Counselor-in-training experiences of self-compassion training in group supervision




Norris, Caroline Austin


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The purpose of this descriptive phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of counselors-in-training(CITs) who participated in self-compassion interventions as part of their internship group supervision course. A total of 11 internship students participated in journaling and individual interviews, four of whom additionally participated in a focus group. Purposeful sampling was used and participants were recruited from two sections of the internship group supervision course. Participants completed the Self-Compassion Scale-Short Form once prior to participation in in five self-compassion interventions that took place during their group supervision class and journaled about their experiences. Participants were interviewed individually and those who were available participated in a focus group. Data was collected in the form of journal entries, and responses during individual interviews and responses as part of a focus group. Giorgi’s descriptive phenomenological methodology was used to analyze detailed and conscious descriptions provided by CITs concerning their experience with the phenomenon.The findings of this study enhance our understanding of CITs’ experiences participating in self-compassion training during group supervision. Nine constituents emerged during analysis as part of a single structure of participant experience: presence; relaxation; a reflective and evaluative process; thinking about, defining and applying self-compassion; heightened self- awareness; desire to engage in personally meaningful activities and practices; sometimes difficult to do; consideration of clients; and wanting more. Researchers should continue to examine whether self-compassion training can be an effective strategy to encourage CITs to engage in self-care and whether self-compassion training would have lasting impact on development of burnout. Additionally, researchers should consider that participants wanted more than was provided in the self-compassion training, and at times were not able to differentiate topics and concepts covered in the training.



self-compassion, supervision



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