Experience of role discernment and disclosure in triadic supervision: a phenomenological study of counseling students




Lonn, Marlise R.

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This study focused on student counselors engaged in triadic supervision during practicum. The purpose was to understand participants' role discernment and disclosure experiences. This research study used transcendental phenomenological inquiry and analysis methodology. Ten ethnically diverse female participants were interviewed for this project. Interviews allowed participants to explore their experiences and understanding of role discernment and disclosure as a new supervisee in the triadic supervision setting. Results yielded three subsequent themes related to role discernment: the experience of newness (subthemes: new counselor, new supervisee, lacking preparation), dependence on supervisor (subthemes: supervisor expectations, supervision activities, meaning of supervision), and impact of supervision (subthemes: self-awareness, self-care, and consultation). The essence of participant's role discernment experience was changed perception of self and other. Inquiry into disclosure experiences yielded the following themes: relationships (subthemes: supervisor, triad), presence of peer (subthemes: aided disclosure, impeded disclosure), and sharing time. The essence of participants' disclosure experiences was identified as heightened awareness. Results of this study extend triadic supervision research to include the experiences of ethnically diverse participants. Implications of this study include understanding the role discernment experiences of practicum supervisees in the context of triadic supervision. Additionally, implications for supervisor and counselor educators are explored and the need for advanced preparation for supervision is emphasized.


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Counselor Education, Nondisclosure, Phenomenological Study, Role Discernment, Supervision, Triadic Supervision