Sara Mack


Peer supervision is an evolving mode of training used in counselor/psychologist/therapist education and professional development. Little is known, however, about the format of peer supervision in clinical and counseling psychology doctoral programs, its effectiveness, or differences in the processes or outcomes of traditional supervision (supervisor of record and supervisee) and peer supervision (consultation between clinical trainees and/or graduate student classmates). This study aimed to examine one aspect of peer supervision and to provide a comparison between supervision of record and peer supervision. The study examined the role of alliance on countertransference disclosure. Fifty-two clinical and counseling psychology doctoral students from APA accredited programs completed the Working Alliance Inventory/Supervision (WAI-S; Bahrick, 1990) and the Reaction Disclosure Questionnaire (Daniel, 2008) for both their peer and primary supervisors as well as completed a demographic questionnaire. The results supported the research hypotheses: supervisory working alliance was found to be positively correlated with the degree of comfort with and the likelihood of countertransference disclosure to peer supervisors as well as to primary supervisors. No significant variances were found between degree of comfort with or likelihood of countertransference disclosure to peer or primary supervisors or between working alliance with peer and primary supervisors. These results are consistent with previous research on the positive correlation between supervisory working alliance and comfort with and likelihood of countertransference disclosure (Daniel, 2008; Pakdaman, 2011) and contribute to the larger body of literature on therapists' management of personal reactions. Limitations of this study include those related to a small sample size (representative of primarily Caucasian females), inability to infer causation, and methodology (e.g., self-report methods, potentially inadequate sensitivity of instruments). Recommendations for future research include a determination of the number of doctoral programs with peer supervision, an exploration of peer supervisees' experiences in peer supervision as well as critical incidents, and an investigation of the efficacy of peer supervision on therapy outcome.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Supervisors; Countertransference (Psychology)

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Shafranske, Edward;