Supervision and Experiential Learning of Trainees in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Supervision is an important step in professional training of counsellors and psychotherapists. It aims at learning on the job in the transition phase from training to professional practice. Theoretical, methodological and personal learning processes are to be linked by guiding and supporting trainees to reflect upon their first professional experiences in counselling and psychotherapeutic practise.
In the presentation an ongoing study of systematic reflection on supervision in psychodrama training is introduced. Psychodrama training for educators, counsellors and psychotherapists is provided in most of the European countries. Training Organisations are organized in the Federation of Psychodrama Training Institutes (FEPTO).
The objective of the study is to investigate the learning process regarding different aspects of professional learning like theoretical, methodological, relational and personal dimensions. Furthermore, a specific interest is on studying the specific impact of experiential methods and interventions like enactment, psychodramatic and sociometric ways of reflections. The study is undertaken at the University of Innsbruck, where a specific four year training programme is offered for counsellors and psychotherapist.
In this study 18 student trainees at the University of Innsbruck are participating who are in their third year of training. All participants have to get 600 hours of psychodrama practice and 120 hours of supervision during the 3rd and 4th year of their training. Supervision is provided by four different experienced supervisors in small groups of 3-5 students.
After each session trainees fill in a self-report questionnaire covering the supervisory alliance, the achievement of the goals in supervision and the transfer of the learning outcome to their professional practice. A specific focus in the self-report is on helpful and hindering factors of verbal and experiential procedures and interventions in supervision.
Furthermore, in depth interviews are conducted with the participating trainees in order to get a more profound understanding of their learning and how helpful and hindering aspects in supervision are influencing the learning process.
In the presentation preliminary results will be shown and discussed in the context of previous studies in this field. Helpful aspects but also hindering learning experiences of trainees will be discussed. The results of the study are relevant for teachers and trainers who want to support the transition of students from theoretical learning to practical experiences in professional areas which demand a high level of personal involvement and social competence. Experiential methods of reflection and learning can effectively support enrich the learning experience of students.
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