Supervision and Ongoing Training for Marriage and Family Therapists in Accredited Child and Family Service Agencies
Stephens, Douglas Bruce
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The problem. This study investigated the continuing need for supervision and training for marriage and family therapists in agencies accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children. Procedure. Twenty-six agency supervisors completed questionnaires designed to elicit information regarding their staff therapists' training, the theoretical focus for supervision, and the nature of training needs for staff. The data derived from the responses to the questionnaire answered all five of the questions under investigation. Findings. Supervision was provided in 92 percent of the agencies surveyed. Therapists in these agencies received 1.0 hours of either group or individual supervision weekly. The majority of supervisors utilized a non-systems theoretical model for supervision but there was much diversity of therapy models chosen by the supervisors. A total of 58.5 percent of the agency therapists received no postgraduate training in marriage and family therapy from either the AAMFT format or a free-standing institute of marriage and family therapy. Less than 8 percent of the staff therapists had attained AAMFT Clinical Member status while 34 percent had received some training from an institute. The most prevalent method used by supervisors to monitor staff training needs was therapist self-evaluation; second was the in depth regular tracking of one clinical case. There was no indication of an objective monitoring method that evaluated the developmental needs of the therapist for ongoing training. Conclusion. Many agencies had no theoretical model to guide staff supervision or uniformity in therapy services which, along with the aforementioned statistics, indicates a dearth of theoretical integrity for marriage and family therapy supervision in many child and family service agencies.
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