Centre for Social Work Practice

Beginnings and Endings in Social Work Supervision: The Interaction between Attachment and Developmental Processes

Posted January 01, 2009


Susanne Bennett and Kathleen Holtz Deal – January 2009

This article discusses the interaction of attachment processes and stages of social work student development within the field supervisory relationship and suggests ways supervisors can modify interactions with students. Attachment theory and research provide a framework for understanding innate capacities of students and the relational dynamics of supervision. Developmental stages of learning explain how students mature and the supervisory relationship changes over time. Scenarios from the beginning and ending of the field practicum are used to illustrate how to differentiate attachment traits from developmental states in assessing student affect and behaviour. Recommendations are made for training and future supervision research. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, v29 n1

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