haven't really pinned (senior supervisor) down but I've kind of thrown...out baited hooks..."well (senior supervisor) you know that I've talked with (seminar instructor) and this is what we're suppose to be doing"...and maybe that is my own fault, maybe I've been too tentative...what does that look like...are we okay or is it that I don't have to worry about it...thinking he'd say oh, let's take a minute now and let's just talk about it and then about a minute or two is all I get. It seems that these individuals were just beginning to recognize that they would need to find their own way to clarify their role-related boundaries in order to establish themselves as supervisors-in-training. In summary, all participants spoke about issues related to the setting of boundaries in relation to counsellor trainees, first year doctoral students, and senior supervisors. Although some participants had established clear boundaries with some of their clinic members it was evident that most of them were in the process of still determining the bounds of their new role. 94 Sense of Incompetence In reflecting upon their ongoing experience of becoming a supervisor all participants spoke of how their sense of incompetence had shifted in the brief time that they had taken on the role of supervisor-in-training. They described both their initial concerns about feeling inadequate and their worries and questions as to whether or not they had the ability to fulfill their supervisory responsibilities. They also noted how their sense of incompetence was changing and becoming less intense and problematic for them as they gained experience and confidence. Participants were beginning to recognize that their feelings of inadequacy were being fueled by their sense of incompetence and that this sense of incompetence was directly related to their own learning process and to the complex nature of supervision. At the beginning of their experience, all participants reported a sense of incompetence. They were, at times overwhelmed by their feelings of inadequacy. Many of them openly expressed fears about being incompetent. They worried about being able to undertake and successfully negotiate their new role. As one person reported: "I think that's the big concern, that I might end up with something that I'm not competent in." There was an underlying fear of failure; the possibility that they would not be able to live up to their own expectations, their own standards of achievement, their own internal judge nor would they be able to live up to the perceived expectations of others. Participants spoke about their feelings of apprehension and insecurity. As one person said: "Going into the first few clinics my tendency is to just sit back and be as invisible as I can. Just because I'm feeling kind of anxious and vulnerable and inadequate". Participants questioned their skills and abilities as supervisors. As one person pointed out: "Perhaps it's my own insecurity, my own doubt about 95 my own skill level...I'm not sure that I have more knowledge than they have...I feel like I'm kind of going in blindly." Participants also shared the worry of not being qualified or prepared for the role. As one person reflected: "I don't really know that I'm equipped enough at this point to be a supervisor, so I guess I'm expecting too much of myself at this point." Participants who were still questioning their ability as counsellors felt particularly burdened with the idea of being a supervisor. As one student reported: I feel as though, somewhat, I've been thrown into this and that there hasn't been a whole lot of clinical preparation for me to be a supervisor. In as much as I'm not sure of what I'm like as a counsellor or as a therapist...I feel as though somewhat, I've been thrown into the deep end of the water without a whole lot of instruction of how to survive in the water over my head. In a similar vein, the link between clinical adequacy and supervisory competence was underscored: It seems to me that if you are a competent therapist then you can move to the level of supervisor but if I'm struggling with what it is to be a competent therapist then being thrown again into that role of being a supervisor is still a struggle for me. That makes me anxious and makes me have self doubt about my own abilities. Participants considered their lack of counselling experience to be a deficiency when having to engage counsellor trainees in the supervisory process. They recognized that as students themselves they were still learning how to work with clients, and yet were now expected to help counsellor trainees engage in the counselling process with their clients. As one participant pointed out: 96 My lack of experience as a counsellor myself...I think that one of my weaknesses is seeing where they need to go in session...I would struggle myself in knowing where to go with my client goal setting. So helping my trainees setting goals and stuff like that I think would be my weakness. Some of these supervisors-in-training questioned whether they could be cognizant of, and responsive to, their counsellor trainees' many supervisory issues and problems. They queried their own perception and judgment with regard to what needed to be addressed with trainees. In talking about a supervision issue that had arisen within the clinic one participant noted that the senior supervisor was addressing a concern that the participant had not recognized as an issue — leading the student to question her competence in the supervisory role: She's seeing things that I didn't even think about. What's wrong with me? — was kind of my first reaction...There is still some sense that fed into my incompetence that...I'm missing a lot here...I should have thought of that. I should have been aware of that...That kind of hit me as a shock. She was taking it that seriously...I just haven't got to that point in my thinking. I'm really glad that (the senior supervisor) is handling that, that would be really difficult for me because I would really feel like I'm over my head, not trusting my own awareness of what's going on, my own judgments. In attempting to cope with, and make sense of these feelings most of these supervisors-in-training were slowly coming to the realization that their sense of incompetence was related to the process of learning how to become a supervisor. Being able to name and accept their feelings of inadequacy was helping participants to normalize their feelings of insecurity and 97 insufficiency. Rather than labeling themselves as incompetent they were beginning to see themselves simply as inexperienced -- as novice supervisors, anxiety around performance was to be expected. This reframe, in turn, empowered participants to focus primarily on their learning rather than on their feelings of incompetence. Most recognized the need to move beyond their feelings of anxiety and self-doubt in order to develop their skills and abilities as a supervisor. Speaking candidly one person noted: I don't look forward to days when I'm really questioning myself and wondering if I really should be here. Quite likely there is going to be times like that. I think they are important to go through but you feel awful going through them. I don't look forward to pain with great anticipation, even though there is a reason for it. With each class participants gained supervisory experience, and talked about becoming more confident and assured in their supervisory role. As one individual said: "I felt more confident in the last clinic. There may be times when that waivers but I think that is a real positive shift for me, that in a sense maybe I can do this." Similarly, another participant noted: "There is a little bit of anxiety there still but...the longer I go, the more I feel the validation and acceptance from my supervisors, the less anxiety is there." Participants recognized that just like the counsellors-in-training with whom they were working, as supervisors-in-training, in order to learn they needed to face their own fears and venture into unknown territory. As one individual noted: I anticipate having to supervise counsellors who are in with clients who are dealing with issues that I don't feel confident dealing with...I'm not going to run away from it. I'm going to recognize my need to learn and to stretch a little bit here. 98 Participants recognized the need to find a balance between feeling incompetent and knowing that the uncomfortable feelings that they were experiencing were part of the learning process. They needed to find a way to trust the process and themselves. This is highlighted in the following quote: I just have this image in my mind...an image and a word. The word is trust and the image is sort of like floundering...I just think I've bounced into this new position and I don't really know much about it, or I think I don't and I read all this stuff and I go in and go wow, so much head stuff. So many things to know, so much to this...and then I just think, you know what...it's all a process and with other parts of my life where I do new things...where I venture into new areas, I've come to realize it all happens...timing. It all happens when it should happen. I think that for me it is the trust part, where I can go to the place where I think of myself as incompetent and knowing nothing and like floundering and getting all anxious about it and spin around...or I can go to this other place where I go, yeah this is pretty new...I've got some skills under my belt and I have some understanding of how I view the world and how I view counselling and how I like relationships to operate and...what I want to give to people or what I want to experience, what my needs are and I can just roll with it. There was an emerging awareness that the supervisory process was complex and multifaceted. Slowly, participants were moving beyond a self-focused viewpoint to one where they recognized that their part in the supervisory enterprise was only one aspect of a larger learning process. There was a growing understanding that many supervisory situations were being influenced by more complex issues than just their own individual skills and sense of competence or incompetence. Instead of focusing exclusively on 99 their own perceived shortcoming, participants were beginning to recognize and pay attention to other clinic members' experiences of the learning process as well as the interpersonal dynamics involved in providing supervision. Seeing the "bigger picture" enabled these participants to feel less concerned about their abilities and more able to focus on examining the complexities involved with the supervisory process. In summary, participants shared common fears about being incompetent in their role as supervisors-in-training. They attempted to cope with and make sense of these feelings by acknowledging they, like the counsellors-in-training, were in a process of learning and that they had to trust in themselves and the process. Many came to recognize that experiencing a sense of incompetence was a normal part of their learning process. For a few individuals, there was a shift from a narrow focus on competency to a recognition of being involved in a larger more complex enterprise. Sense of Excitement All of the participants experienced a great sense of excitement regarding the process of becoming clinical supervisors. At the most global level, this sense of excitement was characterized as the opportunity for new learnings. In the words of one individual: "The more I read and the more we talk and the more we freely dialogue about this, the more the environment becomes rich and exciting and yeah, I just want to go back and do this next week." Another participant confirmed: It's a real privilege to have the opportunity to be able to do this. I know it sounds kind of sucky. I could be working a forty hour week just kind of losing my mind, and I'm learning all kinds of exciting things. 100 All of the participants had a sense that significant learnings were going to come their way; that the more they became immersed in the learning process, the richer and more exciting the experience was going to become. As one individual reported: "I'm excited, I'm anticipating great things...I don't know if feeling excited about doing the work is an emotion but...that's the kind of thing I'm trying to convey. These students realized that very few Counselling Psychology PhD programs include a supervision course in their program of studies and were, therefore, feeling quite honoured to be participating in such a course. As one participant noted: It is a course we have to do, but it is actually a course I was really looking forward to doing...supervision is one of the things I'd hoped to do when I'm finished so I actually have the privilege of having a course to learn how to do it. It is wonderful. For another participant the desire to take advantage of the learning opportunity outweighed the fear of trying something new. As this individual said: I'm excited. I'm a little bit anxious. I mean there is all this uncertain territory. I'm venturing into something that is really different so of course I feel a little bit anxious and I'm excited to have this experience because I know, again...not a lot of programs provide this kind of training and that's great. Within this theme of excitement, specific components emerged that were shared by most participants regarding the possibilities for different types of learning and new opportunities that might occur as a result of the training experience. These included the anticipation and excitement of: learning about self; learning about the counselling process; learning about the 101 dimensions of the supervisory process; recognizing and learning about the dynamics of parallel process; learning about the principles of reflection and reciprocity; learning about the transferability of knowledge and skills beyond the current context; and forging and negotiating new relationships. It should be noted that although all participants experienced an overall sense of excitement, certain aspects of the experience were more or less exciting for particular participants. This variability seemed to be based, at least in part, on the strength of the working relationships formed between the supervisors-in-training and their senior supervisors. One of the key components that created a sense of excitement for participants was the opportunity to learn about themselves as supervisors. Students were eager to explore their new role as a supervisor. In the words of one participant: I'm excited to, I'm looking forward to finding out who I am as a supervisor. Will I be congruent with the way I do supervision, as I am with my counselling, as I am with my research? Which I want, I want to see. Another participant quickly came to the realization that it wasn't just the counsellors-in-training who were going to benefit and learn from the experience, but that as supervisors-in-training they were also going to gain a new level of self awareness and learning. In the words of this participant: I think my whole focus before starting was that I was going to be helping counsellors. I was going to be working with masters and maybe first year doctoral students and I was going to be giving feedback and support and helping them through, and I don't think there was as much of a component in my mind at that time that I was 102 going to be helping myself. Whereas now I really see it's a two way street. For another participant, beginning the supervision component of the PhD program represented a personal milestone in their professional career. As this individual reflected: The first thing I was quite excited about was the prospect of starting clinic in that capacity. What made me excited about that...I think...lots of unknowns. I guess a couple of things come to mind around that. I just think back to my masters...I think first of all, about walking into new territory, doing something really different. I think the other thing about it is that it really, to me, marks my progression through our program. Supervision then, represented both a benchmark of competence and an opportunity for further learning and development. A second aspect of the sense of excitement that these doctoral supervisors felt towards their supervisory experience was the dawning realization that they were not only going to learn about the practice of supervision, but they were also going to learn more about the counselling process. This awareness is exemplified in the following quote: I think my expectations were all about others learning and now of course, I'm recognizing that I can expect to receive quite a bit of learning for myself and for my own abilities to supervise and to counsel because it's not just supervision "ah ha's" that are coming up here, it's the counselling stuff. It's watching the counsellor work with the client and recognizing learning. I learned some great things already in three weeks from people that I have never tried in counselling and I 103 thought, boy, could I ever use that technique. So it's a bigger learning process than I expected to come into. A third component of participants' experiences of excitement centered around their recognition that the supervisory process is multifaceted and complex. For example, in talking about becoming more skilled in the area of supervision, one individual realized that they were: "Looking at supervision at a different depth, not just "hey I'm in charge of these people" but looking at the processes that go on in supervision and the opportunities to refine...the art of supervision." In learning about the complexities of the supervision process, thoughts and ideas that had never occurred to the participants began to emerge. For one individual, a comment made by the seminar instructor: "brought it into my consciousness, that even where we sit in clinic has some repercussions or some significance." This person became aware of how even their choice of seating in the clinic subtly influenced the perceived hierarchy and power dynamics that existed within the clinical training setting. For example, this participant reflected on how sitting at the head of the table with the senior supervisor might be interpreted by the counsellor trainees as the participant's alignment with the senior supervisor and the supervisory role. Interestingly, this aspect of learning about and reflecting on the supervisory process didn't generate excitement for one of the participants. This person was aware that others were excited about what they were learning and struggled to understand the purpose of how the supervision process was structured in his clinic. As this individual related: "I'm not excited about the process and I've got to find out why it is for me that Tm not excited and what purpose it serves for us to sit around the table and talk about clients." This participant reflected on how the supervisory process occurring in the clinic 104 did not match his learning needs nor what he understood as constituting good supervision. This individual didn't believe that he had a role to play in the clinic and, as a result, began "shutting down" and mentally distancing himself from the supervision that was occurring in the clinic. This supervisor-in-training also struggled to understand how the supervision focus on clients was addressing the learning needs of the counsellor trainees. Even as this individual struggled with why he was not excited about the format and focus of supervision he did comment on being excited about the possibility of helping trainees learn about their own process of becoming a counsellor. As this person reflected: To help them understand that or through working with them, perhaps having them find their own insight that, "yeah, it's okay for me to go to the next level or it's okay for me to risk this"...through our dialogue have them learn about their own process...that's what I'm most excited about. Another component of their supervisory experience that generated excitement involved participants beginning to recognize the power and dynamics of parallel process. This excitement is reflected in the following comment: "I see my parallel process with the students...it's about six weeks now and we are all kind of wondering...what are we doing kind of thing." In talking about what aspects of the learning process they were most excited about and looking forward to, another participant said: Seeing growth I think, in my trainees and watching them develop over time. I think that would be most rewarding. Also the feeling of effectiveness that I would get from knowing that I helped in that process. So probably my own increase in self-confidence over time...so parallel growth I guess. 105 Others were becoming aware of, and excited by how the dynamics of parallel process can affect both the counselling and supervisory relationships. This is reflected in the words of one participant: Sort of the parallel process stuff going on is what they bring into the therapy session, is what is going to be picked up by the client or what the client brings into the therapy session is going to be picked up by the counsellor. Participants were excited about being able to recognize the existence and power of parallel process, and the influence it can have at different levels of supervision. Another component of the participants' sense of excitement towards the learning process was related to the principles regarding the art and significance of reflection and reciprocity. According to one participant the concepts of reflection and reciprocity suggest that how a doctoral supervisor is treated by his senior supervisor is how the doctoral supervisor will in turn treat his counsellor trainees. This is exemplified in the following quotes: It always takes me back to a very simple, very simple principle...that is the law of reflection and the law of reciprocity that if somebody treats me in a certain manner then I will then be able to reflect that to the people that I'm in charge of supervising, and reciprocity says that if somebody does a good turn for me I will want to do it for them so...yeah it goes down hill...I mean the way I'm treated by my supervisor is certainly going to impact the way I treat people that I supervise. 106 There is just so much support and so much learning, it's such a positive environment and that's what's so neat, that I can then translate that positive environment into the supervision that I do...I mean this has become so clear to me, that the relationship that gets formed at this level will be reciprocated at this level, and so it's kind of an empowering process where I feel empowered here, therefore I want to help people feel empowered in the environment that I create which really fits for me. Thus, these doctoral supervisors were beginning to believe that if they were treated in a positive manner by their senior supervisor with regards to their own learning process, they would in turn, be able to carry that positive attitude into the supervision they provided to their counsellor trainees. Developing a solid working relationship between senior supervisor and doctoral supervisor was perceived as a key element in establishing a safe and empowering environment for these counsellor trainees. The transferability of knowledge and skills they were learning was another component of their supervisory experience that evoked a sense of excitement for these participants. There was a recognition that the training they were receiving could be of value in other settings. As one individual said: I wish I could do this full time and get rid of my other courses because there is so much for me to learn and so much that I can take from what we're doing in the clinical setting and put it out into the other part of my world. Participants also reflected on the excitement involved in the forging and negotiating of new relationships with their senior supervisors, first year doctoral students, and master's level students. As one participant articulated: 107 My supervisor is (senior supervisor) and we are pretty like minded. There is no power stuff in there. There is no weird stuff, there is no dynamic stuff around...it's just so even and it feels like a wonderful, wonderful environment in which to do some of this learning and to feel safe in being vulnerable and to be able to look at you know, supervisory issues or whatever to get into, to really build relationships with the students and stuff and so it feels awesome. That's exciting to me. Participants' beliefs in the power and importance of building relationships with other members of the clinic team were reinforced and affirmed by their own experience in their clinics, as well as from feedback from their senior supervisor and counsellor trainees. They saw good supervision as being about building strong relationships so that learning could occur. As one individual stated: "Gee, I think I knew this before but it's just been reinforced and confirmed and that's how important rapport building and team work is, and building a strong team and building the trust." In summary, the sense of excitement on the part of these supervisor trainees was characterized by learnings about self, about the practice of counselling and supervision, as well as about the existence of parallel process and the principles of reflection and reciprocity. Participants also reflected on their excitement regarding the transferability of supervision principles and skills to other contexts in their lives and careers. As well, they were enthusiastic about having the opportunity to develop new relationships with counsellor trainees and senior supervisors within their respective clinic settings. The new learnings that accompanied the process of becoming clinical supervisors generated excitement in all of the doctoral supervisors. 108 Sense of Accomplishment A sense of accomplishment was reported by all participants. As a result of providing supervision to counsellor trainees these supervisors-in-training experienced a sense of fulfillment that came from helping trainees develop their skills and expertise as counsellors and from recognizing and celebrating their own professional growth and development within the counselling field. All talked about their sense of being engaged in a valuable and worthwhile endeavour — one that was going to professionally benefit both their counsellor trainees and themselves. For some of the participants this sense of accomplishment centered around the notion of generativity — a giving of oneself in order to contribute to the growth of others. These individuals were concerned for, and committed to, helping their junior colleagues successfully enter the counselling profession by sharing their own knowledge, wisdom, and experience. Participants recognized how important if was for them, as supervisors, to ensure that their trainees had a supportive environment in which to learn to become counsellors. They felt honoured to be a part of this learning. As one individual reflected: In clinic it's about being witness to these people's sort of a rite of passage in some ways...I'm going to get all spiritual here...it's really sort of a sacred place in some ways to be able to witness people's evolution and the beginning part because I know that if you have a good experience in clinic it's really going to send you into your practicum and it's a place where it can really be fundamental in terms of building confidence and I think that it's an exciting place to be in and it's kind of a privileged place to be in...to be a part of that and to be able to facilitate that and have an impact on people's experience like in a positive way. 109 For others, this sense of accomplishment was experienced as being personally rewarding. Being able to help trainees understand their own process of becoming counsellors was both satisfying and rewarding for these supervisors-in-training. As one participant said: Allow them to go to the next step without me saying...well read this, do this, do this. I want to take all that out of there. I just want them to learn about their own process. For me, if they do that then that's really exciting. That's my reward for working with them. Many of the participants found themselves in the position of being able to both witness and share in their trainees' learning experiences and saw themselves as having the opportunity to effect change and impact counsellor development. In speaking about what she was most looking forward to, one participant reported: "Seeing growth I think, in my trainees and watching them develop over time. I think that would be most rewarding. Also the feeling of effectiveness that I would get from knowing that I helped in that process." Another participant reflected on their experience thus far and said: "I think it's really helped to have that thrill of seeing other people grow and develop. Again to know that I can be part of that process. It's really exciting." All of the supervisors-in-training felt honoured and privileged to have the opportunity to participate in their counsellor trainees' professional growth and development. This sense of accomplishment came from participants' personal investment and commitment to their counsellor trainees' progress and their own increasing sense of responsibility for their trainees' success. These sentiments are captured in the words of two participants: My own interest and my own awareness and my own enthusiasm and keenness about doing this...I meant I think it's a real privilege to do 110 this. It's a real honour. So that and trying to do the best job I can for the group I'm with. If I can help facilitate other students' feelings so that they've really had an experience that they feel is really personally growth promoting or just satisfying or cohesive or connected then that would be just awesome. A sense of accomplishment was also expressed by the supervisors-in-training in relation to their own professional growth and development. Participants felt they were able to overcome personal challenges and fears in order to become more competent and skilled as supervisors. One participant reported feeling exhilarated because she had reached past her anxiety regarding her own skills and ability as a supervisor to help an apprehensive trainee successfully navigate a counselling session: She reported: Just giving...encouragement and support...the trainee got through the session...did more than got through the session...did quite fine. That was a thrill to see that. My support...I think it really helped facilitate that. So that was sort of a glimpse of life beyond the deficit detective...that's part of it but it's not even the biggest part of it...it's taking pleasure in watching people grow and develop skills. Some participants, in trying to put their current role as a supervisor-in-training into the context of their own professional development, spoke with pride about their own journey and accomplishments. Their sense of accomplishment with their personal achievement in the supervisory role is reflected in the following quotes: I think back to my experience of doing my masters here and we had two clinical or two PhD students in our clinic and I remember Ill thinking, like first of all they were really neat and I remember being the master's student thinking about...wow, you know it