An investigation of supervisory practices to develop relational and reflective competence in psychologists
Background: Competency-based models of supervision acknowledge relationship, including reflective capacity, as foundational in professional psychology. However, current understandings of supervisory practices aimed at developing this competency are limited. Objective: This study aimed to explore the practices used in supervision for the development of supervisee relational competence. These practices were also examined with reference to supervisor/supervisee theoretical orientation, as well as the nature of the supervisory relationship (including working alliance, real relationship, and attention to parallel process in supervision). Method: A total of 45 supervisees and 41 supervisors participated in an online survey in which they rated the perceived usefulness and actual use of various supervisory interventions for the development of relational competence. Participants also provided qualitative responses regarding the methods used to develop relationship competence. Finally, respondents completed measures of supervisory working alliance, real relationship, and attention to parallel process in supervision. Results: Ratings of supervisory methods and qualitative responses revealed a rich variety of interventions currently being utilised in enhancing supervisee relationship competence. Ratings of perceived usefulness and actual use of various supervisory interventions were not related to theoretical orientation. Finally, correlational analyses revealed multiple associations between the nature of the supervisory relationship and perceived usefulness and actual use of supervisory interventions for enhancing relational competence. Conclusion: The results of this study have important implications for the practice of supervision and guiding directions of future research.