Out of the closet : experiences and expressions of spirituality in supervision : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy at Massey University

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Massey University
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This research used a collaborative inquiry process approach to explore how spirituality is experienced and expressed in supervision. The inquiry involved an established professional development group of supervisors, of which the researcher was a member, and their associated supervisors in a four stage process of dialogue and reflection. From the data, experiences and expressions of spirituality in supervision were clustered under the themes of magical and memorable moments, ordinariness, connections within the supervision relationship, supervisor choice, strength-based practice, the use of ritual and ways of asking questions. These experiences and activities were believed important to practicing biculturally and holistically. They were found to provide benefits not just in supervision but also in work with clients and in the practitioner's wider life and self-care. Conscious practice and the use of supervisee-appropriate language and questions was a consequence of participant research involvement. Ethical cautions regarding spirituality in supervision are identified and ways of advancing these are discussed. Recommendations for future debates, training, emphases in supervision and supervisor choice are proposed.
Social workers, New Zealand, Religious aspects, Social service