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Presentations of Self and the Status Dynamics of Psychotherapy and Supervision

American Journal of Psychotherapy, Vol. 62, No. 1, 2008

15 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2014 Last revised: 4 Sep 2014

Wynn Schwartz

Harvard University; William James College

Date Written: 2008

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 ahout 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 autokiographical details and problematic thoughts and feeling is recommended as useful, even though such revelations in psychotherapy practice might be inappropriate or hazardous.

Keywords: psychotherapy supervision, psychotherapy, self presentation, status dynamics, Descriptive Psychology

Suggested Citation

Schwartz, Wynn, Presentations of Self and the Status Dynamics of Psychotherapy and Supervision (2008). American Journal of Psychotherapy, Vol. 62, No. 1, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2450208

Wynn Schwartz (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

William James College ( email )

1 Wells Ave
Newton, MA 02459
United States

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