Attitude to Supervision as the Form of Professional Support: Survey Results of the Helping Professions’ Specialists

(Diana Shtryhol1, Larysa Spitsyna2, Victoria Melman3, Oleksii Vydysh4,

Inese Stankus-Visa5, Zilvinas Gailius6)

1 V.N.Karazin Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv, Ukraine

2 Zaporizhzhia National University, Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine

3 KRI NAPA, Kharkiv, Ukraine

4 City Social Services Center for Family, Children and Youth, Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine

5 Аssociation of national Organisation for Supervision in Europe, Latvia

6 "Kitokie projektai", Kaunas, Lithuania


Introduction. Over the past 20 years, there has been an unprecedented growth in the use of counseling and therapeutic approaches in the field of helping professions, in part because of the transition from more traditional forms of inpatient care to "community care" for people experiencing difficult life situations and in need of support. This transition not only led to increased demands on helping professionals, but also accelerated the realization that such work should be accompanied by appropriate supervision (P. Hawkins, R. Schochet). These issues have been very actively discussed in the publications of the last three decades in the works of Carroll, Page and Wosket, Brown and Bourne, Bond and Holland, Carroll and Holloway, Gilbert and Evans, Inskipp and Proctor, Kühl, Schreyögg, Rohr, Willke. And so today we have, on the one hand, a justified need for studying, developing and applying supervision in the practice of psychotherapy and counseling, on the other – an obvious and understandable lack of knowledge of supervision both at the theoretical and practical levels.

Methodology. That is why it seems reasonable and justified for us to study the attitude towards supervision as a form of professional support for specialists in Ukraine by interviewing specialists helping professions. The methodological basis of our research was an integrative approach that combines the principles of the humanistic, systemic, psychodynamic, cognitive – behavioral approaches realized in the practice of intersubject interaction between the supervisor and supervisee. The method used is a specially developed questionnaire for studying attitudes towards various aspects of supervising of psychologists, social workers, psychotherapists, psychiatrists (a sample of more than 100 respondents).

Results. In our research, we proceed from the assumption that supervision is a form of professional counseling aimed at improving the quality of communications and cooperation in the professional context, a form of professional support in the field of helping occupations, in business, in psychological and psychotherapeutic practice, etc.

In the European model of supervision, carried out on the basis of the professional standards of the Аssociation of national Organisation for Supervision in Europe (ANSE), the supervisor is an independent specialist, invited to the organization. In the process of group work supervisor with supervisor (group, organization) creates conditions for:

• Improvement of professional activity, first of all, due to improvement of interpersonal communication and interaction in groups;

• Solving problem, conflict situations depending on the current needs of the organization; Search for the best solution for the organization at the moment;

• Prevention of emotional burnout of employees of the organization;

• Creation of conditions for constructive communication, which involves working out and solving problems of members of the supervisory group, search and awareness of resources;

• Implementation of emotional support, achievement of understanding, allowing the client to realize the possibilities of self-help, creation of conditions for making an informed, well -balanced decision;

• Development of professional and socio-psychological competencies of employees of organizations.

Conclusions. Various aspects of the attitude of the interviewed specialists to the supervisory process, professional experience, types of problem situations and methods for their solution, experience of participation, motivation and efficiency conditions of the supervision and other aspects of supervisory interaction were analyzed on base of results of the survey.

The obtained results confirmed the earlier assumption about the important role of supervision as a regulator of professional relations in the field of helping professions in Ukraine, showed the possibilities of using resources of supervisory relations for solving various professional tasks, confirmed the motivation of professionals for participation and training in supervisory programs. And this is a unique result of our research, which raises previously completely unexplored topics of professional psychotherapeutic / psychological discourse in Ukraine.

At the same time, as a result of the survey, we received confirmation that participants were not sufficiently aware of the supervisory process as a whole, as well as of certain aspects of it, about the resources of supervisory reflection in solving psychotherapeutic problems. And, at the same time, this problem (clearing) quite clearly indicates the direction of development and implementation of supervision in the practice of providing psychosocial support and assistance in mental health.

Keywords: supervision, psychosocial support, professional experience, professional relations, helping professions, psychotherapy, counseling.

Svit One - tools for business Made in Svit