Relational Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Supervision
For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories
In Relational Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Supervision, guest expert supervisor, Dr. Joan E. Sarnat, demonstrates and discusses this approach to supervision. The goal of relational psychodynamic supervision is to create a more experiential, participatory, and relationship-focused form of supervision, one that not only provides usable psychotherapeutic knowledge and skills, but also facilitates the emotional and relational development that is essential to becoming an effective psychodynamic psychotherapist.
In this video, Sarnat and her supervisee engage in a supervisory session, and host Dr. Hanna Levenson interviews them about their work together, exploring the constructs of this model and the nature of the supervisory relationship.
In the session, Dr. Sarnat's supervisee conveys that she is frustrated by how her patient is discounting her during the termination phase of therapy. By becoming aware of and working with her own feelings of frustration within the session, Dr. Sarnat demonstrates the art of using a reenactment to help the supervisee deepen her awareness and thereby facilitate the therapy.
In her approach to supervision, Dr. Joan E. Sarnat works from an intersubjective model. This relational context fosters an environment where supervisees feel free to bring material into the supervisory relationship that they would otherwise feel too shameful to acknowledge, and to receive help with the emotional issues that are most troubling in their work with patients.
The supervisory relationship must feel safe enough to allow supervisees to share their authentic experience, and yet challenge them enough to stimulate growth and development. Dr. Sarnat does this by taking responsibility for her own contributions — both helpful and harmful — to what transpires in both the supervisory and clinical relationships.
The supervisor's skillful processing of enactments in the supervisory relationship models for her supervisee how to work with enactments in the therapeutic situation with profound results.
Joan E. Sarnat, PhD, ABPP, is currently a psychologist-psychoanalyst in clinical and supervisory practice in Berkeley, California. She is a personal and supervising analyst and on the faculty at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California and serves on their Board of Directors. She also teaches and supervises at The Psychotherapy Institute, Berkeley, California; The Wright Institute, Berkeley, California.; and the Northern California Society for Psychology; and for many years ran a consultation group for supervisors at Access Institute, San Francisco and served on their advisory board.
Dr. Sarnat is a member of APA, including membership in Division 39 (Psychoanalysis); The International Psychoanalytic Association; The Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology; The National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology; and has been board-certified in clinical psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology since 1992.
Dr. Sarnat has co-authored, with Mary Gail Frawley O'Dea, The Supervisory Relationship: A Contemporary Psychodynamic Approach (Guilford Press, 2001), as well as many papers and chapters on psychoanalytic supervision. She lectures widely on this topic.
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- Safran, J. D., & Muran, J. C. (2000). Negotiating the therapeutic alliance: A relational treatment guide. New York: Guilford Press.
- Sarnat, (2012). Supervising Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: Present Knowledge, Pressing Needs, Future Possibilities, Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 242, (3) 151–160
- The Integrated Developmental Model of Psychotherapy Supervision
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