was just another zone, right, it was another completely different realm than where I was operating in and...I'm there now, right, which...I think that's really... confirmation of getting to the certain place for me. Like actually acknowledging that I'm here...So I think one of the things that has been really evident for me, it is around meaning and it is around coming into myself as a counsellor, as a professional. Taking myself more seriously and I'm in a position where I'm not just now dealing with clients I'm dealing with a group of students and they sure take me seriously...you know...that's my experience. So that's piece of it for me. In summary, a sense of accomplishment was reported by all of the supervisors-in-training, which was characterized in a variety of different ways. All of the participants were committed to, and got pleasure and satisfaction from, helping their trainees develop strong counselling skills. Some also spoke about how, assuming a supervisory role, highlighted for them their own professional accomplishments. They took pride in what they had achieved as counsellors and in what they were beginning to achieve, as supervisors. Interview Two: Relationship Dimension and Common Themes of Meaning Ten phenomenological themes that were common to all participants were uncovered in the second set of interviews. These included: Awareness of Being in a Transformative Process; Sense of Increasing Confidence and Competence; Sense of Greater Identification with the Supervisory Role; Ongoing Struggles in Determining the Focus of Supervision; Sense of 112 Increasing Confidence in their Professional Judgment; Sense of Role Clarity and Differentiation Vis-a-vis the Senior Supervisor; Sense of Increasing Boundary Clarity; Increasing Role Clarity Vis-a-vis the Counsellor Trainees; An Awareness of, and Appreciation For, the Multifaceted Nature of the Supervisory Role; and a Sense of Responsibility. In addition to these structures of shared meaning an overarching relationship dimension again emerged that was shared by all participants and ran through all themes. The Relationship In the second set of interviews the relationship dimension, common to all participants and running through all themes, was again present. Participants reinforced how important safe, trusting, and respectful relationships are to the supervisory process and spoke about the relationships that they had developed with their senior supervisors, seminar instructor, doctoral peer group, and counsellor trainees. These supervisors-in-training reaffirmed their beliefs that the building and maintaining of supportive working relationships are a necessary and integral component of supervision. As one participant emphasized: In the model that I have started to construct, that's just foundational, building relationships with people. If there is not that respect and trust and care and concern then...I'm coming from a place where my motives are questionable and I don't think it's going to be very helpful for the trainees if they don't trust me as a person, that I really have their best interests in mind...they're not likely to take what I say too seriously. Participants also spoke about, and compared, the process of supervision to the counselling process. They recognized that the success of both endeavours was dependent on forging strong working alliances between 113 involved parties. Just as counsellors are responsible for developing and maintaining productive working relationships with their clients so to, they suggested, supervisors are responsible for facilitating positive supervisory relationships with their trainees. As one participant stated: The whole thing is about relationship. If you don't learn how to form a relationship then you can never be a very good counsellor, I don't think. So it's all about relationship. That's what I've learned and I guess that's probably been one of my biggest learnings...being out here and doing supervision, that it's really about relationship. These participants saw how their relational approach to counselling and their abilities and skills in developing safe and trusting relationships were transferable to the supervision domain. This is reflected in the words of one participant: "Certainly my whole approach to counselling in terms of relationships, building relationship, respect, listening, are all those kinds of counselling things I bring into supervision. They're just as important in that context." The following section will highlight the relationships that participants experienced with their senior supervisor, seminar instructor, doctoral peer group, and counsellor trainees. Senior Supervisor. All of the supervisors-in-training spoke about the importance of their ongoing relationship with their senior supervisor in terms of their own supervisory growth and learning. Most of them spoke with gratitude about having strong positive relationships with their senior supervisors. As one participant put it: " I'm in a clinic with a supervisor that I really love and feel safe with." These participants saw their supervisors as being very supportive of their learning process and made comments such as: 114 It's been wonderful to be able to talk to (senior supervisor) about what is going on for me and about my perceptions of the students and it's really helped me...not only sharpen my own perceptions but to put them out there and have them validated. These supervisors-in-training felt their senior supervisors consciously made an effort to spend time with them, helping them to process and learn from their supervisory experiences. Participants appreciated the conversations that they were having with regards to conceptualizing and operationalizing their role and welcomed the feedback and encouragement that they received. One participant particularly appreciated the senior supervisor's positive nonjudgmental, and accepting attitude: I think I've had tremendous support primarily from (senior supervisor)...She's allotted me an hour a week and we meet an hour a week and you know that's my time...it's just been a really special time and I'm able to more and more be honest with her...not that I'm dishonest but even a couple of weeks ago I was able to tell her that something happened there (in clinic) and I was really irritated with her about what was going on and just, you know, there was that freedom to express that and process it. She's given me some really neat feedback. She does some processing with me...and helps me kind of process what is going on and just...being non-judgmental, and accepting, so that has been really helpful. She gives me direct feedback on things that I'm doing well, things that I can do better. So it's just incredible to have that ongoing feedback in place. I feel so supported even when it's negative feedback. She just has a really nice supportive way and you almost come to hate the question you know when you are talking about something..."Well can I say something that might be challenging 115 for you?"...I said to her once "you know it's not likely that I'm going to say no to that...but it's a nice invitation anyway". These participants were pleased with how the relationships with their senior supervisors were evolving and spoke about how much they appreciated working more collaboratively with them. In talking about how much she was enjoying her supervisory experience, one participant identified that it was the relationship that she had with her supervisor that was a large contributing factor. As she reflected: The thing is part of that has been about working with someone collaboratively...! am so happy to have gotten who I've gotten for a supervisor. I can't imagine this happening with anybody else. It would be different with someone else of course but it's given me so much freedom to be me...I got who I needed to get...the conversations we have are so much how I want to be in my work as a supervisor. It's like I get to practice some of my beliefs and again a lot of it's a collaboration. I don't feel there is any power stuff going on. I don't have to put my energy into dealing with that stuff because it's just not there...I don't feel belittled by her. I don't feel like I don't know anything. I just get to do the supervision stuff and that is what she's modeled for me. She hasn't so much modeled supervision she's modeled a way of being and it totally works for who I am. When participants felt that their senior supervisor took the time to facilitate a positive working relationship with them they felt they experienced greater comfort in their role and were more able to engage in the process of learning how to provide effective supervision. The two participants who did not feel that their supervisory experience was as positive as they would have liked it to be pointed to relational 116 difficulties with their senior supervisor as the reason for their perceptions. The problems that they were experiencing stemmed from a lack of time spent with the senior supervisor providing guidance and direction for them, and ongoing difficulties with communication. A solid productive working relationship had yet to develop between these supervisors-in-training and their senior supervisors. As one participant reported: Now what is somewhat disappointing at this stage is that I hear some people getting a lot more hands on supervision time than I am. Prior to Christmas he was saying that he wanted to spend more time with me and my supervision process but I can see that pretty much not happening now. This person went on to say: I would like to spend more time with him but I think it's just so hard to, because he is off. I think he teaches today, but then he's off Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday...so there is a very small envelope in which to see him... He is aware of what is going on and I think he wants to try to do more but I think he is sort of limited in time constraints. Another participant felt that her difficulties with the senior supervisor arose due to a lack of clarity and directness in communication between them. This person reported: I just find it really confusing that she never told me this...she didn't say I want you to initiate large group discussions, she never told me that...so I feel in a way that I have to be a mind reader. This supervisor-in-training recognized that what she needed was more time with, and input from, her senior supervisor. As she went on to say: 117 I'm finding that there are things I would like more of...I would like more feedback from my supervisor. I have not received much if any, I mean we spoke at the beginning of this term and she told me that she would like me to be more active in clinic...so the only feedback I have received from her at all is that she wants me to be more active. Nothing else...Another thing that I'm finding that I don't like is that there is no time during actual clinic hours where the supervisor and I sit down where I can get feedback... I'd like to know what I'm doing right and not right. The difficulties that these two participants experienced in trying to connect and develop solid working relationships with their senior supervisors seemed to be affected by issues related to time constraints and styles of communication. Participants struggled when they did not feel they had the opportunity to develop strong working relationships with their supervisors, and did not meet and talk about supervisory issues and concerns on a regular basis. Clearly, the development of positive and productive relationships between senior supervisors and their supervisors-in-training provide the relational foundation necessary for learning how to be a supervisor. Participants underscored the importance of developing working relationships that are based on honest and open communication, mutual respect and trust, genuine caring and concern, and on the part of the senior supervisors, a strong commitment to helping their junior colleagues develop their supervisory skills and expertise. It is apparent that when supervisors-in-training feel safe and supported by their senior supervisor they are better able to let go of their anxieties and fears and focus on acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary for becoming an effective supervisor. 118 Seminar Instructor. Participants continued to feel supported in their learning process by the seminar instructor. They appreciated her efforts to provide a safe environment where they were free to examine and talk about their supervisory experiences. They spoke highly of her ability to provide even hard-to-hear feedback to them in nonthreatening ways. They found that her nonjudgmental manner enabled them to be vulnerable and open to dealing with issues related to their performance as supervisors. This is reflected in the words of one participant: I feel supported in (seminar instructor's) class. She just has a way again of making you see things but not feeling like I have to jump on myself about it, that yeah I could do that better and let's bring some humour into it. Participants appreciated the seminar instructor's use of humour in dealing with difficult supervisory issues. They found themselves able to address their own challenges in playful and encouraging ways. As one participant commented: "We laugh and have a good time but there is a lot of serious learning going on." All of the participants spoke highly of the seminar instructor. They appreciated how she helped them to process and learn from their supervisory experiences. They felt encouraged to take risks and examine their own actions and internal responses to different counselling and supervisory situations so that they could work to uncover and address personal blindspots and blocks that might be impeding their ability to provide effective supervision. Doctoral Peer Group. Participants experienced different levels of relational intimacy with their doctoral peers in the supervision seminar class. There were differences in their perceived safety and comfort with one 119 another regarding their willingness to talk about their supervisory experiences. Many participants spoke about being strongly attached to, and supported by, their colleagues. These individuals spoke about how much they appreciated the relationships they had developed with other members of their seminar class and how much they had learned from their peers as they shared their own supervisory struggles and successes. They spoke about feeling supported in their efforts to explore and learn about themselves as supervisors and about the importance of this support in their ability and willingness to examine and share their personal supervisory challenges. As one participant described her experience: I haven't mentioned this before but I think that...sort of sounds a little bit corny but...is that I feel so close to the other members of my class, five of them any way...That I feel so close to them, that I don't feel in anyway criticized, I just feel supported, totally supported and I'm not shy to bring in something that, or say something...so that's been part of my growth too, that I have others believing in me and I think that's been really unexpected and very touching...to have that. It's been a blessing for me to have that. Most individuals felt safe enough with their peers to take risks with sharing their personal thoughts and behaviours as they related to their experience of becoming a supervisor. As one person said: "If I was not connected I would be...very reluctant to share some of the stuff that I share with the class. I'd feel intimidated. I'd feel very uncertain because I don't know where anybody else is coming from." Some participants also spoke about specifically seeking out and discussing supervisory issues with some of their peers outside of the seminar. They debriefed their most personal experiences with those individuals with 120 whom they had developed the strongest relational ties. As one participant reflected: In terms of support there's one other student that I talk with more...The kind of support I need is...to be able to talk about my own vulnerabilities and there is one student that I feel pretty comfortable talking about that with. Another participant reported: "I've talked to three of my peers outside of class and they're always willing to talk about our struggles and things that are going okay and things that aren't so I think that's been really helpful." Participants felt comfortable with sharing a great many of their supervisory issues within the large group setting. Many of them also sought out those peers with whom they had established a closer relationship with to discuss their most personally challenging supervisory issues. There were a few participants who spoke about being less closely connected, and comfortable with, their doctoral peers. Although they were less personally involved with their colleagues they recognized how essential it was for their own development and learning to have professional working relationships with their doctoral peers. In talking about her level of comfort with her peers one participant noted: I'm still not very comfortable but I also feel that on a professional level with the work we're doing within the seminar as a group that it is very positive and that has always been the case...I think I was a little bit concerned about that and that is because I don't have a strong personal connection with the group for varieties of reasons and some of it has also been just the way things have worked out time wise because I know this group often meets after class. I don't feel a strong personal connection so I was concerned that that might make it uncomfortable 121 but it's worked really well and I think that speaks to the professionality of people there. There is probably individual differences in that too. Different people in the group probably feel different degrees of need for a personal connection outside of class. In contrast to most participants, there were a few individuals who commented on not feeling as safe within the seminar group as their peers. These individuals had recognized a discomfort amongst the group that had a relational basis. This resulted in these participants feeling less comfortable and less inclined to disclose their most difficult supervisory challenges. One participant suggested that it had to do with the varying degrees of closeness and connection: There's one person in our seminar group that I don't have as much relationship with, as much trust, and there is some little niggling sense of not feeling totally comfortable being vulnerable...You know I think it just revolves around us not feeling as connected and related. Another participant picked up on this relational discomfort and expressed how she felt it was negatively affecting the willingness of other class members to examine and discuss important supervisory issues. She reported: I have to say that there is increasingly an apparent dynamic that is happening in our seminar group and it shuts things down a bit. That's a bit disappointing and I think it really affects the level of safety and it's becoming increasingly apparent...I think term two is about getting into our stuff a bit deeper and I feel that this dynamic may...I think it does impede the safety in our group...and it kind of bugs me. Participants realized how critically important safety and trust were in the relationships they had with one another. The more comfortable and safe 122 they felt with one another the more they were able to share their supervisory struggles and speak freely about their own learning process. Counsellor Trainees. In contrast to the first set of interviews, all participants spoke about the importance of developing strong working relationships with their counsellor trainees. They recognized how vital positive supervisory relationships are to trainees' growth and to their development as counsellors. In speaking about the process of supervision one participant reported: "I've become stronger on the whole concept of relationship. The whole working alliance idea and how the relationship is not just a counsellor-client relationship but it is the supervisor-supervisee relationship." These supervisors-in-training were becoming clear that effective supervision takes place within the context of a safe and protective environment and that this comes about as a result of them, as supervisors, building positive and productive working relationships with their trainees. As one person said: My role is to try and facilitate students' experiences of beginning their career as a counsellor or actually doing counselling...in a respectful and authentic manner. Part of that is where a relationship is really important. Relationship that I helped create with that other person in a collaborative...as much as possible given the fact that we still have to evaluate students, in a collaborative manner...focusing on safety...humanness. AIT of the participants spoke about the importance of the relationships that they were developing with their counsellor trainees and the attention they needed to pay to building these relationships. They recognized that as their relationships with counsellor trainees became stronger they were 123 finding themselves being sought out by trainees to provide feedback and guidance. As one participant reported: I think through the fall...I was sort of considered as an afterthought. They approached (senior supervisor) and then "Oh yeah you too (supervisor-in-training)" kind of thing, but now...after session some of the students will come and talk to me...and we'll do a bit of processing right then at the session and that feels good. In reflecting upon what was influencing the quality of the relationships that they were enjoying with counsellor trainees the participants noted that it was related both to their willingness to facilitate group cohesion by participating in open and honest ways, and to their ability to provide nonthreatening and helpful feedback to the trainees. As one person reflected: I'm thinking about the relational component. I think I have a good relationship with everybody in the clinic and we've built our own relationships based on my participation in the group in general and then the supervision process. So I'm kind of thinking about, in some capacity, relationship. It feels really warm with students. Participants also recognized that the more they got to know their trainees the better they were able to provide useful supervision to them. As one person suggested: "The relationships with my supervisee, the more I get to know them and their style and what is going on for them, the more effective I am as well." It would seem that as participants and their counsellor trainees became more familiar and comfortable with each other, the level of safety increased between them, and this in turn facilitated a richer supervisory experience for trainees. One participant also spoke about the relationship that she had with a doctoral counsellor trainee in her clinic. This supervisor-in-training 124 continued to find ways to work with dual relationship issues while still being helpful to the doctoral counsellor. She discussed how she was working to keep the relationship collegial and at the same time providing the doctoral trainee with supervisory support and feedback. As this person commented: It's funny to give a friend professional kind of feedback. Student A is a friend but she invited it, that is the only reason that I've gone there. She was struggling with some things and she know that I was doing this process-oriented feedback with some of the others and she wanted some of that too, so we went there. We were able to talk about it...Is this crossing my boundaries that are uncomfortable and it just seemed okay. (Senior supervisor) actually had suggested that when we talked about it, that I invite feedback from her about my performance too so it's not just one-sided. I think that's helped. Creating some structure has been helpful. In summary, all participants spoke about their ongoing relationships with their senior supervisors, seminar instructor, doctoral peer group, and counsellor trainees. Participants again spoke about how vital the development of productive working relationships characterized by: trust, safety, and good will, are to the process of supervision and about their responsibility in developing and maintaining these relationships. Where participants were experiencing positive working relationships with others they were more able to fully engage in the supervisory process. Awareness of Being in a Transformative Process As participants reflected on their experience of becoming clinical supervisors they experienced an awareness of being engaged in a process of transformation and change. With this awareness they were able to let go of their fears and anxieties as well as their sense of inadequacy and their need to 125 appear competent. They gave themselves permission to grow, learn, and make mistakes. Participants recognized that their experience of becoming supervisors-in-training was a journey of personal growth and development that was propelling them beyond their existing professional expertise. As one participant said: "Knowing that I have to do supervision..! have to do it. It forces me to do it, it's forced me out of my comfort zone." Participants began to see themselves as "works in progress." In reflecting upon this change process one participant reported: It certainly involves my own increasing knowledge and learning, but almost an even bigger piece of that is my own growth. Some of this has not been like most growth I've experienced...it's not real pleasant and...being willing to go into those hard places and muck around, learn from them...Yeah, I need to be willing to do that when it's necessary...It's helpful to have a supervisor, supervising me to help me with those times when I'm not aware of it...I've been surprised but really pleased how much at times this has pushed my own growth and my awareness of me and...me as a helper and me even as a counsellor, also as a supervisor. These supervisors-in-training were cognizant of being involved in a process that was fundamentally shifting the ways in which they viewed themselves personally as individuals, and professionally as counsellors and supervisors. They were reaching new levels of awareness regarding their understanding of what is required in order to be a skilled supervisor. This sense of evolution is evident in the following quotation: I think just what comes up for me is about...it's sort of integrating parts, it's about finding a place where self, who I am fits with you know, all the information and expectations and requirements sort of put on us 126 from our academic expectations, information, and requirements. It's about integrating...it's really been about finding, allowing myself to emerge in all of that as opposed to just reading rules a to b or a to z whatever...it's really about...alio wing myself to emerge....yeah, definitely about emergence and finding myself where I emerge in that. And hopefully having, as well, created conditions in which that will happen. As participants gained supervisory experience, their feelings of anxiety and fear began to subside. In their place, an increased comfort with ambiguity and an acceptance of being in process began to emerge. With time and experience participants were able to relax and let go of unrealistic and often overwhelming expectations that they had for their own performance as supervisors. Their focus began to shift from surviving the experience to recognizing that they were engaged in a learning process. Drawing on both past experiences and present circumstances one trainee explained how her own image of self-as-supervisor was changing over time: Definitely my perceptions have changed. To say that I feel more confident and I mean I still have loads to learn, maybe now there are just areas where I am feeling confused rather than being overwhelmed at the whole idea of it. That's a big shift....changes have happened. I think some of it for me, why that's happened is just time and exposure, because that's kind of my experience in other situations...It's sort of the same thing here, I just have more experience being there. Some things just penetrate through osmosis. With feelings of apprehension and fear subsiding, participants began to adopt more of a learner role. From this perspective they were able to be less demanding and more forgiving of their current supervisory knowledge and 127 skill level. They began to give themselves permission to take the time to learn through experience. As one individual noted: I make sense of it...and understand it...through experience mostly. Through my experiencing of it. It helps me to understand it more...reading about it as well helps and talking about it with (seminar instructor) and the class helps. But I think the most important component is actually going out there and doing it and that is what helps me feel more confident and it helps me understand my role better about what is going on and the usefulness of it. So reading it in a textbook gives you one level of understanding, doing it gives you much more of a level of understanding...its a fuller experience. With the passage of time and the opportunity to gain supervisory experience these supervisors-in-training were able to let go of their feelings of inadequacy and their need to appear competent. This is reflected in the words of one participant: I'm less concerned about image maybe than I was initially. How I would come across. I'm just kind of doing it now, like I'm kind of being me and it's sort of happening...so in some ways it's less effort than to be consciously working on this idea of an image. In talking about how their image of themselves as clinical supervisors was evolving, participants noted that their level of comfort in the role was increasing with both time and experience. As they moved from a place of vulnerability and panic to one of thoughtful reflection, trainees were able to keep their feelings of being overwhelmed in check. This control, in turn, allowed them to engage more fully in the supervisory process. Participants were able to articulate the struggle between wanting to appear competent in providing effective supervision and realizing that as 128 individuals learning the role of supervisor, they were going to make mistakes. One individual trying to reconcile the difficulty of allowing themselves to be a beginner and yet at the same time appear competent noted that: Allowing yourself to be a neophyte, allowing yourself to be a beginner, giving yourself space to be a beginner and it feels like at this point there is so much...in some ways it feels...I don't even know where this is coming from but it feels in some ways at times it's almost scarier being at this point in the education process and being a beginner because I guess there is more....It feels like there is more expectations of what you're suppose to be like or what you're supposed to know or how you're suppose to be or something and maybe that's just in my head. Maybe that's expectations of myself. Shifts in perceptions were occurring as trainees moved from being a participant in the process to becoming more conscious of being both the participant and observer of their own learning