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Developing the Personal Style of the Supervisor Scale: An Evaluation of Stylistic Profiles of Clinical Supervisors


Supervision is an essential component in the development of scientist-practitioner psychologists, and currently one of the primary ways that aspiring professional psychologists develop practical skills and receive training in their field. Although research has demonstrated that supervisors utilize diverse approaches, the literature has not yet identified different supervisor personal styles and the effects that these may have on supervision. This study contributes to the understanding of the personal styles of supervisors by adapting the psychotherapy construct known as the personal style of the therapist (PST) to the assessment of the personal style of the supervisor (PSS). The study focused on developing the scale, evaluating its psychometric properties, and identifying broad similarities and differences in supervisory styles. The result is a 34 item self-report scale that evaluates eight distinct dimensions of a supervisor's personal style. The psychometrics of the measure were evaluated, as well as general tendencies in supervisors' PSS and differences based on demographic characteristics. Findings indicate that supervisors sampled tended to: work within a flexible framework; bring themselves into supervision, either by self-disclosing or revealing their emotional states; think about supervisees in their personal time; be slightly more facilitative than didactic; have a slightly more active approach to managing conflict; and view multicultural issues as central to supervision. PSS differences were found based on supervisor's gender, ethnicity, licensure level, supervision model, psychotherapy model, and hours of supervision provided a week. A discussion of the implications of the findings and possible training uses of the PSS-Q as well as the limitations of the study is included.

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