Presentations of Self and the Status Dynamics of Psychotherapy and Supervision

Wynn Schwartz / Published 2008 / Article

Citation: Schwartz, W. (2008). Presentations of self and the status dynamics of psychotherapy and supervision. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 62, 51-65.

Abstract: This article explores basic issues in the status dynamics of psychotherapy and supervision. Self-presentation and status markers create a dynamic that affects the participants in psychotherapy and in its supervision. "Political correctness," at times, makes it difficult for trainees to discuss their feelings and observations about status differences with their supervisors. One of the roles of supervision is the rite of passage, involving moving the trainee from the world of nonpsychologist to membership in the community of psychologists. During supervision, the supervisor's self-disclosure of relevant autobiographical details and problematic thoughts and feeling is recommended as useful, even though such revelations in psychotherapy practice might be inappropriate or hazardous.

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