Enhancing clinical supervisors' compassion satisfaction through mentoring mental health clinicians

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Luft, Toupey M.
LaRocque, K. M.
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Mentoring Institute
The overall purpose of the study was to generate an increased understanding of clinical supervisors’ (those supervising mental health clinicians) experiences of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue and to obtain their views on how these affect their supervisory and clinical practice. Further, our purpose was to develop recommendations for enhancing the relationships between clinical supervisors and the mental health clinicians they supervise. This study used a hermeneutic phenomenological (HP) approach. HP is well established as a language-based methodology that allows for meaning generation through qualitative interviews (Moules et al., 2015). We conducted in-depth interviews with nine clinical supervisors in the mental health field. We transcribed these interviews verbatim and analyzed them for underlying meaning using HP. We used research team reflexive practices as well as follow-up participant interviews to ensure trustworthiness. One of the key findings was that clinical supervisors felt more satisfied (and by extension less fatigued) in their roles when they had the opportunity to mentor less experienced mental health clinicians. They highlighted the joy that this brought them and how it allowed them to navigate the demands of complex systems where cutbacks were the norm. Mentoring junior clinicians was a way to encourage clinician development and to enhance the supervisory alliance. This study adds to our knowledge about clinical supervision relationships via the supervisory alliance, the developmental relationship between supervisors and therapist supervisees. There is an abundance of research on the perspectives of therapists, but we do not know much about how supervisors experience this supervisory alliance. This study also adds to the literature on clinical supervision by explicating how mentorship can affect supervisees as well as clients by extension through parallel processes (Tracey et al., 2012).
Clinical supervisors , Mental health field , Mentoring , Supervision relationships
Luft, T. M., & LaRocque, K. M. (2023). Enhancing clinical supervisors' compassion satisfaction through mentoring mental health clinicians. The Chronicle of Mentoring & Coaching, 7(16), 382-387.