process. Going from simply living the experience to both living and simultaneously processing the experience, trainees began to develop an intellectual understanding of the experience in which they were engaged. As the observers of their own process they were beginning to reflect upon, and learn about, themselves and themselves-in-relation to others. As one participant described: It feels like I kind of knew what I wanted to do back then but I wasn't sure of the route and I wasn't sure how the pieces were going to fall for me in terms of my own role but it's just falling into place and it's about me allowing...like the more I can allow myself to come out, the more it fits...the more I can sort of show parts of myself to the students...the more I can share, the more real I can be, the more authentic I can be in 129 clinic...it seems to really facilitate the process and that's...I think that's what my goal was. I wasn't sure back then how I was going to get there...it's sort of like in every different aspect of this profession, this thing that we're trying to become or whatever, it's like the researcher and then the counsellor and then the supervisor, it's like, I don't have to recreate the wheel I just have to allow that congruency to come forth and that's what I'm getting more and more...it's not about recreating the wheel every time I go into a different situation, it's about allowing those pieces of my...theoretical orientation to emerge in these various roles. As participants began to understand and integrate the new learnings that were emerging out of their experiences of becoming supervisors, they were able to develop a more personalized and contextually rich vision of what it meant to be both a counsellor and a supervisor. In the words of one participant: Me as counsellor...It's incredible to be in this place of more objective observer, the sessions that I'm not caught in which are most of them, just being outside of it and learning from what the counsellors are doing, having some thoughts about maybe what they could be doing. I've got, you know, a whole lot more ideas than if I were there right in the middle of it. Me as a supervisor...I think just as my awareness increases of not only my knowledge and skills, that's part of it but who I am , how I interact, how I come across, how I want to come across. I think that's going to increase my ability to be effective and helpful. Participants were coming to recognize that who they were as individuals and how they chose to interact with their counsellor trainees would greatly influence and shape the process of supervision. Identifying 130 themselves as instruments of change, they were able to provide supervision in a more conscious and intentional manner. They were also able to see the transferability between what they were learning within the supervisory context and how they could apply it to their own counselling practice. Participants became more cognizant of their own counselling style as well as their ability to influence and direct the counselling process. For some, the shift in awareness was so profound that they felt compelled to re-examine their beliefs about what it meant to be a supervisor and a counsellor. With a new awareness participants again explored how they were changing. As one individual reported: I guess I thought that I was getting pretty close to having this all figured out...and then this whole you know...all the new ideas that I've talked about...that we've talked about in supervision class that I've then taken with me and tried, it's just brought a whole new understanding of the counselling relationship...I think (seminar instructor) has really challenged me to look at what is going on for me, and for the counsellor with the client, and look at the same processes and then when I see how what (senior supervisor) does affects me and then it seems to go back down to...the counsellor...I mean these are all concepts that seems so necessary, seem so integral to the whole field of counselling and yet I don't remember ever thinking of it to the depth that I'm thinking of it right now. That awareness I guess is just revived a real awareness that before was more "just think about what the client is telling me and think about some techniques I could use", but now I'm thinking so much more in terms of what I bring in. This individual went on to relate this new learning to his own counselling work: 131 You know, when I go into session with a client now, I have this very clear awareness of my own filters, of my own stuff that I bring in, of the way I hear what the client tells me in terms of my own emotional level of that day, of the moment. Certainly it allows me to explore my belief system, my whole way of thinking about the world. Participants spoke about how the experience of becoming a supervisor was helping them to clarify, and in some cases, revolutionize how they wanted to engage and work with people. One individual in particular recognized that he was becoming more person-centered in his approach to working with people. The challenge for this person was dealing with how to reintegrate this new attitude back into a workplace that might not value a more caring and personal approach. As this person explained: It's gone so far I might not even, it might not even work in my other job because it might seem too touchy feely, it might seem too caring and that can be a problem in my other job. I mean I hate to say that because it doesn't sound right but I've been back to work a couple of times since we last talked and I sometimes worry if I've gone quote unquote "too soft to live in the other world" and I really don't believe that but I certainly see that my care and concern for people is at a much deeper level than when I left that job...I'm wondering how I'm going to fit out there with some of these deeper understandings because now I really want to understand where people are at in their own existence not just where they are at in a particular file that they are handing me. You know, and what is it that makes the person react that way and there is some other things happening in other subsystems and is there anything I can do to make that better. But as I say that I recognize that I 132 work in a world that might not appreciate all that so I have some work to do. To help describe how they were experiencing and making sense of the process of becoming clinical supervisors participants were asked to use a metaphor to describe their experiences. In each of their metaphors there was a sense of being in process ~ a sense of movement, growth, and personal change. As one individual responded: I'm thinking of plants, not something blooming but more something sprouting. So the sprouts are coming up and it's got some green on the end now. I'm not sure if it's a blooming plant or not but it's healthy, it's vital, it's alive, and it's growing. This person went on to further explain the meaning of the image by saying that the experience has been "a real growing process because I've certainly hit some challenges on the way, but I think I'm doing okay in that growing process." Another participant, who also chose a growing plant to capture and make sense of the experience, suggested that it could be described as: Some kind of plant that is opening but not entirely opened. This plant is quite wise in that it can see itself. It can see it's own process or see part of its own process and can see that part of it is opening and there are some parts that are more full than others, but again it's process...I'm not sure if it's just green or if it's got multiple colours but...there is colour involved. I can see the colours as they emerge, or I can see...maybe at the green end, it's not just green it's got colours and just green as in the plant part, but there is colour there. It's a visual and it's also I guess tactile or there is feeling to it, like I can feel the parts that are opening. There is movement, there is energy. This process creates energy and I can feel that too. 133 This individual went on to talk about how the colours, and in particular how the colour green reflected a vibrancy she felt in clinic, and how that vibrancy was really about feeling competent: Feeling...maybe the colours are reflective of feeling on track, feeling kind of competent, feeling that I don't know it all but I'm sort of moving...like things are happening, I'm growing. I feel effective at times, I feel that it's...it feels authentic to who I am...that congruence. So the colours reflect the qualities...Green is just my favorite colour...it's like growth and being on track, doing something I like doing...energy. A third participant likened the experience of becoming a supervisor to the process of becoming a butterfly. The image is one of growth, development, and metamorphosis. This person spoke of: Going from a cocoon and fully developing wings and colours...developing...Just sort of filling out...going from something that is quite amorphous and not really formed and not having a lot of qualities to something that is quite...I'm having a hard time putting this into words. More filled out...solid may be a good way of looking at it, having qualities, having colours and shape and form...so just more of a solid identity. In talking about where she was in the process of emerging from the cocoon and transforming into a butterfly this individual went on to say: I'm definitely at the butterfly part, I'm not sure how much of the qualities of the butterfly I have yet and how much I have to develop. I'm sure that being so new at this that there are a lot of qualities yet to develop. But I think that I have got the basic shape and the basic form of what it is to be a supervisor, an effective supervisor. That's taking 134 shape, and I need to hone those skills...bring the qualities to life, if you will. Yet another individual used the metaphor of a river to describe how she had experienced the process of becoming a clinical supervisor over the first few months of the training period. In the words of this individual: I sort of was in a river and I went back to the beginning...I was in the river...and I'm clinging to these rocks. It's not really a horribly torrential river but it's a swift moving river, it's like a large creek. It's actually a river...there is fish in it and everything and I'm clinging to these rocks and some of them are covered with moss too and so they're sort of slimy and hard to cling to but I'm sort of jumping from one to another because I don't know why I don't want to let go of the rocks, but then I finally let go and I'm flowing down the river and it's really nice. It's very relaxing, and then all of a sudden I was up in a tree looking at the river and I think that that is in some ways a metaphor to some extent my experience is that the clinging to the rocks is really where I started. To what do I know, and what am I trying to construct and what is real here and tangible and yet knowing that the process is dynamic and I'm involved in a dynamic process which is like the river and then being a part of that dynamic process...sort of like rocks like that, but they aren't really something you can hang onto for very long, so it's sort of like all those assumptions that I have...they're only assumptions and nothing you can really cling to for very long before you get swept away into the process. One participant compared the process of learning how to fly an airplane using instruments, to learning how to become a clinical supervisor. As this person reported: 135 I've got a concept of what is to happen and what it looks like. I've got all the instruments in front of me but it's just a matter of having them all come together at the right time and right place. So it's a matter of going out and practicing with various components of the instrument panel...Sometimes I'm under the hood, because when you're learning how to instrument fly you wear a hood...when the hood is on all you can see is the instruments but...if things don't go well you just take the hood off and you can see everything again. So what it is, is practice for the big day when you actually go out and you're not wearing a hood, you're in the clouds, you can't see anything but the instruments. So the metaphor is flying on instruments. You get to take the hood off when we go into (seminar instructor's) class. That is sort of the safety net. We get to process what that was like, you know, what I think I did...or we get to process what we did well and what we didn't do well not only for ourselves but we get to hear the other struggles, which informs me of my own struggles. So yeah, I think that's kind of what it reminds me of...instrument flying. You know each instrument...says something specific about what the aircraft is doing. So it's the process then, of putting it all together to know exactly what the aircraft is doing. The whole thing is kind of the take off, and then going somewhere and landing all on instruments...so you come down the glide slope at 300 feet above the runway, you break out and there is the runway in front of you. So it's putting that all together. In summary, an awareness of being engaged in a process characterized by change, transformation, development, growth, and learning was experienced by all participants. Anxiety decreased as participants gained supervisory experience. Participants were able to then shift their focus from 136 surviving the experience while appearing to be capable and competent to acknowledging and becoming comfortable with the idea that they were involved in a learning process. Participants gained new levels of awareness and understanding regarding the supervision enterprise as they relaxed and moved from being a participant to being a participant-observer. Sense of Increasing Confidence and Competence All participants experienced an increasing sense of confidence and competence in relation to their supervisory role. Participants' feelings of inadequacy and their fears of being incompetent were being replaced by an improved self image of themselves as supervisors, an increase in their supervisory knowledge, a better understanding of the process, and a belief in their own ability to perform the tasks required. There was a noticeable change in their comfort with regards to providing counsellor trainees with constructive feedback. Increasing competence also showed in their ability to be reflective and aware of the defining elements in their own learning process. All participants spoke about a general increase in both their confidence and competence in relation to their role as a supervisor. They saw themselves as being capable of engaging counsellor trainees in the supervisory process. As one individual reported: I guess that (clinic) is one place right now in terms of school where I feel confident. You know I go to clinic and I feel competent. I feel like I'm on track. I'm doing something that is useful for the students and something that I enjoy. It's kind of a place where I can shine a little bit. Participants' earlier feelings of panic and anxiety were being replaced by a true enjoyment of, and satisfaction for, working with trainees and supporting their learning. Participants reported positive changes in both their feelings 137 and actions. This shift in self-demeanor is evident in comments such as: "I'm not as nervous as I was when I first started" and "there is less hesitation on my part to participate." The vision of who they were as supervisors was evolving along with their sense of confidence and competence . As one person described: I would say it related to confidence. That my image of myself...I see myself as being more competent and more able or having more knowledge. So it is more...an image of myself as being more effective perhaps is the best way to explain it. So my uncertainty about what I had to offer, my tenuousness about how much I really knew relative to my students, that's changed and because that has changed it makes me feel more confident and so my image of myself is that I'm more confident and knowledgeable. Participants perceived that their knowledge and understanding of their supervisory role and its associated responsibilities was growing and changing. They were becoming clearer about how to carry out their role and with this clarity of vision came an increase in confidence and competence. In the words of one participant: I think in some ways it has changed and that I feel more confident. I feel there are certain things that I do that I can talk about like I know when I'm doing certain things, like I know when I'm giving someone specific feedback on what I observed during their intervention. I know when I'm asking them a question that is encouraging them to reflect on what it felt like. I mean I know more about that. I can make a conscious effort to do those things. So I think I just feel more focused but I think my intention is to be a supervisor that encourages and facilitates self reflection and therapist development on a deep level, 138 that's consistent with the image I had before but it was more..."I would like to be, rather than I am." Participants saw themselves as becoming increasingly skilled at providing supervision. They were becoming less controlled by their fears and more concerned with "doing the job." Although they were aware that they still had a lot to learn, these supervisors-in-training had come to the realization that they had skills and expertise to contribute to the supervision of the counsellor trainees. This is reflected in the words of one participant: I think just in the last few weeks I'm feeling much more confident in what I'm doing and I think I'm creating more of a role for myself...Actually this week and last week, I found that I'm really much more vocal in clinic. I really feel that, "hey I have something to say here." I can be useful here...So I've really stepped out, taken some risks and said some more things, given more feedback. These supervisors-in-training were becoming more proficient in determining who, and what to concentrate on, when providing supervision to their counsellor trainees. Rather than getting stuck with focusing on the client and the client's issues they were now better able to focus their attention on helping the counsellor trainees work with their clients. As one person remarked: When I go observe a counselling session I look at it differently than how I first did. Again focusing more on the counsellor's experience and what is going on for that person rather than wanting to dive in and be interested in the issues that are being presented by the client. A different focus...feeling...I guess more confidence, more sense of competence, less fear...more certainty, more acceptance of my own humanness. 139 In working with and comparing themselves to their counsellor trainees, participants were coming to appreciate that they were more advanced professionally, than their trainees. As one person reported: I feel that I have more to offer than I initially thought I did. At first I thought, what can I give, you know...I'm barely beyond where these people are, beyond in terms of where I'm at in my own training. So I feel that I do have more to offer now. I know I do. My role I guess has changed, my view of my own role. Whereas before it was more on a peer level and now it's more that I do have knowledge and skills to contribute that can be helpful to my supervisees. So I'm aware of how much I do know and how much I do have to offer. An area of considerable growth centered around participants' abilities to provide negative feedback to counsellor trainees. They spoke openly about their increasing comfort with giving this type of supervisory feedback. In their initial interviews a number of participants had commented on being concerned with the effect of giving counsellor trainees negative feedback. These supervisors-in-training had worried that this type of feedback might harm trainees' morale and damage the supervisory relationships they were establishing with them. What these supervisors-in training found was that this was not the case. As one participant realized: It's not so much a scary thing anymore. At first I thought, you know, it might devastate them or I might do damage and they might not want to continue on as a counsellor but I'm realizing that if I choose my words carefully and convey it in a very caring manner then things are fine and they appreciate the feedback. Participants were coming to terms with the issue of giving negative feedback because they now recognized that their counsellor trainees wanted honest 140 and sincere feedback - positive and negative - as this would enable trainees to improve their counselling skills. As one person said: I think it made me more aware of the necessity of giving honest feedback. Maybe it started to help me crystallize the whole fact of you know, just being nice to people all the time isn't being helpful, that people want honest supportive critical feedback. Maybe that is a factor in why I feel more, not pushy, but more willing to do that now. As they lived the experience of becoming supervisors, participants were finding that they were able to give more and more helpful feedback to trainees and that their ability to understand the nuances of the supervisory process was developing. As one person reported: I feel like I have more feedback to give. I'm noticing things going on that I didn't before...As I'm more willing to put it out there, am I seeing more? I'm not sure why I'm seeing more but that's happening too. I expect somehow that is connected. It wasn't very often last term that I really felt strongly that I have something that is important to say here, whereas I'm feeling that more. That I think, "yeah this would be really helpful." Seeing something in a session or in a tape...that I think would be helpful and that I'm more willing to put that out there. In addition to speaking about their increasing confidence and supervisory competence participants were becoming better able to reflect on and recognize defining elements in their own learning process. They were able to identify and speak to those factors that they considered to be contributing to their sense of increasing confidence and competence. These supervisors-in-training recognized that their knowledge and understanding of the supervisory process was growing, their supervisory skills were improving, and that the support and feedback that they were receiving from 141 their supervisors, seminar instructor, doctoral peers, and counsellor trainees was facilitating their learning. Most importantly, participants recognized that having the opportunity, over time, to experience the supervisory role firsthand was having the greatest influence on their sense of increasing confidence and competence. As on participant reported: Learning more, reading, the supervision class, gaining more knowledge, learning from students and my fellow doctoral students in my class have been a great help. Talking about situations, someone talking about one situation then I can generalize that to my situation, so really learning from one another. I think that's a really big piece, the literature has certainly lots to offer and times I've read something and said yeah, I'm going to try that out and see how it goes. The just putting things into practice, trying things out, learning from things I do well, learning from things I don't do so well, learning from what. I see (senior supervisor) doing. Last year even though she was my supervisor I wasn't watching her with the same eyes that I'm watching her with this year. Learning from that. Learning from any feedback I get from other students. Doing...so I think just knowledge, learning, and doing would be the biggest precipitants. In summary, all participants experienced an increasing sense of confidence and competence in relation to their supervisory role. Participants were becoming more confident in who they were as supervisors and felt that they were becoming increasingly more skilled at providing supervision. In particular, they felt that they were better able to provide counsellor trainees with negative feedback. As well, participants were becoming more skilled in their ability to reflect on their own learning process and on the elements of 142 the experience that they believed were contributing to their increasing confidence and competence. Sense of Greater Identification with the Supervisory Role The theme, identification with the supervisory role, can best be described as existing along a continuum. One end is characterized by participants' initial struggles with role ambiguity, uncertainty, and self-doubt while the other end is represented by participants' increasing clarity and comfort in identifying with the supervisory role. It was apparent that by the time of the second interview, all participants had moved beyond the beginning of the continuum where they were overwhelmed by the perceived demands of their role as supervisors. It was also evident that none of the participants were as yet completely comfortable with, or clear about, the supervisory role. By the time of the second interview, approximately five months into their training as supervisors, all participants were at a place of transition characterized by fluctuations and inconsistencies in their ability to define and operationalize the various aspects of their role as supervisor. Although they continued to grapple with defining their role, participants were becoming increasingly comfortable with their supervisory position and were developing greater insight and clarity concerning their role. Overall, participants experienced an increased sense of clarity and comfort with the supervisory role. With regards to role clarity one person tentatively said: "I think I have got the basic shape and basic form of what it is to be a supervisor, an effective supervisor. That's taking shape and I need to hone those skills...bring those qualities to life, if you will." Speaking in a like manner another participant reported: 143 I have a better understanding of the process of supervision...a better understanding of my own style in some ways, a better understanding of my role in the clinic, my role with the other supervisor. So things have sort of in a real broad sense, things have sort of fallen more into place. I have a better sense of what seems effective with students. As participants gained knowledge and experience they became more familiar with what was expected of them in their supervisory role. This enabled them to more clearly define their role and to provide supervision in a more conscious and purposeful manner. This movement towards role clarity and vision is reflected in the words of one participant: I've gotten a lot clearer about how I construct the supervisory role. You know, like what makes sense to me knowing that that's my own construction. Taking parts of what I've read, parts of what I hear in seminar, parts of what I hear other counsellors-in-training talk about. Putting it together in a way that works for me and sort of testing out what I see my role in the clinic context and also seeing how my current supervisor in the clinic interprets her role as a supervisor from what I see in her behaviour. As participants became more relaxed, fear and anxiety about being in the supervisory role began to decrease. As one individual said, "I feel much more comfortable in the role now. I think I was much more anxious before...I don't think I really recognized my anxiety as much then and I'm not sure that it can come out yet either." The level of comfort with their role had increased so significantly that most of the participants spoke about being so much more at ease with the responsibilities of their supervisory role and their ability to handle these responsibilities. As one participant reported: "I'm not on edge when I walk into the clinic every week anymore. It's just, I 144 know...kind of who I am and that I'm suppose to be here...so there's just a comfort in that." By the second interview participants feelings of apprehension and confusion were being replaced by an increasing sense of role comfort and clarity. It was by experiencing the supervisory role firsthand — learning by doing — that enabled participants to progress along the continuum towards greater identification with the supervisory role. Although participants continued to grapple with different aspects of this complex role — determining the focus of supervision; trusting their own professional judgment; defining their supervisory role in relation to their senior supervisor; setting boundaries; working with counsellor trainees; and understanding the multifaceted nature of the supervisory role — their anxiety was diminishing. The lowering of anxiety allowed for greater self-reflection, and consequently greater role clarity and identification with the supervisory role. In wrestling with how to define themselves, these supervisors-in-training developed a greater awareness of the intrapersonal and interpersonal intricacies involved in taking on the role of supervisor. They became mindful about how their own evolving beliefs regarding supervision were interacting with their supervisory style and effecting their working relationships with senior supervisors and counsellor trainees. Ongoing Struggles in Determining the Focus of Supervision Supervision focus is one aspect that participants found themselves dealing with in order to increase their understanding and comfort with the supervisory role. This theme relates to how supervisors choose to engage in the process of supervision. It addresses the who, what, when, why, and how questions of supervision. Many participants found themselves struggling with issues related to supervision focus. These issues included how to 145 implement a process model of supervision, who and what they should focus on when providing supervision to counsellor trainees, and how to integrate new knowledge into their supervisory approach. In contrast, there were a few participants who had already developed a clear understanding of how they wanted to engage in the supervisory process. These individuals were already beginning to synthesize information and develop cognitive maps to guide their supervisory practice. One area that caused ongoing difficulties for some of the participants, but not for others, related to how they should engage in the supervisory process. Some of the participants found themselves comparing a "skills training" approach to a "process focused" approach to supervision. As one individual reported: Part of the struggle with my ongoing development and again, I think it is echoed in our supervision class is this process versus skill development process. I know a lot of the students, Masters level people, want things that they can kind of take away and work with rather than sitting down and going through a process with them and then linking that back to the clients that they are working with. A lot of them say that the process is good but it doesn't give them the things they are doing well or the things that they need to work on... So I think...process is important but at the same time (so is) some kind of skill development. The participants' seminar instructor was advocating the use of a process focused approach to supervision whereas some