Lawrence Shulman is a well-known expert on research, practice, and
teaching in the field of clinical social work supervision and a contributor to the last three editions of the Encyclopedia of Social Work. His newly revised 3rd edition of Interactional Supervision gives ample attention to the practical, day-to-day problems encountered by clinical supervisors and is particularly useful in fields such as child welfare, where frontline workers are less likely to have formal social work education.
The book is written in a conversational mode and is designed to be easy for students in supervision courses and for new and experienced supervisors. Along with numerous examples from "real-life" supervision and a thorough explication of a work-phase model of supervision, the new edition includes:
- In-depth discussion and illustrations of the practice content of supervision
- Supervision of evidence-based practices
- Ethical issues, changing legislation, and risk assessment strategies
- Group leadership, group supervision, and the impact of traumatic events, i.e., 9/11
Shulman notes that most social work supervisors describe making the transition from frontline worker to supervisor as a very difficult process in which they received very little support. Many of the books on clinical supervision lack specific examples of individual and group supervision. To address this paucity of examples in the literature, Shulman, in the introductory chapter of the book, outlines some of the experiences that have been drawn from participant presentations at supervision workshops, including the following:
After six years of frontline work with a large welfare agency, a worker was promoted on the retirement of the previous supervisor. On the first Monday morning in her new role, she walked into the common room for coffee and her former peers became quiet. Two of them had also applied for the supervisory job and were upset that they didnít get it. She knew they were talking about her because she used to talk about the former supervisor with them. She wondered if this meant the end of her friendship with them.
Finally, Interactional Supervision, 3rd Edition, argues for what Shulman calls "the parallel process," where supervisors model in their interactions with frontline workers the manner in which the staff should ideally interact with clients, an approach that is well documented in scholarly research.