Triadic Supervision: An Exploration of Supervisors' Perceptions, Experiences and Practices Open Access
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Abstract of DissertationTriadic Supervision: An Exploration of Supervisors’ Perceptions, Experiences and Practices Although first recognized as an equivalent to individual supervision in the 2001 standards of The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), to date it still remains the case that very little research has been done on this unique and increasingly popular supervision modality. Despite being utilized in counselor education programs across the county, as of the spring of 2015, only seven dissertations and 13 empirical journal articles have been written addressing triadic supervision specifically. With this being the case, relatively little is known about the various processes that underlie the triadic supervision process or about best practices to increase its effectiveness. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and gain a better understanding of supervisors’ perceptions, experiences and practices with regards to triadic supervision. Data was collected by way of in-depth, semi-structured interviews conducted either via phone or via Skype. Of the 23 supervisors who participated in this study, all had conducted triadic supervision within the last 5 years and all were either graduates of, currently enrolled doctoral students in or faculty members at CACREP accredited programs. Data was analyzed using basic interpretive qualitative techniques, where more specifically the seven-step analysis plan detailed by Marshall and Rossman (2006) was utilized. The initial fourteen themes that emerged from the data analysis process were further synthesized into eight primary findings. These findings addressed the three primary research questions of this study: (a) How do supervisors go about structuring their triadic supervision sessions and what is the thought process behind this decision? (b) What are supervisors’ thoughts on the role and influence of the second supervisee in session and on the supervisory process? (c) What specific aspects of triadic supervision impact supervisors’ behavior and decision-making throughout the course of the supervisory process? Implications for counselor preparation and practices were discussed, where specific and separate recommendations were given for both Counselor Education programs and for supervisors. Recommendations for future research were also discussed.