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Book presents a "constructive" model of psychotherapy supervision

Book Presents a Constructive Model of Psychotherapy Supervision
Professor develops innovative approach based on constructivist principles 

Clinical supervision is essential to the successful training and ongoing professional development of psychotherapists from all the mental health professions, including counseling, psychology, social work, and marriage and family therapy. While clinical supervision has many similarities with psychotherapy, it is a distinct activity that requires its own theories and techniques.  A new book, Constructive Clinical Supervision in Counseling and Psychotherapy (Routledge, January 2015), authored by Douglas Guiffrida, associate professor at the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education, articulates a novel approach to clinical supervision that integrates constructivist ideas of human growth and change with several diverse theories of psychotherapy.

In the book’s foreword, Janine Bernard, co-author of Fundamentals of Clinical Supervision, the leading text on clinical supervision, declared, “Although there has been an occasional article that articulates a constructivist approach to supervision, the mental health professions have yet to have a resource that is theoretically grounded and practical, and that wrestles with sticky (and endemic) issues like assessment. With Guiffrida’s Constructive Clinical Supervision, we now have such a resource.”

Constructive Clinical Supervision has also received praise from other prominent mental health experts, including Robert A. Neimeyer, author of Constructivist Psychotherapy and editor of the Journal of Constructivist Psychology, who referred to it as “a thoughtful gem of a book.” Richard Ryan, the co-founder of the Self-Determination Theory of motivation, described the book as a “rare find for clinical supervisors” and L. Dianne Borders, author of The New Handbook of Counseling Supervision and editor of The Clinical Supervisor, labeled the book “thoughtful, integrative, and novel.”  Emphasizing the utility of the book for supervisors of all theoretical orientations (not just constructivists), Rodney K. Goodyear, co-author of Fundamentals of Clinical Supervision, stated, “Professor Guiffrida has written a book that all supervisors will want to own.”
Constructive Clinical Supervision in Counseling and PsychotherapyConstructive Clinical Supervision is written in a way that is highly accessible and inviting to supervisors who are new to constructivist ideas, while also offering sufficient theoretical depth and practical utility for those already well-versed in constructivism. It is written for supervisors from all backgrounds, from beginning graduate students who are learning about supervision for the first time, to seasoned veterans who are exploring ways to deepen their clinical practice.  The ideas presented in the book are applicable to supervision occurring in a wide range of settings, including schools, mental health clinics, and medical facilities.  With its focus on exploring and honoring client, supervisee, and supervisor diversity, Constructive Clinical Supervision provides valuable tools for facilitating cultural competence in both supervisees and supervisors. 

Guiffrida begins by briefly defining constructivism, including constructivist views of development and human change processes, and constructivist approaches to psychotherapy. Next, he clearly outlines the diverse theories of psychotherapy that are most salient when implementing a constructive approach, while also explaining how these seemingly divergent perspectives can be integrated in ways that facilitate growth and development among supervisees from a constructive perspective. He then offers extensive guidelines for conducting constructive supervision, including providing case examples and numerous activities for use with supervisees. Guiffrida also concretely addresses the complex issue of conducting assessments in ways that are consistent with constructivist thinking. The book concludes with Guiffrida answering several common questions about constructive clinical supervision, which range from how to ethically manage gatekeeping responsibilities, to how to work with supervisees who struggle to develop their own answers.

Guiffrida, who is an Approved Clinical Supervisor, a Nationally Certified Counselor, and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (N.Y.), has nearly 20 years of clinical supervision experience and has taught a doctoral-level class in clinical supervision since 2000. The author of over 30 articles and book chapters in leading counseling and higher education publications, Guiffrida has served as an associate editor for best practices for the Journal of Counseling Development, senior associate editor for the Journal of College Counseling, and as a reviewer and editorial board member for several other scholarly publications. He is the recipient of the 2007 American Counseling Association’s Ralph F. Berdie Research Award, which recognizes innovative college student affairs research.

Constructive Clinical Supervision in Counseling and Psychotherapy provides an opportunity for readers to earn continuing education credit for the learning they engage in while reading this book.