When the Supervisor Needs a Supervisor: A Case-based Guide for Developing Psychotherapy Supervisors

Aimee Murray, Amber Frank, Donna Sudak, David R. Topor, Anne E. Ruble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Supervision of psychotherapy is recognized as fundamental for attaining competency in psychotherapy. However, there is a lack of training in "best practices"of supervisory skills, and some supervisors may lack contemporary knowledge to support supervisees adequately. Training program leadership challenged by limited time and resources to provide supervisors with the necessary education and support can benefit from additional resources for developing psychotherapy supervisors. The authors present 3 core elements of navigating supervisory challenges: training, open dialogue in supervision, and a formal program-level process. Common issues in psychotherapy supervision are then presented in a case-based format. Reflection questions are included to provide an opportunity to consider a personal approach to the case, while specific guidance based on the literature addresses critical aspects of the case examples. Complex supervisory conflicts can challenge programs, but they are normative to the learning process and promote growth in our supervisors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-48
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of psychiatric practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 5 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A.M. receives research funding from NIH/NIMH (Grant # R01MH120589), Stanley Medical Research Institute (Grant # 15T-010 NCE), and the Fredrick B. Wells, Jr. Foundation. D.S. receives book royalties from American Psychiatric Publishing, John Wiley and Sons, & Wolters-Kluver. She also has leadership roles on the American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Residency Training–Steering Committee and the ACGME Review Committee for Psychiatry. A.F. is contracted faculty with Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA, and has received travel support to annual educational conferences through this employment. The remaining authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • implicit bias
  • psychotherapy supervision
  • supervision
  • supervision challenges
  • training director

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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