Supervisee perceptions of the use of metacommunication in the supervisory relationship
Objective: This study examined the use of metacommunication in supervision from supervisees' perspectives.
Method: A total of 129 supervisees completed the Metacommunication in Supervision Questionnaire-MSQ, a measure devised for the purpose of this study to explore the frequency and willingness to use various forms of metacommunication in clinical supervision. Measures of the nature of the supervisory relationship (also from the supervisee's perspective) were taken to explore whether a relationship exists between the nature of supervision and supervisees' perspectives on the use of metacommunication.
Results: There was general concordance between supervisee ratings of their own willingness and their perception of their supervisor's willingness to use various forms of metacommunication in supervision. There were significant differences in the reported frequency with which the different types of metacommunication are actually used. A factor analysis elicited a two-factor structure underlying the MSQ and significant correlations with measures of the nature of the supervision relationship were observed. It appears that metacommunication around difficult or uncomfortable feelings in the supervisory relationship occurs less often than other components of metacommunication.
Conclusion: Future research needs to further validate the MSQ and assess whether the frequency of metacommunication in the supervisory relationship is related to metacommunication in supervisees' psychotherapy with clients.