Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. John S. Geisler

Second Advisor

Dr. Suzanne Hedstrom

Third Advisor

Dr. Paula Andrasi


Although group supervision is widely employed with counselors during their training (Holloway & Johnston, 1985; Prieto, 1998) little research concerning its practice has been offered in the literature. The fact that group supervision practices appear to be based on assumptions that lack empirically-based support has led some researchers to raise ethical concerns regarding its continued use (Hess, 1997; Prieto, 1996). In particular, many have raised concerns regarding counselor educators and supervisors' lack of understanding regarding the role of group processes in group supervision. Accordingly, this exploratory studysought to investigate counselor-trainees' experiences of group processes in group supervision. The study also sought to generate research questions for future investigation.

To examine the role of group processes in group supervision both quantitative and qualitative methodologies were employed. In the quantitativeinvestigation, 42 masters-level counseling practicum students from four different university training programs completed a demographics questionnaire and arevised version of Yalom's (1995) Therapeutic Factors Scale (TFS-R). In the qualitative investigation, eight participants from the quantitative sample took partin semi-structured follow up interviews. These interviews were designed to further assess participants' experiences in group supervision.

The results of the study indicated that group processes may have both positive and negative effects on group supervision of counselors-in-training. In thequantitative investigation, participants rated 11 of the 12 therapeutic factors as measured by the TFS-R to be at least "Slightly Helpful" to their professional training in group supervision. In the qualitative investigation, five domains indicative of group processes (Cohesion, Conflict, Guidance, Observation, and Feedback) emerged during data analysis. Additionally, five other domains describing variables affecting participants' experiences in group supervision (Time Issues, Different Backgrounds, Class Size, Outside Stressors, and Suggestions) also emerged. Based on the results of the study, several suggestions for the practice of group supervision and for further research are offered.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access