Reflective insights on group clinical supervision; understanding transference in the nursing context

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Reflecting on group theory within clinical supervision offers useful vantage points from which to engage nursing and the helping professions in the task of supervisory practice. This paper presents reflective experiences of group clinical supervision training and practice through a critique of Hawkins and Shohet’s process centred model. The underlying premise of transference hypothesis is that experiences and memories from the past inform present behaviours. Little has been written about the hypothesis in relation to clinical supervision in nursing and the helping professions. However, the hypothesis was criticised by John M. Shlien in the 1980s and remains pertinent today due to expansion into social and healthcare practice. Reflective autobiographical diary entries focus on the model’s two latter stages which propose the use of Sigmund Freud’s transference hypothesis. The work of Freud, Foulkes, Heidegger and Hawkins and Shohet are synthesised and conclude with a phenomenological suggestion that immediacy and openness are necessary ontological conditions for group clinical supervision. Valuing empathic attunement to better understand group clinical supervision may be more important than theoretical distractions for non-therapeutic clinical supervision practice

Keywords: Freud; group clinical supervision; helping professions; nursing; transference

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Health, University of Central Lancashire, Brook Building, Victoria St, Preston PR1 2HE, UK

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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