Empathy, Ethics, and Empowerment: Supervising the Transpersonal Therapist

John Elfers, Sofia University, Palo Alto, CA, USA
Patty Hlava, Sofia University, Palo Alto, CA, USA


This grounded theory study addressed the question What model explains the essential qualities, skills, and competencies of an effective supervisory relationship for transpersonal therapists in training? It emerged out of a recognition that current training models for supervisors were not inclusive of competencies to address the needs of therapist trainees who are oriented toward a transpersonal approach to psychotherapy. The results of 22 interviews with trainees and supervisors surfaced a fundamental tension within the supervisory relationship in the distinction among the primary responsibility of the supervisor for ensuring client welfare, and encouraging supervisees to develop their personal therapeutic orientation and the self of the therapist. Emergent themes describe the nature of a supervisory relationship that encourages