Clinical supervision of mental health professionals serving youth : format, function, and psychotherapeutic content




Bailin, Abby Pauline

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Clinical supervision is a key training tool for mental health professionals in routine community care settings serving children; however, there is limited scientific evaluation of the specific ingredients that comprise supervision, particularly outside the context of clinical efficacy and effectiveness trials. This study examines the format, function, micro skills, and psychotherapeutic content of routine supervision. Supervisors (n = 13) and supervisees (n = 20) reported on 100 supervision sessions, and a subset of audio recorded sessions (n = 57) was assessed with observational coding. Results indicated supervisory strategies utilized in research trials shown to enhance supervisee competency were largely absent from routine supervision (e.g., role play, corrective feedback), and were delivered with insufficient competency (e.g., live modeling). Brief discussion of evidence-based therapeutic content for common youth disorders was present across sessions; however, discussion of some core evidence-based elements was largely absent (i.e., exposure for anxiety and behavioral activation for depression).


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