Transference and Clinical Supervision Part 2
You yourself, depending on your own level of training andÂ experience as a supervisor, may be unaware of the influenceÂ you exert on supervisees. You may feel anxious about how youÂ are perceived and responsible for the ‘good work’ of yourÂ supervisees. Unconsciously, therefore there may be temptation
to act into the role of the wise and infallible supervisor,Â especially if you feel threatened by your own lack ofÂ experience.
The other side of newly developing supervisees is that they bringÂ fresh energy and new ideas, and this may be threatening toÂ long established supervisors who have become very set in theirÂ ways. The temptation here may be to put supervisees ‘in theirÂ place’.Â Kadushin  has pointed out that the field of supervision isÂ rich in opportunities for game playing and this can includeÂ supervisors as well as supervisees.
Therapists trained in the person centred tradition are trainedÂ from the beginning to make use of the relationship in terms ofÂ congruence or genuineness. They would be trying to be awareÂ of all that was happening within themselves at any givenÂ moment in the session and feeding this back into theÂ relationship if they felt it appropriate. The problems occur in theÂ supervisory relationship however, where there are more feelingsÂ and awareness to hold onto.
Meams  outlines the many possibilities in the unspokenÂ relationship for transference and countertransference materialÂ to get in the way:
1. Unclarified differences of opinion about the aims and
practice of supervision
2. The therapist’s unvoiced reactions to the supervisor
3. The supervisor’s unvoiced reactions to the therapist
4. The therapist’s unexpressed assumptions about the
5. The supervisor’s unexpressed assumptions about the
6. The therapist’s unexpressed assumptions about how the
supervisor experiences the therapist’s behaviour
7. The supervisor’s unexpressed assumptions about how the
therapist experiences supervision
Thus there are layers and layers of potential misunderstanding.Â In supervision especially the relationship often goes unÂ addressed because of the assumption that the overridingÂ concern is the client’s material. There is also the concern thatÂ the supervision may be converted into therapy, therefore anyÂ discussion of possible transference and countertransference isÂ avoided.
A strong supervisory alliance, however, is one in which it isÂ recognised that at any moment from session to session, andÂ particularly in review sessions, it may be useful and necessary toÂ focus on the relationship obstacles.