Behind the (Virtual) Mirror: Online Live Supervision in Couple and Family Therapy

Yochay Nadan*, Razi Shachar, Daniella Cramer, Tali Leshem, Darylle Levenbach, Rinat Rozen, Nurit Salton, Saviona Cramer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Online therapy and supervision, a rapidly rising practice in couple and family therapy, has been the subject of a growing body of literature. From its early days, family therapy training has included live supervision, which has typically been conducted by a supervisor and a team of trainees situated on the other side of a one-way mirror. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we—the staff of supervisors at the Barcai Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel—were compelled to find solutions to continue meeting with clients and to provide supervision for family therapy trainees. To this end, we have shifted our live supervision courses (“practicums”) to the virtual arena, adapting the popular application “Zoom” into what we call “PractiZoom.” Based on over 100 PractiZoom sessions conducted between March and May 2020, involving 14 supervisors and 28 therapists-in-training and their clients, the article reflects on this pioneering online practicum for the online live supervision of therapists with geographically distributed participants. In this article, we outline our operational methods and adaptations for conducting live behind-the-mirror supervision online. Following a short theoretical background, we outline the process of online live supervision, discuss our reflections and those of our trainees on the challenges and possibilities it poses, and offer a number of preliminary conclusions and recommendations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)997-1006
Number of pages10
JournalFamily Process
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Family Process Institute

Keywords

  • Cyber Supervision
  • Live Supervision
  • Online Therapy
  • Outsider Witness Group
  • Technology-Assisted Counseling

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