A qualitative investigation of student and supervisor perceptions of live supervision in genetic counseling

Susan M. Hendrickson, Patricia Mc Carthy Veach, Bonnie S. LeRoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Live supervision of genetic counseling students is critical for ensuring quality client care and student clinical skill development. However, no research has investigated students' and supervisors' experience of this primary supervision method. In this study, separate focus groups of students and supervisors discussed their perceptions of the nature and impact of live supervision. A modified Consensual Qualitative Research method (Hill et al. (1997) Couns Psychol 25:517-572) was used to analyze the data. Results suggest that live supervision is an essential and effective method that promotes student skill development and professional development for both students and supervisors. There is a lack of formal training regarding supervision; most learning is trial and error. Students worry about being evaluated, and supervisors wonder if they are providing supervision effectively. Both samples emphasized that client care should not be compromised. Participant recommendations for improving live supervision are described, and suggestions are made for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-49
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Genetic Counseling
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was partially funded by a grant from the University of Minnesota Graduate School. The authors gratefully acknowledge the program directors who assisted us in identifying participants, and our pilot and focus group participants.


  • Clinical supervision
  • Genetic counseling student supervision
  • Live supervision


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