of the senior supervisors, according to their supervisors-in-training, were using a more skills based approach. Some of the participants found these seeming incongruities confusing. A few participants had not yet fully realized how a 146 skills training approach to supervision could be subsumed and integrated into a process focused approach to supervision. This perplexity is indicated in the words of one participant: I'm not exactly sure where all this is going yet but (seminar instructor) has been teaching us a very process oriented supervision and I'm not sure that I fully understand what she means by it yet. We were watching tapes where she'd be saying "stick with the counsellor process, stick with the counsellor process." Maybe I was interpreting that as stick with the counselling role...rather than some of the other roles in supervision that kind of help them get at their own things and blocks. What is being modeled in clinic is the senior supervisor just giving a lot of advice, giving a lot of you know, you can do this and this and this...and really not involved in process much. We had students that were just so apprehensive at first, that seemed to be what they needed. "Just tell me what to do here, kind of thing. What does it matter how I feel right now, I still don't know what to do, so just give me that." So really just trying to come to grips with how this all fit together and I wrote about that struggle in the paper that I wrote for (seminar instructor) and I guess a number of people did too so in our supervision class this week, she talked about that struggle, that the process is a way of approaching all supervision...I guess I'm not really comfortable that I fully understand that when what is being modeled is so prevalently different. For some participants, the difficulty lay in who and what they should focus on when providing supervision. They were still in the process of figuring out how they should go about providing supervision and whether 147 they should center their attention on the counsellor trainee or on the client and the client's issues. The following quotation reveals the dilemma for some participants: I just found it really hard to be in some of those sessions to be outside observing. So I think again, just bringing to my awareness that it's not my job here to be directly involved with the clients but to stay with that counsellor's work and that counsellor's process. For others, who recognized that they needed to focus on the counsellor trainee, the struggle to provide supervision took a different form. For these participants providing supervision in a process oriented manner felt difficult and foreign. As one person reported: It's been a challenge...sort of focusing on parallel process stuff which has been really sticky and not getting off into content. Talking with the counsellor, not following the client's content, but really sticking with that counsellor's process at times. It has felt much more directive and challenging than how I would normally be in counselling. That's been a challenge for sure. Then, there were those participants who easily conceptualized and adopted a process-oriented framework for doing supervision. They understood the benefits of taking a multifaceted approach. As one participant noted: It has got me so interested in this whole concept of supervision and how we have to do more than just hand over techniques. It is a whole process of learning about ourselves and what we take into the session and how that affects the client. Another participant expanding further on what to focus on when providing supervision said: 148 What processes are blocking...movement. Having a better sense of that. That was really transformational for me in terms of understanding the power of supervision. How powerful it can be rather than just saying...here are some skills, let's practice...behaviour about how I do supervision, like what are some of the things I focus on rather than focusing on content so...focusing on the counsellor's experience...that's changed. It's like I have a bigger range to work from now...I look at sessions differently than when I first started. These participants understood that supervision needed to be tailored to meet the learning needs of each counsellor trainee. Hence, they came to realize that their role was to individualize the supervisory process and provide trainees with the opportunity to reflect and improve upon their counselling practice. It is evident that participants were at different developmental points along the continuum with regards to the various aspects of supervision focus. There was a range in participants' understanding and ability to integrate a skills approach to supervision into a process focused supervision model. Insight about who and what to focus on when providing supervision also varied. Participants, who had a clearer understanding of their supervision focus and who were more comfortable within the role experienced a stronger identification with the supervisory role. Sense of Increasing Confidence in their Professional Judgment Another aspect that addresses participants' identification with the supervisory role involved participants believing in, and valuing, their own professional perceptions and judgments. Although participants continued to question their own supervisory judgment when it came to providing feedback, deciding how and when to intervene with counsellor trainees who 149 were not progressing as expected, and having supervisory opinions that differed from their senior supervisor, they were becoming more trusting of their own insights and were beginning to have more faith in their own supervisory judgment. This increasing belief in their own judgment can be seen in the following quotations taken from one trainee's interview. A t the beginning of the interview this person reported: "Tm still concerned about how my feedback comes across." Later, upon reflection this same individual said: "I guess Tm moving from that place of distrust to trusting that...maybe my perceptions are accurate...I can make some pretty accurate judgments about people." Some participants realized that getting feedback regarding their performance as a supervisor was limited. Therefore, rather than looking for outside validation, they had begun to trust that the role they were playing and the direction that they were taking wi th counsellor trainees was both intuitively correct and helpful. As one participant reflected: I think Tm trusting my own process more, much more. I think it's still really hard in that I recognize...it's just difficult to get validation as a supervisor...I mean, unless my supervisor sees my tape at some point of me working wi th one of the counsellors which means I have to schedule some time outside of clinic, then I'm not going to get feedback from that person. When having to deal wi th counsellor trainees who were not making good progress a few of the participants reported struggling wi th having to make decisions on how and when to intervene. They found themselves carefully weighing the consequences, for themselves and their trainees, before taking action. One supervisor-in-training's struggle centered around trusting 150 his own perceptions regarding the performance of a counsellor trainee and then taking steps to involve the senior supervisor: Certainly there has been a very clear non-preparation for the sessions and some of the sessions are just so purposeless, it's just like a little coffee hour and so I didn't know how to handle that and I did talk to somebody that I knew I could talk to...and they suggested...go to your supervisor. So I went to my supervisor and the only reason that I didn't go to my supervisor right away really, was not because I have any lack of trust or anything I just didn't want to flavour that other person's taste of that counsellor...I just didn't want to...not pollute, but I didn't want to flavour that other person's taste of that counsellor. I didn't want to bias the supervisor. Yea, I didn't want to just come with my thoughts and then all of a sudden I'm skewering this counsellor because it might have been my stuff. For some participants, the struggle to trust their own judgment came from having to reconcile differences of opinion between themselves and their senior supervisors with regards to trainees' counselling abilities and skills. One supervisor-in-training, while collaborating with the senior supervisor on a counsellor trainee's evaluation, realized that the two of them did not share the same opinion regarding the competency level of the trainee. Recognizing the differences, this individual then struggled with whether to trust her own judgment, or that of the more experienced supervisor. As this person reported: I was much more negative at where I thought the trainee was than where my senior supervisor thought she was. My initial thought is oh, what is wrong with me in saying that. Actually I've even started to rethink that...that I'm not sure that that is so and the senior supervisor 151 just sees her as having a lot more potential and I see just areas that just aren't there right now. I don't know if I don't have the experience or what to see the potential but she's not carrying through on it somehow. So thinking that...there is some realism to my views and actually the senior supervisor has made a few comments...pulling her to my views and I'm not trying to set this up as her and me, but I think I'm just trying to have more faith in my own judgments. Participants continued to have some self doubt about their own supervisory judgment. However, it was also apparent that these supervisors-in-training were becoming more trusting of their own insights and were developing greater faith in their ability to make decisions in their role as supervisor, thus increasing their identification with and comfort in the supervisory role. Sense of Role Clarity and Differentiation Vis-a-vis the Senior Supervisor This theme involved participants learning how to construct and operationalize their supervisory role in relation to how their senior supervisor was operating the clinic, and engaging in the supervisory process. In the words of one participant: I think I'm creating more of a role for myself. Starting out with, I think I'm particularly with a very in-charge supervisor which I really appreciate, but it certainly has its downside too. My role wasn't handed to me so I've kind of had to carve that out some. Participants experienced varying degrees of comfort with the process of negotiating their role vis-a-vis their senior supervisor. Differences in personality, communication styles and supervisor experience, as well as participants' increasing understanding of their senior supervisor's 152 expectations all seemed to play a part in how these supervisors-in-training were learning to identify with their role. One person noted: I feel with the supervisor I'm working with...very supported in process and as a person. Again it's been a bit of a trade off in terms of...I'm not working with someone who's got ten years experience...you know I don't get the experience of supervision modeled to me but I get to figure it out for me, which is so important I think. I'm okay with that. If I need modeling I can talk to (seminar instructor), I can read...The trade off being...I get this collaboration and this different kind of support versus being with someone with ten years experience and they're kind of saying this is how you do it...I'm okay having the trade off because I get support from (seminar instructor) in seminar, it's invaluable...I think initially I wasn't okay with that as I am now, but I feel like I increasingly get to realize the kind of support I get with (senior supervisor). I get to figure out who I am as a supervisor not just adopting someone else's style, and that I think is invaluable compared to just having someone put their overlay on me and me taking on that way of being. Senior supervisors were in the position of being role models for their junior colleagues. The supervisors-in-training were able to, on an ongoing basis, compare and contrast their own supervisory ideas and beliefs with those of their supervisor. Examining themselves in comparison to their more senior supervisors enabled participants to begin to clarify and personalize their role as a supervisor. Some individuals were already feeling comfortable and safe enough within their relationship to engage their senior supervisor in conversations about issues related to their role. One person, in speaking about defining her role, said: 153 For me, just coming to grips with the fact that she's not the be all and end all. (Senior supervisor) has a lot of experience, a lot of knowledge and I'm not negating that at all but so do I. So yeah, being more comfortable with the fact that I don't always agree with her...(Senior supervisor) is quite open to students being presented with different views on things. She said we can disagree in front of them, that's okay too. I mean ultimately I know her view wins over, I think that's just in the power dynamic but...just feeling some freedom and I think she gave, we talked about that freedom in the beginning but I'm just beginning to experience it. Other participants, who were more tentative about the status of their relationship with their senior supervisor, found it more difficult to determine what their supervisory role should involve. As one participant said: The big thing has been trying to find more of a place in my role as a supervisor, defining perhaps what that looks like on a more concrete level. How to become involved with the trainees, what they want from me, what I can get from them and then trying to fit that in with (senior supervisor's) way of doing supervision. It's been an ongoing struggle and it still somewhat continues to be a struggle. As participants became more accustomed to their role as supervisors-in-training they began to recognize that their relationship with their senior supervisor was impacting their level of comfort with the role as well as how they were choosing to engage in the supervisory process. Participants were becoming conscious of the fact that the interaction between themselves and their supervisors was influencing their own learning experience. For some participants, there was a sense of collaboration and partnership with their 154 senior supervisor which seemed to help facilitate a strong identification with the supervisory role. As one supervisor-in-training noted: The relationship that I have with my supervisor, just that ease of conversation and that trust that has been built up over two years of knowing each other...This is somebody that trusts me. I feel like he trusts me implicitly with my role as supervisor...We're really both on the same page with the way we run the clinic. I say "we" run the clinic, I don't run the clinic, this is my supervisor but I really feel a part of it. I really feel like it's a team, there's not a hierarchy there. It's kind of like a team and he makes me feel that way or just creates that environment. For other participants, identification with the supervisory role seemed to be inhibited due to both the tenuousness of the relationship with their senior supervisor and the trainees' own tentativeness about their role. One participant, in trying to determine her role within the clinic spoke of her bewilderment: Well it was a misunderstanding as well because we had talked at the beginning of the term and she said I want you to supervise in small groups, half of the students and do presentations and provide large group feedback, and I feel I have been doing all that. I have been meeting with the small groups. I have been giving presentations. I have been participating in the larger group discussions and I guess that is not sufficient to what her expectations are, but she never told me she expected anything beyond that. So I thought I was doing fine, that there was no problem...And then I find out...that Tm not, apparently. So that was pretty upsetting for me. 155 Individuals who continued to struggle with defining their role did not seem to have the opportunity to engage their senior supervisor in an ongoing dialogue regarding their supervisory position within the clinic setting. It appears that these senior supervisors and supervisors-in-training spent little time discussing role and role expectations. Circumstances arose where some participants found themselves reflecting on how their senior supervisor handled particular supervisory issues and whether they would choose to handle these issues in a similar manner. Points of comparison included issues centering around the management and structure of the clinic as well as the process of providing feedback and evaluation to counsellor trainees. Some participants also found themselves caught in situations where expectations around their supervisory role and level of participation were not clearly defined. As a result, they found themselves making decisions around implementing change within their clinical setting to meet their own training needs. One participant, needing to create more structure within the clinic setting reported: Coming up with this idea of putting our names in specific slots to have us watch the trainees and then they know they've got the time with us afterwards. That makes it a little bit more comfortable for me instead of wandering around. Then I have a clear idea too...because part of this is, you know, I'll be sitting watching a student and (senior supervisor) will sit down and watch the same student and then we'll all be together in the room afterwards, after all the clients have finished. Then I'll want to grab that particular student but in the meantime (senior supervisor) has now started talking to them about it. So I feel that well what gives me the right to say well you've just sort of debriefed with (senior supervisor) but I need to do that with you too because I 156 need to make this tape. So I haven't approached him on this yet but I think it would work a lot better. Speaking further about trying to organize the clinic in a more structured manner this person continued on by saying: Yes, that's what I'm trying to do because otherwise with (senior supervisor) it becomes very unstructured and it just becomes kind of whatever. This isn't a criticism of him as being good or bad, that's just what he does and that's fine. But it doesn't work for me and from what I've talked to the students, I don't think it works for them either as well as it could work. Other participants were more focused on determining how their clinic management style would differ from that of their supervisor. One person, in finding out that she would have to attend an extra supervision session, reported: Well I felt very clear that I would probably go, if we did a case presentation...it sounded like it would be a very pleasant kind of experience with the supervisor at her home. There is a part of me that was sort of resentful, like you know...this is going to be additional time, but I also thought this could be really enjoyable and also good for group bonding, but I also thought to myself this is an example of...I wouldn't manage it that way...that's really what I was aware of. I was aware that I could have given the group a choice that would have made it really clear and also given them more of a responsibility around it. Some participants began to realize that their supervision style differed significantly from that of their senior supervisor. By having the opportunity to observe how their supervisors were engaging in the supervisory process participants were able to both determine and better understand their own 157 supervisory style. They were able to reflect on their supervisor's method of supervision and decide whether they would choose to act in a similar or different manner. For example, one supervisor-in-training believed that her senior supervisor was more information oriented whereas she was more process focused. As a result this supervisor-in-training consciously monitored and limited her input noting what she would do differently: I actually am talking very little in clinic and some of it is really self censoring...not self censoring the things I don't want to say but I try to be very selective about what I say because I feel my supervisor needs to say so much that I just feel it's in the interest of time....I mean I just don't think I would do some of the things that she does which do take time and involve talking. I think I would facilitate more of a process with the group...much more. When having to deal with the evaluation component of their supervisory role some participants, because of situations arising within their clinic, found themselves examining and assessing their supervisor's method of handling evaluation related issues. These individuals found themselves trying to determine how they would deal with the same situation. One person talked about having a counsellor trainee leave the clinic: The big struggle for me...and the hardest thing about talking to that student at Christmas time was that it came at him unawares. He was not prepared for us to say that to him. I had difficulty with that...if you're that concerned about someone that you are going to ask them to leave, to sort of spring it on them...Maybe I should have said more, but I think I was taking my lead from (senior super visor)... We come to Christmas and he comes into the office for the evaluation and just to talk about the concerns. (Senior supervisor) did the talking and 158 suggested that he leave for the rest of the year for his own benefit, that he would do better if he did the clinic again. The student was shocked, I mean, I had some difficulty with that. (Senior supervisor) had some reasons and I think they were valid reasons of why (Senior supervisor) didn't broach it...but I really need to think through if that is how I would handle it. Participants expressed varying degrees of comfort with the process of negotiating their role in relation to their senior supervisor. Such things as personality differences, communication styles, supervisor experience, and participants' understanding of their senior supervisor's expectations all seemed to have an impact on how the supervisors-in-training were learning to define and differentiate themselves in order to operationalize their supervisory role. Sense of Increasing Boundary Clarity As participants became increasingly familiar with the supervisory role, concerns related to the setting and maintaining of boundaries decreased both in intensity and in importance. One participant, feeling more comfortable within the clinic hierarchy, noted: You know, it's a funny position because I'm not the students' colleague per se and I'm not (senior supervisor's) colleague per say, I'm sort of somewhere stuck in the middle. I have moments when a person in the group is talking about wanting to go skiing and thinking oh yeah, how about we go together and thinking no, I don't think that is a good idea. So I think the boundaries have been created. I just see people for the most part...at clinic and I don't have much to do with them and you know that's been okay. Other things filled my life and I didn't need to pull them into the rest of my life, so I think that just helped the 159 boundaries get stronger and that somehow became all right and I just started to feel more comfortable in being a little apart. Comments made by participants regarding boundary-related issues were becoming increasingly reflective and insightful rather than reactive and confused. As participants gained supervisory experience, they became more comfortable with establishing and maintaining the boundaries necessary for developing working relationships with the various members of their clinic team. Participants who in previous interviews, had worriedly discussed issues related to dual relationships, gender, and power, were now better able to distance themselves from their previous anxiety and speak about these ongoing concerns with greater ease and understanding. For example, one participant spoke openly about having to handle what might be considered a dual relationship with a first year doctoral student in the clinic. This individual found herself in the position of juggling both a friendship and a supervisory relationship with the other student. As this person reported: So maybe the boundaries are just about finding my role. Until I know what my place is in this, I don't know what the boundaries are. Probably the ongoing difficult one is with Student A. Because we have continued to develop a friendship and sometimes I share perceptions...my stuff that is going on in clinic. We couch it by saying this is confidential. I think it's been very helpful but yeah, I wonder about the boundaries here. Am I getting into confidential stuff that I shouldn't be? But to be able to talk to someone who isn't (senior supervisor), who doesn't have that power structure and I try to stick to you know, what is going on for me for sure. But someone who is there and knows kind of what is going on, it's been really helpful...but the boundaries are fuzzy with that. 160 It seems that the supervisor-in-training and the doctoral counselling student were to be able to communicate their perceptions to one another and were also able to structure their supervisory relationship in a way that allowed them to maintain their friendship. Another participant spoke about having to deal with ongoing concerns related to gender and power issues within the clinic. Although feeling less anxious about saying or doing something that might be construed as inappropriate, this individual continued to monitor his participation in the clinic. Cognizant of the fact that he and the senior supervisor were the only males in the clinic group, he reported: Part of finding my own place is of course is that I know that I am aware of the male /female dynamics in the group and I'm also aware that (senior supervisor) and I are males so I think we have sort of that natural connection there anyways, and I try not to feed into it too much although it's hard not to because some of the women bring it up...the sex stuff, the sex differentiation and kind of some of the sexual overtones that get bantered about sometimes and so I just try to keep a low profile actually and just try to stay neutral...I'm still not overly comfortable with it. Part of the dynamic...is that they all travel together. They leave together and they arrive together in the bus. So we're coming into an already established conversation and jokes and all kinds of stuff, but actually it seems to have settled out fairly well. This supervisor-in-training had become increasingly aware of his own behaviour and did not want to be responsible for any gender-related misunderstandings. He made a conscious effort to ensure that his boundaries with regards to gender-related topics were clearly defined. For this participant, there was a shift from being concerned only about his own 161 conduct to being concerned about how to handle potentially difficult gender related issues that might arise within the clinic setting. In consultation with his senior supervisor they both agreed to work to ensure that all members of the clinic had the opportunity to discuss any emerging concerns related to gender. One supervisor-in-training found herself in the position of having to renegotiate boundaries related to time commitments and role responsibilities, not with the counsellor trainees, but with the senior supervisor. The struggle for this individual centered around finding a way to honour her own needs while trying to honour the changing expectations of the senior supervisor. On some occasions she was able to take a firm stand regarding what she would and would not do. When asked to attend counsellor trainee run groups on a regular basis and provide supervision this participant did not yield to the supervisor's request: I have offered to do some hours of group, but...I said I couldn't make a commitment on a weekly basis because I cannot. If I'd known that ahead of time and scheduled my life differently then that would be different but that wasn't my understanding. On other occasions this supervisor-in-training found taking a stand more difficult because she recognized that the senior supervisor was the one with ultimate authority and power in the clinic. This individual was feeling caught between wanting to fulfill her obligations to provide supervision, and feeling angry because boundaries around time had become increasingly blurred within the clinic. As this participant noted: I feel uncomfortable leaving when people are...I feel like I'm not as committed if I'm leaving early and yet that's all I can give...I think what happened to me that I really snapped in mid-November, really 162 snapped...I was very very giving, giving, giving, and I stayed one time until six thirty and I swear the last hour and a half I probably wasn't really there. I kept struggling to stay focused. I was becoming brain dead. I got in the car and drove home and realized it was five minutes to seven and then I was mad because I thought..! was angry, my whole day was gone, I thought this is crazy. There has not been a specific time limit, and then I was also mad at myself. I though well...you didn't have to sit there the whole time, you could have left but I also am aware that it's not just that simple for one person to leave. A person can do that one time and demonstrate...model their expectation but it is also a whole group dynamic thing and part of my role there is also to give feedback. If I'm not there I can't give feedback. It just gets very complicated...I would feeL.it would be easier for me to leave as someone who is a counsellor-in-training than...and again, I'm constructing my role that way. In the supervision contract that was signed by both the senior supervisor and the supervisor-in-training the roles and expectations of the supervisor-in-training had not been definitively outlined. This occurred because, although the writing of the contract is intended to be the product of a collaborative effort between senior supervisors and their supervisors-in-training, this trainee had created this document primarily on her own with little input from the supervisor. Given that the participant had written the contract at the beginning of her supervisory experience when she had little understanding of her role or role-related boundaries the contract did not specify as clearly as it might have, the boundaries that defined her supervisory position. As a result this supervisor-in-training was never quite sure of where her responsibilities began and ended, and as such, found herself 163 having to deal with ongoing issues around time and work commitments with the senior supervisor. By the second interview participants had become more accustomed to their role as a supervisor and were experiencing a greater sense of boundary clarity. It seems that as the supervisors-in-training gained role clarity and became more comfortable within their position, they also became more adept at developing and maintaining their professional boundaries. Increasing Role Clarity Vis-a-vis the Counsellor Trainees All of the supervisors-in-training were, over time, beginning to develop