About the Supervision Study Program (SSP)


"It is hard for me to believe how much I have learned. I came into this program in a career doldrums. I was feeling isolated in my practice and under-stimulated with the work. This program has challenged me and supported my learning throughout. This has been such a gift." -Emily Johnson, LCSW

Since 1986, The Psychotherapy Institute has offered a training program in the theory and practice of supervision. One of the oldest such programs in the nation, it is the only one of its kind in the Bay Area. The program combines readings and seminar instruction with a practicum that includes weekly individual and twice-monthly small-group consultation. Participants enrolled in the program may provide supervision to students in the Institute’s psychodynamic training program, as well as to licensed therapists in the community through the Institute’s professional consultation service.

The mission of the Supervision Study Program (SSP) is to help clinicians develop their skills, theoretical grounding, and personal authority as culturally sensitive, relational, psychodynamic supervisors. In teaching about the complexities of working with the dynamic unconscious, we are committed to integrating cultural awareness and accountability into our individual and group consultations, seminars, and annual symposia. This involves cultivating awareness of the implicit and explicit biases embedded within our thinking as we work to bring an attitude of cultural humility [1] to all of our programming. The SSP offers participants the opportunity to join a community of supervisors working in a range of different settings who value collaborative, experiential learning and mutual support. In addition, our intention is to model and teach an attitude of compassionate and bold self-inquiry regarding the personal psychological and the global sociopolitical underpinnings of the inevitable enactments and parallel processes that transpire between individuals and between the systems in which we live and work.

The recognition that the field of psychodynamic psychotherapy needs clinical supervisors versed in this process and a desire to make the program more accessible has led us to revamp the SSP program. We view the learning process as mutual and will be learning alongside the SSP participants in a shared endeavor to develop our capacities as culturally sensitive relational supervisors. We have designed the program to support the integration of psychodynamic theory with a social justice perspective. The program is ideally suited for clinicians seeking to expand their capacity to bring a multiple-consciousness lens to their clinical and supervisory work. As with the prior two-year model, this one-year program offers participants the opportunity to join a community of supervisors working in a range of different settings who value collaborative, experiential learning, and mutual support.

To learn more about the SSP, click here for Program Details.

[1] Tervalon, M.; Murray-García, J. (1998). "Cultural Humility versus Cultural Competence: A Critical Distinction in Defining Physician Training Outcomes in Multicultural Education". Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 9 (2): 117–125 – via Project Muse.