Healing the Scars: A Phenomenological Study of Clinical Supervisors' Lived-Experiences of Supervising Counselors Who Serve Female Intimate Partner Violence Survivors in Texas




Maghsoudi, Mahsa

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Current research indicates survivors of IPV experience shame and judgment from mental health professionals. This emphasizes the role of clinical supervision in preparing counselors to offer quality services to the survivors; however, there is a gap in the literature in regard to supervisors' experience in supervising counselors who work with female IPV survivors. The study explored the experiences of clinical supervisors working with counselors of female IPV survivors. I employed a transcendental phenomenological approach to capture the essence of experiences of these supervisors. The participants included six female and two male clinical supervisors. Two participants received their Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision; five of them received their Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling; and one participant earned her Master's degree in Social Work. The data analysis resulted in three themes and their sub-themes: lack of training (IPV/trauma/burnout and VT; ethics/state laws/advocacy; biases and basic skills), personal awareness (personal IPV experiences; personal limits), and supervisor responsibility (supervisory relationship; counselor competence; supervisory competence). I explored implications for counselors, counselor educators, and supervisors and discussed limitations and opportunities for future research.


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Clinical Supervisors stigma, Competence, Counselors, Female Intimate Partner Violence, Stigma, Training