Lost in the crucible of supportive clinical supervision: supervision is not therapy


  • Tania Yegdich RPN DipNMN

    1. Clinical Nurse Consultant (Clinical Supervision), Mental Health Centre, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Herston and Psychotherapist, Private Practice, Brisbane, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author

TaniaYegdich RPN DipNMN tyegdich@gil.com.au


Lost in the crucible of supportive clinical supervision: supervision is not therapy

Clinical supervision as a mechanism that supports both professional and personal development is a concept that has captured the imagination of nurses. Though nurses generally agree that `supervision is not therapy', a clear distinction cannot be enunciated between these two processes when both aim at personal growth. In combining personal and professional growth, the rationale for clinical supervision is unnecessarily confused, with the unfortunate result that supervision may, unwittingly, become a form of therapy for nurses. This paper examines a model of supportive clinical supervision qua Chambers and Long's example of a facilitative therapeutic supervisory style, that reflects nurses' conceptualization of clinical supervision as enhancing personal and professional growth. However, it could be argued that this stance is in crucial respects incorrect, and needs to be rethought if clinical supervision is to be established as credible in nursing. Subsequently, it is important to remember that the utilization of certain techniques rather than their stated goals, will dictate the form that supervision, or therapy, will take. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the logical unacceptability in combining two processes as one, while developing a conceptual framework that differentiates supervision from therapy.