• Dan A. Ratliff, PHD, is Assistant Professor and Director, Mariage and Family Therapy Program, Department of Counseling and Human Servies, St. Mary's University, 1 Camino Santa Maria, San Antonio, TX 78228-8527.

  • Karen Wampler, PhD, is Professor and Director, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-1162.

  • G. H. “Bud” Morris, PhD, is Professor, Communication Program, College of Art and Sciences, California State University, San Marcos, CA 92096-0001.

  • This research reveived the 1993 Graduate Research Award of the Research and Education Foundation of the Americal Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Portions of this paper were presented at the 1994 AAMFT Annual Conference. Requests for reprints should be directed to the first author.


This study describes what occurs when trainees and supervisors encounter a lack of consensus in supervison. We identified 120 episodes indicating a lack of consensus between a supervisor and a trainee during 23 hr of supervison. Qualitative analysis of teh episodes described 10 supervisor responses, characterized as influence and evaluation, and eight trainee responses, characterized as cooperation and deference. The pattern of supervisor-trainee interaction wa characterized by negotation and collaboration. Supervisors and trainees collaborate to produce a presentation of the rtrainee as a competent clinician and a copperative trainee. Supervisors identify deficiencies and offer requests in a subtle manner that appears open to modification, this cooperating with the trainee's competent and cooperative image.