their own conceptual framework for facilitating counsellor development. They were experiencing greater role clarity vis-a-vis their counsellor trainees and spoke about the importance of promoting counsellor trainee self reflection; acknowledging and working on their own unresolved issues as they related to the supervisory process; developing and maintaining positive working relationships with counsellor trainees; identifying and acting on supervisory responsibilities; and because of their unique position within the clinic hierarchy, advocating for the counsellor trainees with senior supervisors on behalf of counsellor trainees. As participants gained supervisory experience they were able to more clearly articulate how to engage in the supervision process with their counsellor trainees. Role confusion was being replaced with role vision and clearer purpose. In the words of one participant: I've gotten much more clear about how I believe I can facilitate counsellor development and that I really do think I'm very person centered and able to take counsellors-in-training where they're at. I mean I'm always catching myself, but I find more and more when I watch and observe client-counsellor sessions I'm not sitting there 164 thinking oh, you should have done this or she should have done that or I'd do this intervention, or I'd do that intervention...more often I find I'm just observing what the counsellor is doing and observing the effect that it has on the client and the process and seeing where things go...so it's very process-oriented. Although participants were becoming increasingly clear about how to promote and encourage counsellor development, many of them continued to struggle with how to connect and work effectively with counsellor trainees who were not engaging in a self-reflective process regarding their own learning and development. At times, participants found themselves both frustrated with those counsellor trainees who seemed unable to engage in a self-reflective learning process, and challenged by their own limitations around how to work with these individuals. Troublesome issues included working with counsellor trainees whose counselling skills were underdeveloped, working with counsellor trainees whose primary focus was on the content of counselling sessions rather than on the counselling process, and trying to work with those counsellor trainees who seemed unable to access the emotional component of the counselling and supervisory processes. As one supervisor-in-training stated: I find it challenging at times, depending on the skill level, the reflective ability of my supervisees. The more reflective they are the easier I find it is to supervise them. The ones who are more resistant to looking inward or accepting critical feedback are the ones that I find are challenging. This person went on to talk about the difficulty of providing supervision to trainees who were more content focused than process-oriented: 165 Another challenge is working with people who are really content focused and don't really get into processing. I have one supervisee who...you know...when I ask how was it in session with your client? Fine...how are things? Fine...and really not getting anywhere. Although participants found it frustrating to work with counsellor trainees who were not self-reflective and at times felt challenged by their own lack of skill and experience, they were confident that eventually they would learn how to help trainees become more self-reflective. As one participant reported: I've felt a bit frustrated finding ways...it's been a bit frustrating, one of the things I realize came out in seminar when (seminar instructor) said, "What is one of your weaknesses, do you think in supervision?" I said, "I think it's dealing with people that aren't...I have some difficulty dealing with people that are not that self reflexive". So that piece is coming...it's been frustrating. I don't know if frustrating is the word...frustrating, challenging, to deal with. I've felt stumped at times in terms of knowing how to get through non-reflexivity. And yet I don't feel this urgency to do it in one week. I feel like it's a process and being attentive and consistent to the process is what I need to do. So that part feels okay. Participants were beginning to identify and struggle with issues that experienced supervisors have identified as being consistently challenging aspects of supervision. Part of participants' learning was to engage in their own self-reflective process, which enabled them to examine their performance as a supervisor. They recognized that their own unresolved issues could impede their development as a supervisor as well as negatively affect the progress of their 166 trainees. For example, one cognitively-oriented participant, in struggling to work with counsellor trainees who were similarly oriented, looked inwardly for answers: I often wondered if...when the counsellor and I are talking...if I can't get them to access the emotional side of themselves because of who I am. Because certainly when I have the counsellors in there that tend to be more emotional and affective-oriented, we seem to give them much more depth of discussion...a much more depth of understanding, so there is something going on there. Where I thought that probably I would have a harder time relating to the counsellors who I'm saying...have more of an emotional based personality or even more of a client centered approach versus a cognitive approach...it's gone the opposite way. I'm having trouble accessing the feelings and the deeper understandings and learnings of the cognitive people. So I haven't figured out what that's about, although I do know that I'm trying because of my observations...been trying to draw out all of the counsellors, even the more cognitive ones about their own processes and what is going on for them in the day that they are in. The more cognitive ones of course don't want to share as much. Then being highly cognitive myself, maybe I'm not modeling that in a way that allows them to...I don't know what's going on...more exploration is necessary...It's fascinating. I can't remember a course certainly in the last number of years...that really turned on the lights like this, but this is really giving me a lot of insight into how I deal with people and if I let it, it will have more insight into my own stuff and how it carries over. But I'm kind of blocking that sometimes, but I'll access that as time goes on. 167 In talking about how to connect and work with counsellor trainees, participants recognized that they not only needed to build a caring relationship with these individuals and help them to become increasingly reflective about their counselling work, but that they, as supervisors, also needed to acknowledge and work on their own issues that might negatively influence the supervisory process. They were starting to understand that dealing with their own issues could positively impact the supervision that they were providing to trainees. As one participant said: I think it can, even with highly cognitive people, and that is where I have to really figure something out...where you know, how am I going to try to access that with people that aren't forthcoming...that are really hard nuts to crack. That might be a challenge. But maybe if I work on my own stuff and kind of become more approachable and...create a safer environment maybe that will come as well. Participants were also coming to a clearer realization that a large part of their role was to facilitate positive working relationships with each of the counsellor trainees. They understood that it was up to them, as supervisors, to create an environment that would encourage trainees to take risks around learning. These supervisors-in-training recognized that it was their role to facilitate an open dialogue between themselves and their trainees, where trainees felt free to talk openly and honestly about issues affecting their performance as counsellors. As one participant noted: Relationship is creating the safe environment and building a bridge of trust with supervisees that has allowed them to feel free enough to start talking about their own stuff. Out of the six people in my clinic I would say that there are three, maybe four that I feel like I've built a better bridge with, and they are much more forthcoming with their 168 own stuff. So what I'll do is I'll notice that one of the counsellors, one of the supervisees is having a difficult time...I might notice that even before they go into a session but I might notice that in a session so I'll just say: "Are you okay today?" At the very beginning it is like, oh I'm sure I'm fine...but now that there has been a relationship built it's, well can I talk to you about something? We'll go off and talk about it and it's usually about something that is going on in their personal life, and then there is always an opportunity to talk about what that can look like in session with the client...and just an awareness. Participants were placing increasing importance on taking a proactive role in developing strong supervisory relationships with their counsellor trainees. By taking the time to build these personal connections, participants believed that they would be in a better position to provide supervisory feedback that would meet the learning needs of each trainee. As one participant articulated: So that has been, I think just the idea of...developing that relationship with each of the supervisees in the clinic and building those bridges has allowed me to cross back and forth with feedback, both positive and negative. Probably the thing that I've come to learn the most in the last fifteen weeks is the supervision process of going into the supervisees' own frame of work and own frame of reference. Participants were beginning to recognize that their role included deciding when and how to intervene with counsellor trainees. These supervisors-in-training were learning that trainees often had the knowledge and skills to deal with difficult counselling issues and that what they needed to do was to give the trainees the space to do the work, intervening only when needed. As one person noted: 169 So we start exploring what that could be, and I've learned...here's another learning, I learned not to just jump in and rescue her and say oh, you know it's the client, it's not you...and everybody has that happen, so I told her...I said, I'm not going to rescue you yet. I might end up doing something with this, but let's think through what could have happened and see if there is any insight there. Although participants recognized that trainees were ultimately responsible for their own learning and development, these supervisors-in-training wanted to ensure that they had provided every opportunity to support their learning. This is reflected in the words of one participant: I really want to be supportive. I don't want to harm, obviously. I don't feel I have the responsibility I do as a therapist, but still there is obviously a power dynamic and a power differential and I don't want to...sort of impose my values on a therapist in training and I don't think that that is happening, yeah, just a responsibility to honour that person where they are at, without imposing my own...that's more where it is. I'm not responsible for their change or development. Some participants found that having the role of supervisor-in-training put them in a unique position within the clinic hierarchy. Although they were not in charge they found that they were not without influence. In a way they were in the position of being the "middle man" between the senior supervisor and the counsellor trainees. As a result they found that trainees often found it easier to talk with them about concerns and issues, believing that there was less risk of being judged and evaluated. As one supervisor-in-training found: I started to hear this stuff as the PhD supervisor, which I think is also consistent with a lot of people's experience with being the supervisor-170 in-training, is they sometimes have a little bit more rapport with some of the students around their comfort level in making complaints. Another participant, recognizing that it might be easier for counsellor trainees to talk about their needs and concerns when the senior supervisor was not present, facilitated a discussion with trainees. This person reported: (Senior supervisor) happened to leave early yesterday and I had the last part of the process with the whole group and...I asked them "what is it you need more of, because (senior supervisor) not here, there is no evaluation stuff or anything else, it's just you and me...what is it that the seven of you need more of?" Well then all of this came out. Participants, trying to balance the need to maintain their own positive relationship with their senior supervisor with the need to facilitate changes that would improve the supervisory experience for counsellor trainees, found themselves at times having to speak to their senior supervisors and advocate for the trainees. For example, one supervisor-in-training found herself in the position of having to go to the senior supervisor on behalf of the clinic group and discuss issues that were negatively affecting trainees' learning. Initially a bit concerned about speaking with the senior supervisor, but wanting to facilitate a better supervisory environment, this person reported: I'm not sure how uncomfortable I might have been had I been in the position of eventually getting a grade from this supervisor but given that I'm being evaluated on a pass/fail, I would hope that actually that would be seen as a positive. In fact, her feedback to me subsequently, is that I was very professional and also that it was very appropriate to bring the concern to her attention. 171 As participants gained supervisory experience they developed clearer role clarity in terms of working with, and facilitating the development of, the counsellor trainees. They recognized the importance of developing and maintaining strong working relationships with trainees, as well as fostering in them a process of self reflection. Recognizing that their own issues might impede the supervisory process participants also engaged in a self reflective process, monitoring their own thoughts and behaviours. As they engaged in the process of supervision with their counsellor trainees, and gained in knowledge and self confidence, these supervisors-in-training gained a greater understanding of their role. An Awareness of, and Appreciation For, the Multifaceted Nature of the Supervisory Role The multifaceted nature of the supervisory role was becoming evident to all participants by the second interview. These supervisors-in-training recognized that they were operationalizing their role in different ways, at different times, in order to meet the varying and changing learning needs of their counsellor trainees. Participants were beginning to identify and name various aspects of their role and spoke of being teachers, coaches, consultants, facilitators, catalysts, supporters, counsellors, and role models. These supervisors-in-training recognized that there was a teaching component to the supervisory role. As one person noted: "There are teachable moments. There are moments when giving feedback, you teach a new concept or teach a new method or technique." The supervisory role was also seen as having a coaching component. As one person explained: The coaching thing is kind of a solution focused kind of thing for me, where you know we're kind of in this together and I get to see from the 172 sidelines and you, the counsellor, you're out there playing in the field. So if you want, after the game, we get together and talk or after the half we get together and talk. A consultation component was considered to be another aspect of the supervisory role. One person realized that the consultative component of the supervisory role might vary depending on who he was consulting with: Consultant I see more with people that aren't directly part of my responsibility but I've said to them from the beginning that if you want my feedback, you want me to watch your session, I don't supervise you but I'd be happy to just basically be a consultant you can bounce some things off of. You can ask me some questions and I'm here for you, so that's the consultant part. I think the consultant part with the people that I do supervise is just to maybe ask some general questions. Another aspect of the supervisory role participants were beginning to appreciate was the role of catalyst. As one participant reported: I am someone who can be a catalyst for my supervisees' professional development. I can be a role model who...has a bit more understanding of what is happening, a different point of view, a different reference point to help facilitate that cataclysmic process. So I see it as sort of having knowledge and an experience base and confidence and ability to implement that process of development within my students..! see my supervisees as having what they need. They have the basic skills, most of them if not all of them. Basically a catalyst to bring that to light, help them take what they have in a more or less unrefined way and really...bring it out in full form so that they use themselves most effectively when they work with their clients. 173 Participants also considered the supervisory role as having a counselling component. As one person reported: I've talked about counselling being the big one that I didn't think would be as big. Where I just feel like some of our feedback sessions are...they really turn into counselling sessions. In fact the people that have had those comment afterward, "Wow, almost felt like a counselling session but it sure felt good". Being a facilitator who helped counsellor trainees learn about themselves was also seen to be a component of the supervisory role. It was suggested that since one's approach to counselling reflects one's personhood, self awareness is a vital and important element of the successful counsellor. As one participant pointed out: I believe that who I am as a person is central to my work as a therapist, therefore, I also believe that who a person is...any person who is going to be a counsellor is central to that and that is my construction...I really believe that if a person has significant issues in their own life or as a person, that it affects therapy. If they have problems with their interpersonal process in the outer world it's going to affect what they do in therapy with the client. So I see my role as a supervisor is to, at some level, facilitate that awareness and...how the person is, and how they construct their role, and how their being affects their ability to do therapy, potentially, positively, negatively, and otherwise. So I see that as being the central role. As the participants began to name and describe the different aspects of being a supervisor, they also came to understand that their own personality and ability to relate to others was going to impact and influence how they 174 would operationalize each aspect of their role. For example, in talking about how to conceptualize the supervisory role one individual said: I don't know that there is one role...I was reading in the beginning of the book that they talked of the different metaphors for what the role is...coach, facilitator, I don't know that I see just one, it kind of varies depending on the needs...A coach fits at times. But sometimes, just a supporter. Facilitator doesn't, well maybe sometimes but I just...I don't feel as connected to that...probably teacher at times, but that's still a fuzzy one. Probably like the coach, because coaches support too. My job is to help other people grow... I really need to stay focused on what their needs are. At the mid-way point in the course of their supervisory training participants were becoming increasingly aware of the multifaceted nature of the supervisory role. They were beginning to identify and name the different sub-roles that they were engaged in when providing supervision. This increase in role clarity was leading to a greater understanding and identification with the supervisory role. Sense of Responsibility All participants experienced an increasing sense of responsibility in their roles as supervisor as their training progressed. They recognized that as supervisors they were responsible for facilitating counsellor trainee growth and development. This involved the building of productive supervisory relationships with trainees, overseeing the counselling work that trainees were doing with clients, and evaluating trainees' counselling competencies. In addition to these obligations many supervisors-in-training experienced a heightened sense of responsibility with regard to their role as they became 175 increasingly aware of the complexities related to the role and the supervisory process. All participants spoke about being responsible for facilitating the growth and development of their counsellor trainees. They understood that a large part of their role was to ensure that trainees were given every opportunity to become competent and capable counsellors. Participants felt that it was a privilege to be entrusted with the responsibility of guiding their junior colleagues into the counselling profession. In the words of one participant: I feel it's like as much a responsibility and an honour, sort of a very trusted position to be able to work with someone who is working on becoming a therapist and work with them on that kind of level. Participants put their own learning needs second to those of their students. As one person pointed out: "My job is to help other people grow...I think my own growth is a secondary benefit of that...but I really need to stay focused on what their needs are." These supervisors-in-training recognized that in order to help counsellor trainees learn how to effectively engage in the counselling process they needed to both honour the knowledge and expertise that trainees brought to their role and challenge them to become more skillful as counsellors. In speaking about the responsibility of promoting counsellor development one supervisor-in-training noted the importance of: Being really attentive to the students. Really noticing things...each person has a strength. Each person has things that they contribute to the group...you know, so and so is really into becoming more aware of noticing how her body responds after an incongruent session and so is 176 asking what's going on here...like really customizing the process, really attending to who each of those individuals are. Participants also recognized how important it was for them, as supervisors, to encourage trainees to share their knowledge, expertise, and experiences with their clinic peers. They underscored the importance of acknowledging and reinforcing individual trainee's strengths and talents as well as providing them with the opportunity to collaborate and learn from their peers. As one participant reported: Sometimes a point will come up and somebody will ask a question and I will say well...(counsellor trainee) may be best to answer that because this is kind of her field of expertise, or...(counsellor trainee) could you answer this because this is where you were at last year, and so there is a lot more trust that way. By employing a collaborative learning model, where trainees were encouraged to learn from one another, these supervisors-in-training felt they were working towards fulfilling their responsibility of promoting counsellor development. Participants also believed that, as supervisors, it was their responsibility to take on a leadership role when it came to developing and nurturing the supervisory relationships between themselves and their counsellor trainees. As one participant reflected: The people that I talk to individually are more vulnerable with me so there is a need to build a more solid relationship with them. I tend to think it's a two way thing but I think the onus is more on me and I probably say that because there is a power differential and generally when there is I think people take their lead from where...the perceived 177 power is, so yeah, I probably would take responsibility...more responsibility for seeing that that happens. Because of the hierarchical nature of supervisor-trainee relationship participants held that they were responsible for bridging the power differences in order to provide safe learning environments for trainees. Rather than having "power over" trainees participants wanted to develop collaborative working relationships that would emphasize having "power with" their trainees. As one individual articulated: My struggle and challenge has been to use more positive and respectful encouragement and to see that this is what I'm doing and not coming from a one up, one down position...I don't want them to see me as...oh you're the doctoral student and I'm just a Masters student or I'm somebody with so much more experience and you don't have any, because I don't think that's helpful when you're trying to give constructive feedback and I've seen...conversely, I've seen a lot of growth in the group. That's what I've been trying to do. Because of the power differences that existed within the clinical setting, at times, participants found themselves in the unique position of not only working to equalize the power between themselves and trainees but also found themselves speaking to their senior supervisors on behalf of the trainees. Given that participants were not ultimately responsible for counsellor trainee evaluations and that trainees saw them as having more influence than they, as trainees had within the clinic hierarchy, these supervisors-in-training often worked to improve communication between trainees and their senior supervisors. They did this by sharing trainee concerns with the senior supervisor. As one supervisor-in-training said: 178 So I talked to the supervisor in private about this concern that I felt that the group had and that they needed an opportunity to discuss whether their needs were being met around feedback, getting sufficient feedback and around time...I wanted to really respect confidentiality so it was important for me in speaking to my supervisor that I didn't disclose exactly who, and made it a very general concern. Participants clearly saw themselves as being responsible for working with trainees, overseeing their work, and monitoring their progress. One participant noted that it was her job to both support and challenge trainees. As this person said: I want to be authentic. I want to be congruent to my personal beliefs, supportive, honest, sensitive, mindful to where other people are developmentally in terms of their readiness to do hard things and not do hard things...confrontational and directive when I need to be...person-centered, playful, intellectually challenging. Also, as they gained hands-on supervisory experience participants slowly learned to overcome their anxieties and reluctance about providing constructive criticism. They recognized that it was their responsibility to provide both positive and negative feedback to trainees regardless of the circumstances, even if this meant the possibility of having a conflicting opinion or a differing supervisory style than their senior supervisor. Given that they were under the direction of a senior colleague with whom they were still trying to negotiate their role, some participants continued to have some difficulty with regards to how free they were to act on their supervisory concerns. They found themselves in the position of still trying to determine the parameters of their supervisory responsibilities. For example, one individual, seeing that a counsellor trainee was not working effectively with 179 a client and that the senior supervisor was not addressing what the supervisor-in-training thought was an important issue finally spoke up: In the third or fourth week there was just something blatantly going on with a client, that she, the student was really jumping in and answering for the client and not listening to the client and we got to the end of the clinic and we did our debrief ing...and (senior supervisor) didn't address it. So I thought, I can't let this go, I need to say something. So I did. The student was a little shocked that I did...I just kind of felt like I was out on a limb because I just felt strong enough that there was some things going on that she had to take notice of and then the student called me a day or two later at home just to explain more what I meant and just the sense that she wasn't happy about this at all...I really fought with that all term, you know, how far do I go in being negative when (senior supervisor) is not really giving...that kind of feedback so I'm not going to either. Participants realized that it was easy to provide supervision when all was going well. The challenge, however, was to take action and provide constructive feedback to trainees when they were not performing in a satisfactory manner and the senior supervisor was not dealing with supervisory issues that the supervisor-in-training believed needed to be addressed. Participants understood that another essential component of their supervisory role involved the evaluation of trainees' abilities to engage in the counselling process with clients. Although participants had initially understood that their role included the assessment and evaluation of trainees' counselling competencies it was not until they had gone through the process of doing formal evaluations, in conjunction with their senior 180 supervisors, that many of them realized how difficult a task this could be. This was especially true when a trainee was not meeting the minimum acceptable standards of performance. For example, one participant became very cognizant of the impact that supervisors can have on trainees lives when the senior supervisor asked a counsellor trainee to withdraw at midterm and reapply to do the clinic at a later date. As this individual reported: The first thing that hits me is just that this is difficult stuff. I think it really made me aware of how in some sense how powerful we are in people's lives. Which isn't to be taken lightly. This put this person's life on a different course than where she was taking herself. To have that kind of impact on somebody' life it's a little scary. I think I was aware of that but just even more so in this situation, with that evaluative nature of the supervision, this impacts big time. Many of the supervisors-in-training felt that they shared responsibility for evaluating trainee performance with their senior supervisor. Participants were both pleased to have their supervisors include them in the evaluation process and relieved that they were not solely responsible for evaluation outcomes. When participants had concerns about the performance of a trainee they would consult with the senior supervisor. As one person reported: I've talked to (senior supervisor) about it and I made sure that she watches them. So part of it was about sharing the responsibility...not taking on all the responsibility...sharing that...I have concerns. I feel concerned about what they are doing in there. I also realize...I feel good about informing (senior supervisor). I feel good that we are working together on that, so it's not all my responsibility. 