Influence of Trainee Attachment on Counselor Supervision.Report as inadecuate

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Attachment theory offers a useful framework for the study of human behavior in relationships. It has been suggested that applying attachment theory to the study of supervision may increase understanding of both the trainee's and supervisor's experience of supervision. Reviews of empirical work done in the field of supervision point consistently to the need for more information on the supervisory relationship and trainee individual characteristics. This study examines the effect of trainee attachment on supervisory variables; specifically, the main goal of this exploratory study is to investigate the influence of trainee attachment on trainee satisfaction with supervision, perceptions of the supervisory relationship, and perceptions of supervisory style. Graduate students providing individual counseling or psychotherapy and receiving individual supervision were surveyed. Descriptive statistics are provided for the sample (N=233 surveys). Procedures and measures of attachment, supervisory satisfaction, supervisory style, social desirability, and supervisory working alliance are described. Results and conclusions are presented. As the first empirical test of attachment theory's ability to explain aspects of counselor trainees' experiences in supervision, the results are encouraging. Further research directions are discussed. Contains 16 references. (Author/EMK)

Descriptors: Attachment Behavior, Counselor Training, Counselors, Graduate Students, Higher Education, Practicum Supervision, Student Development

Author: Kim, Sue H.; Birk, Janice M.


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