The Experience of Supervision for Integrative Coach-Therapist Practitioners: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Prof Doc Thesis

Christmas, S. 2019. The Experience of Supervision for Integrative Coach-Therapist Practitioners: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsChristmas, S.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

This study aimed to explore the experience of supervision for integrative coach- therapist

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five integrative coach-therapists. An interpretative
phenomenological analysis was utilised. The analysis created three distinct superordinate themes:
1) Bifurcation and arbitrary lines, 2) Detective work and
3) A conscious sense of belonging. Each of these overarching themes was supported by a number of
subordinate themes that encapsulate the particularities and complexities of the integrative
coach-therapist experience.

One of the key findings of the study was that there appeared to be both similarities and
differences for integrative coach-therapists when compared with the general literature on
supervision experience. A similarity to previous research findings was the relational difficulties
highlighted by the supervision literature. For example: power dynamics, supervisee anxiety and
boundary issues were present in the participants’ experience.
However, a key divergence, was a finding encapsulated by the superordinate theme “A conscious sense
of belonging”. This finding suggests that the integrative coach-therapist practitioners have their
own unique needs in supervision and these needs are integral to their professional identity.

These findings suggest that integrative coach-therapists face challenges and complex relationships
in their supervisory encounters. However, the practitioners also see great potential for
supervision to help foster their professional identity. These insights into practitioners’
experience of supervision highlight avenues for future research. Further qualitative enquiry into
particular topic areas was illuminated, such as group supervision and supervisor experience. An
important implication for counselling psychology practice is that individual integrative
coach-therapists may experience supervision differently, precisely because of how they integrate
practice. Given counselling psychology’s interest in pluralistic practice, the discipline is thus
in a unique position to engage with the development of contemporary integrative practices, such as
integrative coach-therapy.

PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
File Access Level
Publication dates
Online24 Jul 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited24 Jul 2020
SubmittedAug 2019
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License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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