181 Another participant, although not directly responsible for providing supervision to a particular trainee felt a professional responsibility to speak with the senior supervisor about the trainee's lack of progress. As this person stated: I've got a real challenge but it's not my responsibility and I know it's not my responsibility. I have a student that isn't doing well and it's not one of the students that I'm really directly responsible for supervising. But it is somebody that other people are watching and in the type of clinic we have you know, everybody watches somebody else, so I've been concerned about an individual's competence...so I did go and talk about it and said it could be some of my stuff, all I would really ask you to do is just watch this person and make your own decision and I felt that was fair to say just watch what happens here...So that was good and the supervisor and I talked about it after he had a chance to look and he actually concurred that yes, we have some problems here and he actually dealt with it because it was somebody that he was supervising and not me. Participants realized that by taking on the role of supervisor they were becoming gatekeepers of the profession. Participants saw themselves as having a professional obligation not only to their trainees but also to the well-being of their trainee's clients. Participants experienced an increasing sense of responsibility with regards to their role as they came to better understand the complexities of the supervisory role and the intricacies of the supervisory process. They recognized that supervision is a multilayered process in which supervisors, trainees, and clients all interact and influence each other at the different relational levels. These supervisors-in-training were becoming increasingly 182 vigilant about monitoring their thoughts, behaviours, and reactions to the counsellor trainees, the clients, and the work that the trainees were doing with clients. Participants were also becoming more cognizant of the power dynamics that existed between constituents and how their own personal issues might impact the supervision process. For example, one participant who had gotten caught up in trying to be the counsellor rather than the supervisor in a particular situation noted: I think just being aware of watching for things like that...it's so easy to happen. I mean I just slipped into it...unknowingly. It just hit me in the face that you know you need to watch for things like that. If you're having a strong reaction, step back and look at what is going on for you. I don't think that I was harmful to the counsellor, but if I had kept on going in that vane then I could have been. Yeah, we talk about counsellors having to deal with their own stuff, well so do supervisors and there are two levels that supervisors have to deal with, the client's stuff and the counsellor's stuff. The dynamic going on in all those relationships. In summary, all participants were becoming increasingly aware of their responsibility to their counsellor trainees and to their trainees' clients, in ensuring the needs of both were met. They understood that as a supervisor they were responsible for promoting the growth and development of their counsellor trainees by establishing and maintaining positive working relationships, monitoring trainee progress, and evaluating their counselling competencies. These supervisors-in-training also experienced a sense of increasing responsibility with regards to their role as they became more and more aware of the complexities related both to their role and the supervisory process. 183 Interview Three: Relationship Dimension and Common Themes of Meaning Five phenomenological themes that were common to all participants were uncovered in the third set of interviews. These included: A Sense of their Counselling Being Informed by their Supervisory Experience; Appreciation of and Commitment to the Supervisory Enterprise; Awareness of What Constitutes Effective Supervision; Congruence Between Self, Theoretical Perspective, and Supervisory Role; and an Awareness and Appreciation of Having Been Through a Significant Process of Growth and Change. Again, overarching all of these shared themes was the relationship dimension that was shared by all participants. The Relationship The relationship dimension again emerged as a common element for all participants and ran through all themes in the third set of interviews. Participants had come to a deeper understanding of why developing and maintaining supervisory relationships is so vital to successful supervision. They had made the direct link between fostering positive working relationships and the willingness of people to take risks to further their learning and education. These supervisors-in-training considered safe, trusting, and respectful relationships to be the vehicle for facilitating personal and professional growth and development. They believed that strong working relationships are the foundation on which successful supervision is built. This belief matured over the 8-month training program. Participants progressed from thinking that relationship development is important, to knowing that relationships are an integral part of successful supervision. By the end of their training participants were able to both understand and explain why relationships are an essential component of supervision. They were able to clearly articulate the value and importance of developing and 184 nurturing productive working relationships within the supervision context. They believed that effective supervision begins with the relationship. As one person stated: I believe that good supervision happens with supervisors that are genuine about themselves, and therefore, genuine with the person they are supervising. Their communication is genuine, real, and present, and honest...I don't think that it is all that different than the kind of process that goes on in therapy. The quality that goes on in therapy is different. The reasons for it and the directions it may move but the flow of that process is about relationship and I mean a good relationship is a good relationship. What else can I say? Participants spoke about what they had learned from the relationships that they had had with their senior supervisors, seminar instructor, doctoral peer group, and counsellor trainees. As one person reported: "What comes to mind first is interactions with people. Positive interactions with the counsellors themselves, with (senior supervisor), with (seminar instructor), with classmates. Just all the learning that came from those interactions." Participants had learned how crucial relationships are to the supervisory process by experiencing firsthand how their senior supervisors and seminar instructor had facilitated not only their own growth and development as clinical supervisors but had also worked to facilitate the development of the counsellor trainees. They recognized how important a sense of safety and respect are to the learning process. As one person described the training experience: I felt very supported. It certainly allowed me to be more open and vulnerable because I think the more open I can be the more the learning comes. Both in my clinic atmosphere and in the class 185 atmosphere there was a real safety in both those areas that just allowed me to move past my own stuff...the external safety net was there...I think in both situations ideas were never wrong. So feeling free to express whatever and have it talked about and not shot down. That probably is part respect as well but you have that freedom to think, because sometimes, you know, when I say things out loud they are totally stupid, ludicrous but until I say them I don't know. So sort of never being put down, never being told, I never got the sense it was thought that I was saying something stupid. You know, I saw that same kind of respect and freedom for other people too. Senior Supervisor. Participants spoke about what they had learned from having engaged in an 8-month supervisory relationship with the clinic instructor. They articulated what they considered to be the important aspects of the relationship between themselves and their mentors. Firstly, participants considered the match between the senior supervisor and doctoral supervisor to be of the utmost importance. As one participant advised: Get with a good supervisor. Make sure you've got someone you can work with well because that support in the clinic is extremely important. There were times when I was really struggling and I felt so fortunate that I could go to (senior supervisor) and we could talk about it and I could talk about some of the stuff that was going on for me and her whole response to me was, "How can I help you work through this?"...Getting to the point where I could disagree with her was important too...I can remember two particular incidents that stand out in my mind. One was early on in the term. I knew as I was listening to her that I didn't agree with her, but I was too chicken to speak up. The second time was within the last month or six weeks of clinic. I didn't 186 agree with her and I did speak up. She wasn't upset at all...She just gave me a lot of support for doing that. That was great. Drawing from their own supervisory experiences participants noted that for doctoral supervisors to have an optimal learning experience a relationship needs to develop between senior supervisors and supervisors-in-training that enables supervisors-in-training to freely explore their new role. Understanding and respecting one another's theoretical perspective and professional point of view was seen as instrumental in facilitating participants' learning. Participants also spoke about how important it was for them as supervisors-in-training to take responsibility for helping to develop and nurture the relationship they had with their senior supervisors. As one person reported: You have to build a relationship with the person you are working with as a supervisor. I don't think there is any easy way...I don't think I could give any pat answers as to how that happens because it really depends on who you have and I feel that I worked as best I could with the person I was working with, who is a very established and experienced person, who is also use to doing things in a certain way. Participants spoke about the importance of establishing and maintaining a time to routinely speak about and process their ongoing supervisory experiences with their senior supervisors. Participants felt that if they were able to engage in collegial conversations with their senior supervisors, they were better able to then deal with any arising concerns. This sentiment is reflected in the words of one participant: I would say building a good relationship with the supervisor and trying to be as explicit as possible about roles. That being said...even 187 being explicit doesn't always work completely but revisiting that, meeting with the supervisor regularly. I mean that was important and from what I've heard from other PhD students that was very important. Where there were problems...there was less contact. I spent even more time on the phone with (senior supervisor) than I did meeting with her. We spent hours...so I think that that is why things went as smoothly as they did even though at times I felt like I was doing something different than she was doing. Participants were clear that being treated as a valued colleague by their senior supervisor facilitated their learning. When participants felt comfortable and supported in their role by their supervisor they were able to process their experience openly and honestly with them. They felt this worked not only to enhance the connection between their senior supervisors and themselves but also helped them develop confidence in their ability to supervise. In speaking about what she considered to be a highlight of her training one participant articulated: One is my relationship with (senior supervisor) which was collaborative and it was so amazing to work with a Prof, in a collaborative manner. I felt respected and valued in a way that I haven't with probably any other Prof. I've ever worked with. I could share myself honestly and openly with her and it was just a great working relationship. That was a supervisor highlight. Another participant spoke about how both his perceptions and the nature of the relationship that he now enjoyed with his senior supervisor had changed and evolved over time. Initially the participant had been concerned that he wasn't going to be able to have the kind of relationship that he believed he needed to support his learning. As time went on, however, he found this not 188 to be the case. As this individual described: "I think (senior supervisor) has been very very supportive of me and has allowed me to do anything I want to do and a couple of times has really taken me into his confidence." In speaking about the change that he perceived in his relationship with the senior supervisor this participant went onto say: I was really pleasantly surprised by that shift because I felt coming in September that I was the underling and that he was the guru. I still have that but not at the same level. I mean...he's had so much experience both in the field and in academia but I feel that I can talk to him more on a personal level and I can see him more as a contemporary. Finally, all participants were in agreement that a supportive working relationship facilitates a senior supervisor's ability to give "hard to hear" feedback and makes it easier for supervisors-in-training and counsellor trainees alike to receive and process information about their performance. As one person described her experience with her senior supervisor: She encouraged clinic members to get to know each other, to share with each other, to be vulnerable, being somewhat vulnerable herself in some things by just modeling incredible respect for each person. No matter what she was saying to someone, really saying it in a way that left no doubt that you knew...that she valued me as a person and she could make that separation of maybe when I didn't do something so well that she still valued me. That made it safe to be open about things I wasn't doing so well. It was evident to participants that developing strong positive working relationships between their senior supervisors and themselves was of the utmost importance for facilitating their professional development. 189 Participants felt that when they were matched to a supervisor with whom they were comfortable, and with whom they were able to talk honestly and openly about their experiences, they were able to hear and process the most difficult feedback and then incorporate what they had learned into their work. Seminar Instructor. Participants spoke highly of the support that the seminar instructor had provided to them over the course of their training program. They found her to be genuinely interested in helping them to develop their supervisory skills. As one person said: "(Seminar instructor) is very supportive, very very respectful and encouraging, genuine. All those counselling things that make it possible to learn and grow." Participants saw her as the force responsible for creating the safe and positive atmosphere that that they had enjoyed during their seminar classes. In the words of one participant: "(Seminar instructor) had an enthusiasm, just a positive nature, a real enthusiasm for what she was doing and that was very catchy. So the whole class had a real positive atmosphere and a wonderful sense of humour." Another participant commented on the importance of the seminar instructor's ability to make the seminar a safe place to learn. As this person reflected: A lot of us have taken some pretty big risks in our supervision class. The other part of that is (seminar instructor) ability to really make it a safe place for us to do...because of that it's allowed me to not feel threatened by anything I say even if it's stupid. Not that I would say anything stupid...but that has really pushed me...to really get in there and roll up my sleeves and say, "Okay I'm going to do something different because I know that the others...are struggling with their process and what's going on for them." 190 Participants recognized and appreciated the knowledge and experience of the seminar instructor. They found her to be knowledgeable about supervision and to have the ability not only to provide useful information about the supervisory process to them but also to help them process their learning in a helpful and respectful manner. As one participant reported: She gave us a lot of the knowledge base as to what supervision is and she also got us to process what was happening for us as supervisors and in that processing is where I did most of my learning. Another participant concurred: (Seminar Instructor) is so clear and I find her to be clear and really good at seeing through the haze. Like she gets it. She's plugged in. She's incredibly eloquent in how she give feedback and if I could be like that one day I'd be really really pleased. She's been a really good model. I also resonate with her way of thinking about things and that's been great. Participants saw the seminar instructor as being a master in the "art of the process". She incorporated humour and fun into the process and was able to provide even the most difficult to hear feedback in a way that was easily received by the struggling student. As one participant articulated: (Seminar instructor) ability to really tease out very quickly the underlying nuances of what we were doing and not being afraid of calling us on the carpet for it. But doing it in a fun way...You can have someone as knowledgeable as (seminar instructor) in there doing that but someone who is uptight and insecure and...it wouldn't work. I know some of our best laughs have been in that class...and then ourselves taking pot shots at ourselves...saying, "Oh yeah, there I go, I'm rescuing again. I'm throwing in the lifejacket." 191 Overall, participants were pleased with the relationship they had with the seminar instructor. They considered her to have played a large part in their growth and development as supervisors, by creating a learning environment that was safe, supportive, and respectful and at the same time encouraged risk taking and professional growth. Doctoral Peers. Participants spoke about how much they had appreciated having the opportunity to come together as a group to learn about supervision and discuss and process their own supervisory experiences. These supervisors-in-training recognized how much they had learned and benefited from their peers. As one individual put it: "I saw our group as a whole come together and offer a lot of support and ideas that helped me in my process." Participants enjoyed having had the chance to observe and learn from their peers. One participant spoke about how much she had valued the opportunity to watch and learn from her doctoral peers doing supervision with counsellor trainees, on tape. As this individual recalled: Bringing the video tapes into the seminar class was wonderful. Not only mine but watching other people's and getting feedback and really being able to relate to them in some situations was really helpful. I guess specific feedback that I'm thinking about is about one of the other group members...my class member brought in a tape where she was very much rescuing the counsellor and I mean I could really relate to that, that is something I fall into too. By the end of the training period there was a sense of group cohesion. Participants believed the relationships that they had developed with their doctoral colleagues were a key component in facilitating their learning. Participants felt that they were able to take risks with their learning in a way that they would not have been able to do if they had not had the support and 192 unconditional regard of their peers. Participants found that their colleagues had provided a high level of support that had, in turn, allowed them to safely explore their supervisory challenges. As one person reflected: Giving myself permission, but it's also being in a supportive environment where other people gave themselves permission to make mistakes and really sharing those mistakes with the class....without that, without that kind of trusting environment I personally wouldn't have learned half of what I learned had people really screened their tapes and made sure that they brought in their very best because, geeze I'm not going to be exposing myself here. But because we all did it, it was such a much more powerful way of learning. Participants saw each other as being supportive of one another's learning, thereby making it safe to risk. The relationships they had had with each other had evolved to the point where they had felt relatively comfortable with presenting their supervisory struggles and seeking help and direction from their peers. As one person described her experience: In the tape that I brought to class...I was really struggling with what was going on and the whole class was really supportive in helping me deal with keeping the focus on me, what was going on for me, because there is no sense in spending too much time conjecturing about what was going on with the counsellor and me coming to the realization how hard it was for me to be genuine with negative stuff going on for me. Participants believed that the reason they had had such a positive experience within the seminar had to do with the high level of trust that had developed amongst themselves. They had depended on one another to keep each other safe when they were feeling most vulnerable. It was because of 193 this high degree of faith in each other that they were able to explore their most difficult challenges. As one person suggested: I think because of my fellow doctoral students being as close as we are, and trusting of each other, has really made the world of difference I think. I can really see where if you had one or two or three outsiders that you didn't really trust that might not work the same way. As a final comment on the importance of developing safe and supportive peer relationships within the seminar group in facilitating their learning one participant suggested: If I could pass on one thing to the upcoming doctoral class is that is what I would say. Hopefully you as a group have enough cohesion and trust and the ability to laugh at one another and yourselves and the whole thing, to go in there and put it on the line and allow (seminar instructor) to do her stuff and not be critical of her at all and allow students to confront you and not be critical of them at all. All participants valued the relationships that they had developed with their doctoral colleagues. They believed that the high level of trust that had developed and the support they had given one another had facilitated what they considered to be a quality learning experience. Counsellor Trainees. Participants again spoke about the relationships that they had cultivated with counsellor trainees over the course of the training program. They emphasized how important the supervisor-supervisee relationship is to counsellor trainee growth and development and how they had, to the best of their ability, respectfully provided counsellor trainees with supervisory guidance and feedback. As one person noted: "I believe that I got better at...building rapport and trust. I believe the relationship between a supervisor and a supervisee is everything." 194 By the end of their training all participants had successfully negotiated the parameters of their working relationships not only with their senior supervisor but also with their student peers, the counsellor trainees. Over time they believed they had been able to establish working relationships that were both effective and comfortable for all concerned. As one person reported: Over time I just wasn't one of the group. I wasn't the supervisor either. It's a funny position being in the kind of clinic we're in. Ultimately the clinic instructor was the supervisor but I think I got more comfortable with finding a way to relate to...the other group members but not feeling I needed to be their bosom buddy. Participants spoke about how they believed that the relationships that they as supervisors-in-training had fostered with counsellor trainees had helped to increase the trainees' sense of safety and consequently, their ability to learn. As one person noted: I think that I had a relationship with every student in my clinic and I think that...it's just about safety, it's about creating safety and I think the more safety, the more learning, the more opportunity for learning. Participants recognized that maintaining strong working relationships within the clinic setting depended not only on their commitment to nurture the relationships between themselves and the counsellor trainees but also depended on giving trainees the opportunity and responsibility for strengthening the relationships with their peers, underscoring the importance of the same conditions being fostered in the clinic group as in the seminar class. Participants found that when problems arose within a clinic there was usually a relational dimension that needed to be addressed. As one person recalled: 195 From what I hear from other PhD supervisors, there were some difficulties that emerged as the year progressed and I think that some of those difficulties wouldn't have happened if there was a stronger bond between the clinic members. Now some of that is luck of the draw...in terms of who the clinic students are, but also the Prof. But I think you can work at that stuff and I think not only individually but as a group. Participants were clear that as supervisors, it is their role to develop and maintain positive working relationships with counsellor trainees. They also noted that it is their role to facilitate positive peer interactions amongst members of the clinic team. By being relationally focused, participants believed that they could provide a good supervisory experience for counsellor trainees by fostering the core conditions of respect, trust, safety, and support. In summary, participants considered the development and maintenance of respectful and supportive supervisory relationships as being a key component to successful supervision. Participants spoke about how their relationships with their senior supervisors, seminar instructor, doctoral peer group, and counsellor trainees had positively informed their own supervisory practices and learning. They understood how essential it is for supervisors to nourish and sustain healthy working relationships with trainees. They also concluded that supervisors must encourage and facilitate the development of positive peer relationships amongst all individuals involved in the training process for the purpose of creating a safe and protected environment where people feel free, and have the space to grow and learn. Sense of their Counselling Being Informed by their Supervisory Experience All participants experienced a sense of their counselling being informed by their supervisory experience. They believed that by having had 196 the opportunity to go through the process of learning how to be clinical supervisors, they had learned not only how to be supervisors but how to be better counsellors. As one individual put it: "We have more knowledge about not only the supervision process but the counselling process." Participants spoke about feeling more confident in their ability to provide effective counselling. They saw themselves as having developed stronger clinical skills and greater counselling expertise as a result of their experience of learning how to be a supervisor. As one person reported: "I guess the big thing is I feel a lot more self assured not only in myself as a person but in my skills and ability as a counsellor, therapist...and supervisor." Participants also felt that they had developed a greater awareness and a deeper understanding of how their own personal issues could impact on the counselling process. As one participant noted: I was thinking back to my experience as a counsellor last year and at that point I had no real clear understanding that the reaction of a client towards me certainly had a lot to do with who I was. I think I decided that basically I was just a post and the client was willing to go through their stuff and I was going to do my thing but I didn't realize that...who I was and how I saw life and what had happened to me that morning and what my bias was about this particular issue, all those things were very clearly present in the session, so that's a piece I really picked up on. Through their experiences of doing supervision and from the vantage point of being an observer of both client and counsellor processes, these supervisors-in-training had come to a clearer realization of how their own biases and blind spots could negatively impact their ability to provide quality counselling services to clients. They spoke about having developed a more 197 objective viewpoint that would enable them to more effectively work therapeutically with clients. As one person reflected: In terms of my work as a counsellor, I think I have a much better understanding of stuff like parallel process. The whole idea of keeping this metaperspective in terms of relating to client issues...seeing how my stuff will influence my work with clients. I think I just get that so much more as a result of doing supervision. Participants saw themselves as having become increasingly skilled in their ability to be present and attentive to a client, and at the same time being able to step back and examine what was occurring for the client and themselves within the therapeutic relationship. In gaining this "metaperspective" participants believed that they had become more aware of, and better able to analyze and process what was occurring in counselling sessions from both a personal and interpersonal perspective. Participants suggested that having this more corttextually rich viewpoint would help to ensure that they were not becoming caught up in their own issues but were in fact focusing on helping clients with their difficulties and concerns. In the words of one participant: So in the role of counsellor I think I'll have a lot deeper understanding of how my stuff can affect the whole process of getting stuck and what not. I think in some way part of being a supervisor was really about having to...stand back and not be in there trying to see it from the perspective of the counsellor. To really stand back and maybe just hear the client and not be so filled with, "Where am I going to go or blah, blah, blah." So having some distance, like coming from...a more perspective taking place...I think just being more self reflexive in terms of being a counsellor like...I've got these supervisor ears now and as 198 much as it was hard to be in that role and let go of my counselling ears, I can see how I'm going to be in the role of counsellor now and still have my supervisor ears on to some extent, and so I think I'm going to be more mindful of me in that role as counsellor. In talking about how their supervisory experience had affected their work as counsellors many participants saw themselves as having become more confident and trusting of their abilities and skills as a counsellor. As one person reported: I see myself having become more active in the counselling process...of using confrontation and immediacy more...of allowing myself to say "well you know, you just said this but what does that mean? What I hear you saying for example, is you're sitting on a fence so if you're sitting on a fence to me that means no. Defend yourself," and allowing myself to go with my intuition because I've always second guessed it and it's always I've found, in doing supervision, it's been pretty close to being right on. So this has really informed my process of counselling. Participants considered the supervisory experience that they had gained to be a valuable learning process. As one participant described her experience: I think observing, I mean whether it's been this formal supervision or other opportunities to observe other counsellors I think that all of that has contributed to my work as a therapist myself and will continue to. I think it's invaluable. Because I think that's part of the learning that a supervisor gets, that it's not only to the benefit of the counsellor but they get to learn more about their own counselling and learn about how other people do therapy. It's just one of those added bonuses. 