‘Out of the sighs’— an existential-phenomenological method of clinical supervision: the contribution to palliative care


  • Alun Jones PhD RMN RGN MA Dip Psychotherapy CPN Cert PGDE

    1. Lecturer in Nursing, Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL
    Search for more papers by this author


This paper describes a method of clinical supervision that engages a Macmillan home care nurse in an existential-phenomenological exchange. A synthesis of Egan's method of problem management and phenomenological interviewing, is offered as an approach to clinical supervision considered appropriate for palliative care nursing. Through a case study approach the author affords glimpses into the life world of palliative care nursing. It is suggested that conflicts experienced in the field both manifest themselves in the supervisory encounter and parallel the nurse's and supervisor's own existential struggles. The discussion as such throws light on what is, frequently, the heart rending nature of palliative care nurses’ chosen area of work and illuminates the mutual profundity of the experience of palliative care.