Critical Factors in Supervision: The Patient, the Therapist, and the Supervisor
To be certified or licensed, all mental health workers1 must be supervised. In some countries, states, or provinces, supervision is required before licensure; in others, supervision continues throughout the licensed practitioner’s professional career. Supervision, defined elegantly by Hess (1987), “is a relationship in which one person’s skills in conducting psychotherapy and his or her identity as a therapist are intentionally and potentially enhanced by the interaction with another person” (pp. 255-256). I add that the interaction may occur in the context of a supervision group in which group members as well as a designated supervisor respond to the supervisee and the supervisee’s cases, as well as in an interaction between two individuals working together without other participants in the room. Naturally, the relationship includes the supervisor, the supervisee, and sometimes the supervisee’s colleagues, but also the client who, except in some forms of live or cotherapist supervision, is not physically present during supervision.