199 Having the opportunity to supervise other counsellors had strengthened participants' beliefs in themselves as counsellors, and had helped them to forge a stronger sense of counsellor identity. In summary, all participants experienced a sense of having their counselling informed by their supervisory experience. They appreciated that they had not only undergone the process of learning how to be supervisors but had also become better counsellors as a result of the experience. They were aware of their own growth and development as counsellors and had gained a greater understanding and appreciation of how they personally influence the counselling process. Appreciation of and Commitment to the Supervisory Enterprise By the end of their supervisory experience all participants had developed an appreciation of, and commitment to, the supervisory enterprise. They considered supervision to be an important learning experience for themselves and their counsellor trainees. They felt honoured to have been able to contribute to counsellor trainee growth and noted that they would act upon opportunities to supervise in the future. The supervision process was seen as a powerful learning process by participants because it provided a unique opportunity for both supervisors-in-training and counsellor trainees to develop skills and knowledge specific to their roles, while at the same time learning about themselves and about each other within a safe and secure environment. One participant, in speaking about the process of supervision, reported: My most significant learning about supervision is that given the right circumstances and the set up and everything else, it's a very very powerful process, and I sometimes think it's one that is taken too lightly by our department. That...for a lot of people they will never 200 ever get another chance like they have in clinic. They will have supervision, but not to the same extent where they're so under the microscope. It's a very powerful process. Participants saw the supervisory process as one which fosters self reflection and personal growth in both their counsellor trainees and themselves. In speaking about counsellor development one supervisor-in-training explained: "You take so much of who you are, and what you're dealing with at the time, into the counselling session, and so learning about yourself is such a big piece of supervision." They had come to believe that encouraging counsellor trainees to learn about themselves and understand who they are as individuals would, in turn positively impact on how trainees choose to engage in the counselling process. One supervisor-in-training, in describing why he encouraged self learning said it this way: They learned that you take so much of your own stuff into the counselling session, and I felt really good about that because I soon realized when I started supervision that the most important thing I could do was to help people recognize that particular point. Participants found that having a formal supervisory experience had also propelled them into revisiting and reexamining their own beliefs with regards to the counselling process. Their own knowledge of the process had become activated, and participants were able to examine their understanding of the process in a new and more comprehensive manner. For participants it was a time of renewal and reevaluation. As one person articulated: I guess that I almost thought I was kind of coming to the end of my learning and the whole process of supervision has taught me more than anything else...It's a big piece of my learning about myself and the 201 opportunity to sit back and watch somebody else work really gave me the opportunity to see counselling in a more in-depth way. Participants felt both honoured and privileged to have had the opportunity to contribute to their counsellor trainees' growth and development. They appreciated being part of someone else's learning process. One participant reflected on the experience using the following words: The counsellor's allowing me to become a part of their lives and I feel very respectful of that and it's a privilege for me...that they kind of let me into their world and I think I was pretty well accepted by most of them and I felt very grateful for that. Again it was a privilege for them to share with me and trust me enough to do that. It was an honour...yeah. Participants also spoke about how having counsellor trainees openly share their counselling challenges and struggles with them had provided participants with the courage to examine their own issues related to both counselling and supervision. As one person reported: I really enjoyed watching people grow and change and grapple and struggle and I'm just so delighted with that process and so honoured and privileged to be a part of that process. What I like about it too is that it really forced me into expanding my horizons and struggling with some of my own stuff. For some participants, following the progress of their counsellor trainees and being a part of their trainees' learning experience was what they found most rewarding. In the words of one participant: I think for me the best aspects of supporting and mentoring and nurturing and facilitating someone's process and seeing them experience success and confidence and "ah ha" and excitement is, I 202 think, what really made it for me this year. That even though there were all these really new therapists, all of them at the end of the year were trying something that they may have been resistant to trying before. Not because someone told them to do it but because they came to realize, "Wow, I want to try to be like this, be this way with this client" and they got to that point and would see an effect, and afterwards they'd be saying, "Yes, I did it." Or just the shift in confidence...not overly confident but more being able to stay present, not having to let their wheels spin in therapy and thinking of what they're going to say next and being with the client. Settling in, to me that is the real plus because I celebrate other people's success, it feels good and if there wasn't that, then I think I would be really disappointed. So that's also the sign to me that that's the big plus more than anything and feeling I guess, also feeling connected, feeling that I made a difference. An unexpected learning for participants was coming to the realization that the process of supervision had not only benefited the counsellor trainees and themselves, but that it had also had a positive impact on clients. In fact, there seemed to be a synergistic learning effect that was created amongst supervisors-in-training, counsellor trainees, and the trainees' clients. It seemed to participants that as one person learned something new and integrated it into his way of being, another person would profit from that learning and would also grow and change as a result. This reciprocal learning is reflected in the words of one participant: Seeing my students change in their counselling skills and develop, and seeing the effects it had on their clients, and then how their clients would improve, and then the effects that had on the students and...just 203 seeing the effects was the best part. Feeling effective...and seeing their clients grow and seeing them take pride in their work because of it...so seeing that made me feel effective. As a consequence of their supervisory training most participants spoke about how they would welcome the opportunity to supervise in the future. They recognized that the supervisory experience that they had engaged in had been a significant learning opportunity for both themselves and their counsellor trainees to grow professionally. They welcomed the idea of doing more of it. This is reflected in the words of one participant: "Well, all of what I know is what I learned this year. I think if there was an opportunity to do more supervision, I'd like to do that. So I can have a little bit more expertise under my belt." In speaking about participating in more supervision another participant concurred: In the future I would like to be doing some of that. I don't know if that's going to happen with where I'm going but that appeals to me. So I came out with a very positive view of supervision and you know, my interest in helping people, supervision fits into that. So if I ever had the chance to do that again I would welcome the opportunity. In speaking about being involved in more supervision in the future participants varied in their levels of confidence with regards to taking on primary responsibility for supervising counsellor trainees. Their faith in their respective abilities ranged from those who felt secure enough to supervise their own clinic, to those who wanted to continue to provide supervision but under the direction of another supervisor. There were those participants who, because of the supervisory training they had received, felt competent about their skills and ability to supervise. They spoke with confidence and self assurance about wanting to take on the 204 responsibility for operating their own clinic and training counsellors. As one person stated: A part of me would like to have a shot at running my own clinic. I think that would be a very very valuable experience and one I'd truly like to have, or I'd like to run one somewhere else. That could be academics...I would like to have another chance of doing this again under similar conditions, working with masters students, somewhere in my career and more than once. I hope I get to do it more than once because I really did enjoy it. Other individuals spoke about wanting to participate in more supervision but they were really unsure as to whether they were ready to be in a senior supervisor position. As one person reflected: I'd like to do some more. I'm not sure where that's going to fit in some of my plans. Maybe I could come back as a supervisor and do sort of contract stuff...It never occurred to me until this second. I'd like to do some more though. In some ways when I think about jumping from being a student supervisor to the Prof, supervisor...It seems like wow, it's a pretty significant jump...On the one hand I feel like I've learned all this stuff but I know I'm still a beginner in the bigger picture. So where and how do you get more experience doing supervision where you're not necessarily in the big boss job? I don't know. Like, am I ready to do a clinic because I've done one?...I don't think so. Am I ready to have my own clinic? I don't think so. I'm not sure, I don't know. But I really enjoyed it and I would like to do some more. Participants all spoke about how much they had learned about being a supervisor and how much they had yet to learn. These supervisors-in-training recognized that because of their supervisory experience and training 205 they now had a foundational base of knowledge and experience upon which to continue to build their supervision expertise. They had come to realize that the process of becoming a supervisor, much like the process of becoming a counsellor, takes place as one gains experience, over time. As one participant pointed out: So I feel like I've just learned a ton and at the same time I know I'm just a beginner and so there is lots to learn and you know, it's kind of like being a counsellor right, it's an evolving profession. It's an evolving role and I look forward to the next opportunity of being able to do supervision but feel that I have a grasp on what it's about and I enjoyed doing it. In summary, participants recognized that supervision is an important learning experience because it provides counsellor trainees and supervisors-in-training with the opportunity to learn about themselves and others. Participants felt honoured and privileged to have played a part in the professional development of their counsellor trainees. Over the course of their supervisory training participants had come to appreciate how valuable the supervision process was to their professional development and that of the counsellor trainees, and were committed to pursuing more supervision opportunities in the future. Awareness of What Constitutes Effective Supervision By the end of their supervisory experience there was an awareness, on the part of all participants, of what they believe constitutes effective supervision. They spoke about how supervision differed from counselling; the pivotal role of the supervisor and its multifaceted nature; the significance of supervisors developing positive and productive supervisory relationships with individual counsellor trainees, as well as the importance of facilitating 206 team building amongst clinic members. Participants believed that effective supervision involves actively promoting and facilitating the development of counsellor trainees' theoretical knowledge, conceptualization skills, and counselling proficiency; addressing and dealing with evaluation related issues; and ensuring the welfare of clients. In sharp contrast to their initial confusion about what supervision is, and how it differs from counselling or teaching, participants in reflecting upon their experience of becoming a supervisor spoke about having a greater understanding of how to engage effectively in the supervisory process. As one person reported: "I feel like I've entered this whole other world of awareness in terms of understanding what I believe supervision to be... under standing stuff like parallel process and the differences between all the components of supervision." By the conclusion of their training participants recognized that they had added a new and important component to their professional knowledge and expertise. Participants had come to believe that supervision included more than having counsellor trainees develop their counselling knowledge and clinical skills. These supervisors-in-training saw supervision as an opportunity not only for trainees to learn about being counsellors, but to also develop and grow as persons. In fact, participants saw the professional and personal aspects of the learning process to be interrelated. In speaking about the process of supervision one participant suggested: I think it entails both, professional development...and I don't think you can separate that totally from personal growth because I think personal and professional are very intertwined...So my role is to really facilitate a holistic kind of growth in the counsellor that is ultimately going to benefit the clients for sure, but also the counsellors themselves. 207 Participants recognized than in order for counsellor trainees to have a successful supervisory experience they, as supervisors, needed to help trainees develop their clinical skills. They needed to be there supporting and guiding them on their journey to becoming professional counsellors. Speaking to this need for supervisors to focus both on the content and process of the supervision enterprise one participant noted: I see my role not only in terms of a facilitator, in terms of helping students develop the clinical part but also I see my role in the clinic as helping...students move through that sort of rite of passage into becoming counsellors. Participants strongly believed supervisors play a key role in ensuring that supervision occurs in a manner which supports counsellor trainees' growth and development as counselling professionals. Having had the opportunity to train as supervisors enabled participants to reflect on, and give voice to, what they had learned about their role. They were able to describe and speak with confidence about the role of the clinical supervisor. They identified the need for supervisors to provide a balance between being supportive of where their counsellor trainees are in their development as counsellors and, at the same time, gently motivating and challenging trainees to learn how to use themselves and their knowledge and skills more effectively within the therapeutic process. In the words of one participant: To support them so that they feel confident in what they are doing and competent and also challenging them where they need growth. Areas they're not as strong. Because without the challenging they are not going to change. So if it was purely a supportive role they would stay put. If it was too challenging they would stay put...or regress. I think when it's both supportive and challenging that's how they learn and 208 develop. So challenging them in terms of gently letting them know when what they are doing is not effective...getting them to see for themselves the effects that they are having and...how they could try something different...Getting them to think it through for themselves. At the outset of their training most participants had been reluctant to give counsellor trainees critical feedback for fear of not being liked. By the end of their training these same participants clearly understood that in order for trainees to develop their counselling expertise supervisors must provide both positive and constructive feedback. By the end of their training program all participants had developed a clear understanding of what constitutes counselling and what constitutes supervision. They were able to distinguish between these two related, yet distinctive processes. As one person articulated: "I've learned what that edge is between the supervisor as facilitator and supervisor as counsellor." These supervisors-in-training now recognized that there were was a difference between providing counselling to counsellor trainees and engaging trainees in a process focused model of supervision. As one person expressed: I personally learned a lot...that there is this boundary between supervision and facilitating people's awareness in the service of their client in therapy and where it could go way too far...you know I feel like I got to that boundary...It could become therapy for the counsellor and that's a significant boundary that has to be respected and one has to be aware of it and how it feels different. I think I feel lucky that I had the experience of that edge to know that it felt different and I had bells going off in my head. 209 According to participants, the key to providing supervision and not making the mistake of engaging in the counselling process with counsellor trainees was to ensure that as supervisors they were: Keeping...the center of the work focused in the therapeutic room...and not let it get too far out. I see too far out as meaning, it gets into the counselling issues...So always taking it back to how is this affecting you and your work with the client. Participants had come to understand that engaging in supervision meant helping counsellor trainees process their own personal issues, only as they pertained to the work that they were doing with their clients. These supervisors-in-training had come to understand that if they did not keep the focus on the client when doing supervision with the trainees, then they would be in danger of providing counselling intervention rather than supervision. In comparison to their second interview when they had only been able to speak about their awareness and appreciation of the multifaceted nature of the supervisory role, participants were now able to speak with authority about the diverse nature of the role based on their own experiences. They reflected on how they had learned to operationalize various supervisory roles in order to provide optimal supervision to counsellor trainees. This ability to be flexible and adjust their supervisory approach to match the needs of a trainee is reflected in the words of one participant: My role would vary according to what I see the counsellor needs. I think that probably gets back to that process piece, that it is really important to figure out what the counsellor needs. If they need skills than I become the teacher. If they need encouragement I become a coach, encourage them. If they need to work through something that is 210 getting in the way then it's more of a counselling role with some limits and boundaries on it. Another participant, in speaking about the many different roles that she employed in order to facilitate counsellor trainee development divided the roles of the supervisor into two broad categories. She saw the first category as concentrating on conceptual and clinical skill development, and the second as focusing more on encouraging and supporting counsellor trainees in their learning process. As this supervisor-in-training reported: I've tried some of those labels that they have in the books...teacher, facilitator, mentor, counsellor, model is another one...I think that they all apply at different times. I think there are different hats. Well I mentioned model and who the supervisor is modeled in many different ways, from how they interact with people in the clinic, to how they talk about their own clinical experience, to how they model reflection, or even direct modeling like, "I'm going to do a demonstration right now of this counselling intervention." The teaching stuff I think is more explaining...you know direct didactic stuff. So teaching about concepts, teaching about theory, and even I think the provision of information, like about resources is really teaching. Whereas I think mentoring and facilitating and counselling are really on that spectrum of the kind of support of people's own process in therapy. Mentoring can also be being supportive and encouraging and just cheering someone on, like in their first few sessions when they're terrified. Participants had learned firsthand how to take on different supervisory roles in order to address the full range of counsellor trainee learning needs. They 211 recognized that supervisors must meet trainees where they are at in their learning and adapt the supervision process accordingly. By the end of their supervisory training experiences participants had become very cognizant of how important it is for supervisors who are providing supervision in a group setting to consciously and purposely structure and manage the learning environment in terms of attending to issues of safety, trust, group dynamics, and boundary setting. As one person reflected: "I do think supervisors create the space and the context, and that boundary setting is important to a sense of safety and trust." Participants found that when counsellor trainees knew what to expect from their supervisors with regards to both the structure and process of supervision they were able to move forward with their own learning. The bottom line, according to one participant was that: "It's about safety. It's about creating safety and I think the more safety, the more learning and the more opportunity for learning." Another participant concurred: "I think without trust you're not going to get a kind of environment where people feel safe to share what is really going on for them." Participants saw themselves as being responsible for, and capable of, orchestrating and nurturing supportive learning conditions. As one person put it: As a supervisor I can create an environment of safety and an environment where people feel comfortable to stretch and do things on their own. So when I say empowerment, it's not empowering people but it's me creating the environment where they can feel empowered. By the final interview participants were clear that in order to create safe learning environments they, as supervisors, had the responsibility for building strong working relationships with all of their counsellor trainees. 212 As one person put it: "Supervision to me, like counselling, still begins fundamentally with building a relationship with the counsellor." These supervisors-in-training spoke about how they needed to always remember that they were in a "relationship of privilege" with counsellor trainees. They had become mindful of the inherent power of their role and how they could positively or negatively impact counsellor trainees' experiences of the process of counselling and of supervision. Using a metaphor to describe how vigilant supervisors need to be about the intrinsic power related to their role one participant suggested: We're all swimming in water but the supervisors forget that they're sharks and they forget that they are swimming with smaller fish and sometimes they need to stand back and remember that...they are often seen as the shark and the trainees see them that way, but they're not going to say anything to them. So it's a real sensitive role that a supervisor plays because they have the power. Participants were even more committed to the critical importance of developing and maintaining supportive working relationships with counsellor trainees. They recognized that building relational connections with trainees would help lower trainees' anxiety and in turn enable them to better concentrate and focus on developing their counselling expertise. Participants noted that when counsellor trainees considered their supervisors to be trustworthy they were able to expend less energy on worrying and feeling anxious, and more energy on becoming actively involved in their own learning. As one participant noted: "I think, once they get their trust down that you know, you're not out to sabotage them then I think that trust builds with them and they're willing to take the risks that they need to do." 213 Participants also spoke about the importance of team building amongst all members of the clinic. They saw the wisdom of taking the time to promote and encourage collegial relationships amongst counsellor trainees as these relationships could be an important source of support and could help sustain trainees as they learned how to effectively take on the role of counsellor. As one person reported: It's really about building a team first and them going out to help others and taking care of ourselves, taking care of each team member and you know what's interesting is we put in way more hours of counselling than any other clinic...but we also took better care of ourselves as a team. We were much more cohesive. We had such a positive outcome for everybody involved in the clinic and we had some wonderful things happening for clients...very few clients actually dropped out so that really spoke to me that we cared for each other as team members and we built the team and as a result we survived and thrived. By the end of their supervisory training, participants were clear that effective supervision requires supervisors to develop and maintain strong working relationships with their counsellor trainees; facilitate team building amongst clinic members; and ensure that the learning environment that they provide gives trainees the safety that they need to grow and develop as counsellors. Participants spoke about supervisors having the responsibility for helping counsellor trainees develop their counselling expertise within a clear conceptual framework. They recognized that their mandate was to help trainees develop a theoretical basis for engaging in the counselling process, assist them in refining their clinical skills, and helping them to become more aware of how they can use themselves in their role as counsellor to facilitate 214 client change. However, participants were clear that their role was not only to help counsellor trainees develop their conceptual knowledge and clinical skills but to also assist trainees in learning about themselves in order to become more effective at facilitating the counselling process. As one person reported: " A big part of the role is to help the counsellors learn to counsel better using more skills, using themselves." These thoughts were also reflected in the words of another participant: There is the clinical part, helping facilitate counsellors' ski l l development and their understanding of case conceptualization and sort of the meta picture around counselling...Sort of this birth into becoming counsellors and accepting themselves in those roles and understanding how they can bring their skills into that role and understanding how they can bring themselves into that role. I think you can have a supervisor that can help facilitate ski l l bui lding and case conceptualization and do a real crappy job on the other end. I think there is some mentoring involved, modeling. I think that if that stuff is in place it makes the skil l development and the case conceptualization easier because people feel more confident and more relaxed. Participants spoke about how important and integral the process of evaluation is to the supervisory process. By the end of their training they had come to a much clearer understanding of the fact that supervisors have the responsibility for monitoring, assessing, and evaluating counsellor trainees' counselling knowledge and clinical skills. Participants spoke about how important it was to regularly provide counsellor trainees wi th an assessment regarding their progress and development as counsellors. A s one participant reported: "The supervisor must take the job of evaluation very seriously so 215 that the supervisor would try...to meet at least every six weeks with the student on an evaluative basis." Participants saw the benefits of providing ongoing, constructive feedback to trainees on a regular basis. First, it enabled them to contribute to the professional growth of the trainees by helping them to develop and refine their counselling competencies. Second, it provided a vehicle for speaking to counsellor trainees who were not making good progress and who needed extra help or needed to withdraw from the course. Having had the experience of watching a trainee be asked to leave the clinic because of unsatisfactory progress, one participant noted: I think it's good to be helpful but I think at some point you have to really take a long look at whether a person should be allowed to go through the whole process or should be told at half way, this isn't going to work. So that was a learning process to just kind of get straight with how I would deal with that if it was my responsibility of having somebody that I didn't personally think...had certain skills that they needed to counsel. Having had the experience of being part of the evaluation process with counsellor trainees these supervisors-in-training had come to understand how important it is to first determine the criteria for evaluation and then communicate these criteria to trainees before the start of the clinical experience. By doing this in advance, participants suggested that trainees would have clearer understanding of what they were expected to do in order to successfully complete the course, and supervisors would have a predetermined set of performance standards on which to base their evaluations. One participant spoke quite candidly about how she and her senior supervisor had initiated a collaborative system of evaluation with 216 counsellor trainees but because they had not outlined the process at the beginning of the course they had encountered some difficulties with trainees when it came to determining a final grade. In reflecting back upon the experience she noted: It was a good learning experience in terms of realizing that we needed to do this stuff back in the fall...it allowed me to realize how important it is to put the process of evaluation right up front at the very beginning and to negotiate this long before when we had. Speaking along the same lines another participant noted that supervisors need to be able to explain how they determined each trainee's final grade. This supervisor-in-training had witnessed counsellor trainees trying to barter for grades with the senior supervisor and came to the realization of how important it is for supervisors to be able to clearly explain the rationale for the grades they give. As this person reported: I'm not too sure how far I am from the truth here but I think because our course is set up at UBC in terms of grades instead of pass/fail or complete/incomplete, what I saw happening was a lot of negotiation going on. It just blew me away. I was unprepared for that...When assigning grades you'd better have your ducks in a row because a lot of the students who came in said, "Well you know, I'm thinking of going on to a PhD....I feel that I deserve a higher mark."..."Well you know I was expecting a higher mark." So that just reminded me even more about the process of really being accountable as a supervisor for what you do and what you say and making sure you have things documented. 217 Participants had learned from their experience that supervisor accountability for counsellor trainee evaluation is a critical component of effective supervision. Further to the issue of accountability, participants, by the end of their supervisory training, had become very aware that effective supervision also involves supervisors taking on the responsibility for the safety and well being of the clients with whom their counsellor trainees are working. They had come to realize that as supervisors they were ethically bound to ensure that no harm would come to clients as trainees learned how to engage in the counselling process. As one participant stated: "It's really to be a safeguard for the clients, probably particularly with beginning counsellors just to make sure they're not harming clients." Participants spoke about the importance of finding a balance between facilitating counsellor learning and ensuring client safety. They recognized that in their role as supervisors they needed to be prepared to respectfully address and resolve with their counsellor trainees, issues of inadequate, inappropriate, or harmful service to clients. At times this meant helping counsellor trainees work on particular skills and strategies, recommending that they seek out their own counselling support to deal with personal issues, or counselling them about withdrawing from the clinic. In response to watching his senior supervisor having to balance the learning needs of a counsellor trainee with the well being of the trainee's clients, one participant noted: It was challenging for me to see someone, one of our people struggling and I think that as a result the clients weren't being helped to the extent that they could have been because of that. The whole thing was a challenge and it was met in a way that was very caring and honouring 218 of this person's place and where they were in life and the losses that had taken place. It allowed me to see how a supervisor...would handle a situation like that and make some decisions about how I might do it as well. In summary, by the end of their supervisory training all participants had developed a working understanding of what constitutes effective supervision. In particular, they noted the significant role that supervisors play with regards to the provision of quality supervision. Having experienced the multifaceted nature of the supervisory role participants now understood how important it was to employ different roles with counsellor trainees in order to address their many learning needs. As well, participants realized that supervision is best facilitated when supervisors develop strong working relationships with their counsellor trainees and encourage team building among clinic members. According to participants, it is within the context of a safe learning environment that counsellor trainees can best develop their counselling skills and abilities. Participants had also come to the realization that in order for supervision to be effective supervisors must develop and share clear evaluation criteria and procedural guidelines with their counsellor trainees and take on the responsibility for ensuring the well being of their trainees' clients, as well as the growth and development of their trainees. Congruence Between Self, Theoretical Perspective, and Supervisory Role By the end of their supervision training all participants were experiencing a greater sense of congruence between self, theoretical perspective, and supervisory role. They had become comfortable in their role as supervisor and their original fears and anxieties had been replaced by an evolving sense of confidence, competence, and role consolidation. 219 Participants liked who they had become as supervisors and looked forward to continued opportunities for supervisory growth. Participants spoke about how much more at ease they were in the role of supervisor now compared to when they began their training. Feelings of apprehension and worry had disappeared and had been replaced with a sense of confidence in their ability to take on, and successfully engage in, the supervisory role. As one person reported: I now feel pretty confident about being a supervisor. I feel I can stand behind the one way mirror and watch and be pretty objective about what is going on. The big thing that I don't have now that I did have in September is I don't have the fear. Participants' belief in their competence to take on the supervisory role had grown exponentially. As a result of the training process, participants felt confident about having the knowledge and skills necessary to provide effective supervision. In speaking about the supervisory training she had just completed, one supervisor-in-training spoke about how she had gained more confidence in herself as a supervisor: Probably the confidence. Being more confident in my effectiveness and my knowledge and skills. Security is probably one of the things too. I feel more secure in my abilities to supervise effectively...I think it will make me more effective as a supervisor, definitely. I don't think there is any doubt about that at all..Simply the knowledge that I have and the experience I have, knowing what to do and how to do it and that it's effective. Participants recognized that throughout their training experience, even though there had been times when they were feeling vulnerable and anxious, they had pushed themselves to move beyond their feelings of apprehension 220 and inadequacy in order to learn the skills required of their new role. One person reported that she had found herself: "Working with my own anxiety and doing things in spite of it. Trying new things. Going ahead and trying new things even if I didn't feel too confident doing it." Another participant, in reflecting upon what she would want individuals who were just beginning their supervisory training to know, advised: Some things might seem a little scary at first to be doing but go with that and do it in spite of it being scary...Be confident that you'll feel more confident as you go along. I'm speaking for myself. I don't know if that holds for everyone but for me it did. Relax and enjoy it. It's a lot of fun. Although participants had initially been anxious about providing supervision to counsellor trainees, by the end of their supervisory training they had come to realize that the training process that they had just undergone had enabled them to use and build upon their previous counselling knowledge and skill. They had come to the conclusion that they did indeed have a contribution to make with regards to training counsellor trainees. In the words of one participant: In the beginning it was...the word that strikes me, is just covered in anxiety. Like I don't know what to do here. I don't know if I can do it. I don't have any skills to do it. All those just real, anxiety and doubts. I guess then moving into learning a bit more about it...So developing more knowledge, my own skills. I think increasing the confidence was a real big thing...recognizing that I have more knowledge and skills than I give myself credit for and that I can integrate the new ones into that. Trying out things and finding that they work. Actually, you know, it feels good to give someone, to talk about a session, maybe 221 helping someone come up with a way that they could interact or even give someone a suggestion and they go ahead and it works. I think that's about my own confidence. Participants had stopped worrying so much about external expectations. Instead they focused on what they could bring to the role that would support the supervisory process. As one person put it: I think not so much living up to what I think people expect...I know there's things I have to learn and things I have to do, but just being more comfortable, making mistakes, being more genuine, being more in touch with thoughts and feelings that are stirred up in me with these interactions and then just going with them...bringing my own unique personality, peculiarities into the process in a helpful way. By the end of their supervisory experience, a sense of role consolidation was experienced by all participants. They had the opportunity over time, to assimilate what they had learned about supervision and incorporate these new learnings into their own supervisory practice. This process had participants feeling more confident about their understanding of how to operationalize the role. In describing what her learning experience had been like over the last term one participant noted: Feeling like I had something to contribute and I think the second half of the year was more consolidating...being more willing to put myself out there and try things and getting wonderful feedback from both the class, (seminar instructor), and (senior supervisor)...Just continuing to put that feedback into practice and almost going from the global at the beginning...like "I don't know what to do in any sphere" to moving into that, "yeah, there are some areas here I know a lot of what to do." Just go with those and accept that I know that and focus more 222 on the things that I don't know so well and get the feedback on those so I think it was a refining process...I think of refining in terms of using myself in the process more. Adapting skills I had in another context for use here. Refining...sharpening things like perceptions, my own awareness...visual acuity of watching something that is going on, sharpening all those kind of things. Participants had come to recognize that the supervisory role that they had taken on and learned was not only a part of their professional identity but that it also involved who they were as individuals. As one person described: "It's a role I adopt but it's not apart from who I am and it's sort of becoming myself in that role." A sense of congruence had developed between how participants defined themselves professionally and personally. They had come to better understand the complex interplay between who they were and how they chose to engage in the supervisory process. They were committed to providing supervision in such a way that it was in alignment with who they were as a person. One person spoke about embedding her values in her work as a supervisor: I feel that my values and beliefs are just so centered in my experience of who I am as a person in that experience of doing supervision, and it was evident in how I supervised students, how I was in clinic, how we did evaluation. It was just so congruent and that was so great. That was such a great thing. Another individual emphasized the point that supervision involves having more than a solid set of skills, that it requires a conscious using of oneself in the process. As this person voiced: I think just putting together that supervision, like counselling, is not just about the skills. It's about using myself and really being fully 223 present as I can be. That means really looking at my own personal growth and how I can use my own self in the process. One participant used the metaphor of focusing a camera to describe what the experience of becoming a supervisor had been like for her. As she described: It's sort of been like focusing a camera...well I guess right at the beginning it was completely black. No light at all and then there was all this light but there was so much light that nothing was in focus. Everything seemed important and it was so hard to know where to start and what was most important. As time went on and this participant gained knowledge and experience she spoke about how she was better able to focus the camera and determine what she needed to achieve clarity on in order to be an effective supervisor. She reported: Things have become more refined and clear and I see in my mind, my model, the process of self knowledge and becoming clear of who I am ... as central to becoming a therapist and, therefore, central to what a supervisor does. I think everything a supervisor does ties into that whether it is directly facilitating self reflection or...less directly by supporting the development of microskills...So I think becoming a supervisor has been about...getting clearer in being able to describe how a counsellor becomes a counsellor too. Being able to talk about it more but then I guess that also fits with what I believe about teaching in general...I don't believe that I can support learning in any context without understanding the learning process itself. So if the learning process in counselling is about self knowledge and the layers that get 224 built on that, then I need to understand that pretty well to be able to do supervision or facilitate that learning. Like her fellow colleagues this participant had initially begun her supervisory training with no clear idea of how to operationalize her role. At the beginning she had been inundated with large amounts of information to take in and process. At first she had been confused and overwhelmed but as she was able to clarify and determine the parameters of the supervisory role she was able to distill it's essence. By the end of their 8-month training program participants had come to like who they had become as supervisors. In the words of one participant: "I like who I am as a supervisor and feel good about that. I also have work to do...areas where I can improve." These supervisors-in-training did not see themselves as finished products but rather as works in progress. They spoke about pursuing the vision that they had developed for themselves regarding their role as a supervisor. They now knew how they wanted to engage in the supervisory process. As one person candidly reported: I definitely have room for improvement and room for becoming better and at the same time I feel like I'm really on track and I'm headed in the right direction and I feel clear about how I want to be as a supervisor and so it feels like there is a goal to move towards rather than not knowing where I want to go with that. So I feel good about that. I feel happy with what I've learned. Quite thrilled actually. Over the course of the training program participants had become increasingly more self assured about their abilities to supervise. They saw themselves as being able to provide high quality supervision. One person spoke about how his perceptions had changed: 225 The other part surprisingly enough or maybe not surprising enough is the ability to stand in front of the mirror and say to myself, you know I'm pretty good at what I do and that I can do this and do it well. Whereas in September I would look at myself in the mirror and say, "Oh, you know, you don't have a lot to offer here and like, who are you to go in there and say that you know what' going on." Maybe it's not that I have to know what is going on, but that what I hear going on is okay. That I don't have to have the answers but together we can process those. So the self confidence thing. In summary, a sense of congruence between self, theoretical perspective, and the supervisory role was experienced by all participants. Participants felt secure in their new role and had developed a confidence born of experience. They saw the last four months as being a time of role consolidation and amalgamation. They liked who they had become as supervisors and believed in their ability to provide effective supervision. Awareness and Appreciation of Having Been Through a Significant Process of Growth and Change < At the end of their supervisory training all participants expressed an awareness and appreciation of having been through a significant process of personal and professional growth and change. They talked about having spent the last 8 months engaged in, and focused on, the process of learning how to become clinical supervisors. Although focused on the task of becoming supervisors; the training process had deepened their learning beyond role specific knowledge to a include a more self reflective sense of personal change. As participants reported: "It's been a process. Talk about coming to understand and experience. I mean the whole thing has been that 226 all the way through." "The experience, the process, I learned a lot from the process, it's about how to do it." Participants recognized that within the context of learning how to supervise others they had also been given the opportunity to learn about themselves. They saw their training as part of a life long journey of accruing, synthesizing, and assimilating new knowledge and wisdom about themselves and the profession they had chosen. As one participant reflected: It's a process that I assume, like counselling, that I'll never kind of arrive, that there is always more I can learn. There is always more growth I can do within myself which is going to affect all the processes. So it's more part of the life long learning. Participants spoke about how they had experienced and made sense of their experience of becoming a supervisor. They recognized that it had involved integrating information and knowledge, with experience and practice. As one person noted: It's a mixture of learning from books, from others, and just putting that into practice, just trying it out. Becoming more in tune with not only my own skills but with who I am and just using all those internal and external resources. It certainly is a process. I have to remember that I'm not at the end of the process by any means. Participants described the 8 months of supervisory training as a time of professional transformation and change. They recognized that they had engaged in a structured learning process that had facilitated their development as supervisors. One participant chronicled her journey of growth and change in the following way: We started off in September and I didn't know much about supervision and we got this book and these articles and so I started 227 reading like a fiend. Which is always what I do when my anxiety is up. And as much as I was kind of anxious about, "Oh my god, what is this supervision?" there was still a part of me that was hooked pretty solid into the ground knowing that, "Okay, I have these skills as a counselor, I can do this." So there was always a part of me that...knows it's about me the person not just about what I'm reading in the books. And so I think initially I'm reading and I'm trying to understand...like ask these questions and get information, trying to accumulate...information. Then there's another part of me that's just flying by the seat of my pants and kind of trusting that it's going to work. And then we do our first video tape for the seminar and we get some feedback on what we're doing and that was super valuable. Then I'm going "Okay, I think I'm kind of getting this stuff" and I pretty much but not fully abandoned doing my reading until I started writing my paper. I just focused on listening, looking, being, and reflecting on my own processes and just doing more of the counselling sort of self reflection stuff and just really focused on being in the clinic. As I did that I started feeling more confident because I have some skills...The more of myself that I brought into the process the more comfortable I felt and I guess I had a few successes or a few sort of experiences of doing what I thought was a good job. And I felt like I was developing a good rapport with the students and it just kind of snowballed. When I didn't understand things or I was getting stuck, I would ask. It just kind of took off. I learned a lot from some of the issues that were brought up in the seminar and I learned a lot from other people's difficulties and that really helped. 228 Participants believed that their process of learning how to become a supervisor had been enriched because they had been given the opportunity to meet as a seminar group, on an ongoing basis, to share and discuss their ideas and experiences. As one person said: I feel that a lot of what I'm going to be able to say and the way I've made sense of it is influenced to a large extent by the opportunity to meet with other supervising PhD students and reflect on the experience and make sense of it together. Had I not been doing that, and I'd been totally in isolation with my experience in the clinic, I can't know whether or not I would have acquired the same kind of insights I have. I think maybe some of them but I think that there is...it's sort of hard to separate out...how I've made sense of things that have just totally emerged from my own unique experience and how much of that is reflection that's been supported by others. As in the second set of interviews participants were asked to use a metaphor to help describe how they had experienced and made sense of the process of becoming clinical supervisors. In each of the metaphors there was a sense of change and transformation. The participant who had used the metaphor of a river to describe how she had experienced the process of becoming a clinical supervisor in the initial stages of her training program found that the same metaphor continued to fit with her experience at the end of the course. As she reflected: I can see the river metaphor still fitting because the river metaphor was really about flowing along with the river and I do still see that there is a lot of flow in it. It's being with the people that you're supervising moment to moment and being facilitative. It's a very process oriented experience. It's a process. It's not a thing and it's not a bunch of stages. 229 This participant had gone from clinging to the rocks to consciously moving with the current and using the flow to facilitate the learning process. Another participant, who had originally chosen the image of a growing plant to describe the essence of becoming a supervisor, again used a similar metaphor. She noted: "The flower metaphor is good because it kind of described the unfolding and evolution and sort of the coming into fruition." For this participant there was a sense of fulfillment and enjoyment in having successfully completed the supervision course. A third participant, who had compared the process of learning how to become a clinical supervisor to that of learning how to fly an airplane using instruments, once again used the same metaphor. This time though, the image referred to an increase in professional understanding and skill level. In the words of this individual: The thing with supervision...it's like landing on instruments. It takes a long time to hone those skills so that when you actually take off the hood and you're flying in clouds and you're coming down on instruments onto a runway and sure enough you know that one hundred and fifty feet above the runway you break out and there is the runway in front of you. You know you don't have to trust the process anymore because you know exactly what you are doing. So it becomes almost an art form. Translating this further to the experience of becoming a supervisor this participant said: As I started off I had no idea what I was doing and I felt really awkward. I felt very unsure, like I was flying out of the hood and I always wanted to peek out and make sure I was doing it right. But as I've seen myself and my doctoral colleagues struggle with this process and see what it's 230 been like for them it's given me courage to go back and try harder and be more forgiving of myself if I do screw up...I feel that I've got a real good grip on this now. That I can actually go into the clouds and do this without taking the hood halfway off and saying, "Well look where you are. You're supposed to be over here but you're way over here. What's going on?" I've got a pretty good understanding of what it is. One participant used a new metaphor to describe her experience of becoming a supervisor. She likened her experience to the smoothing process that beachstones undergo when they are constantly being moved by the ocean waves. As she described: I think about beaches that I like to go to. They just have thousands of stones on them and they're all getting smooth because they're rubbing against one another. There is some forceful motion, which for the beach stones is the waves and it makes the stones interact with one another and they get kind of smooth and worn down and actually more beautiful as they go through that. It's not fire but through the waves. So the edges are getting worn off. In speaking about how this image fit with her own process of becoming a supervisor this person went on to say: I'm thinking of the thousands of stones on the beach...they're all different kinds, shapes...so those are all the people that I can see interacting with me as a supervisor. As the edges get worn off my stone I get a little, I'm thinking more mellow, more streamlined...I just see the stones as they get smoother, are developing. In summary, all participants were aware of having been through a significant process of personal and professional growth. They experienced a sense of transformation and change. There was a recognition that they had 231 begun their journey wi th very little understanding of what it meant to be a supervisor and had, over time wi th training and experience, moved to a place where they were felt more confident and competent in their ability to supervise — a confidence that they knew would continue to grow as they sought out more supervision opportunities throughout their professional careers. 232 CHAPTER FIVE DISCUSSION It's been rewarding, it's been challenging...I've felt vulnerable at times, I've felt competent. It's been fun, it's been a good experience. Again I've learned so much...I feel like I've learned a new language in some capacity, (participant) This study was designed to explore the experiences of Counselling Psychology doctoral students as they underwent the transition from being a counsellor to taking on the role and responsibilities of a clinical supervisor. The research question that served to guide this phenomenological study was: How do supervisors-in-training experience and make sense of the process of becoming a clinical supervisor? Six doctoral students enrolled in a clinical supervision course voluntarily participated in a series of three process interviews over an 8-month time period while taking a required supervision course. In addition, they participated in one follow-up interview to review and validate the common underlying themes of experience that characterized their journey and process of becoming a clinical supervisor. Phenomenological themes that were common to all participants were uncovered in each of the three interview sets. These shared structures of meaning provided in rich detail the participating doctoral students experiences of the process of becoming clinical supervisors, and how they made sense of their experiences. In addition to the common patterns of experience that were discovered, a relationship dimension emerged that was shared by all participants, and ran through all themes in all sets of interviews. 233 The focus of this chapter is to discuss the significance of this study's findings as they relate to the field of supervision. Recognizing and taking into account the contextual and methodological limitations of the present research, the results are compared with the available theoretical literature related to supervisor development. This comparison is followed by a discussion of the implications for supervisor training and recommendations for future research. The chapter concludes with a brief personal reflection by the researcher. Limitations of the Study Phenomenological research follows the tradition of descriptive science as opposed to explanatory science (Giorgi, 1986). It focuses on understanding people's experiences of their worlds and not on the generation of explanatory laws (Giorgi, 1970). Generalizability is based on empathic understanding as opposed to statistical generalizability (Osborne, 1990). Given the underlying assumptions of phenomenological research, the findings presented herein refer to the six participants of this study only. They are not generalizable to a larger population. The thematic content that emerged reflects a particular training context and cohort. All participants were enrolled in the Counselling Psychology Doctoral program at the University of British Columbia. The supervisory training that they underwent was designed specifically for that particular program. It is possible that some of the participant comments and ensuing results may be attributed to the particular training context. In addition, all participants were Canadian and of Caucasian descent. Different cohort groups in the same program, cohort groups in other supervisory training programs, and different demographics (i.e., ethnicity, culture) open the possibility for different 234 experiences and therefore, different results. For this reason the current findings should be considered exploratory in nature. The number of participants and