NASW Press
0 Items
Home    >    Interactional Supervision, 4th Edition
Interactional Supervision, 4th Edition
Lawrence Shulman
ISBN: 978-0-87101-558-7. 2020. Item # 5587. 500 pages.
Can your device download this eBook? Click here before purchasing! eBooks are available in single quantities only.

Also available! An electronic Teaching Guide for separate purchase.
Book Type:
Also available! An electronic Teaching Guide for separate purchase.

Clinical supervision is fraught with difficulties, and those who transition from frontline worker to supervisor often receive little training or support, particularly when it comes to the interpersonal skills needed for implementing complex human relations tasks. Left to their own devices, clinical supervisors must navigate myriad challenges like these real-world examples:

  • A supervisor decided that the evaluation process would be a good time to level with a long-term staff member about his inadequate performance. She reviewed the staff member’s personnel record and discovered that previous supervisors had given the employee consistently positive and obviously false evaluations. She dreaded the approaching conference, expecting the worker to be angry.

  • A supervisor was asked by her administrator to back her up when staff were notified of budget cuts that would result in pay cuts and heavier caseloads. At a team meeting, one worker, who appeared to be speaking for the rest, said to the supervisor, “You are going to be with us on this one, aren’t you?”

  • A recently promoted Black supervisor heard that many members of the largely White staff thought he had obtained the promotion because of the agency’s affirmative action program. Nothing was said directly; however, he could sense tension in the staff group. He felt angry, hurt, and bitter at the racist element in his reception and increasingly isolated at the agency.

Drawing on decades of his own experience and the experiences of those he has trained, Lawrence Shulman provides clear, simple models of supervision using a conversational tone and practical advice in this must-have resource.

Every phase of supervision is discussed in detail, with a focus on communication, making demands for work, facing taboo subjects, and transitioning into and out of roles and relationships. Strategies for group work and meetings include everyday challenges; trauma, such as client deaths; violence against frontline workers; and cutbacks. Supervisors will learn how to apply Shulman’s parallel process framework in their interactions with frontline workers to model ideal interactions between workers and their clients.

In this fourth edition, evidence-based practices and interventions are updated to include the latest ethical and legal aspects of supervision and also feminist; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning; and trauma-informed practice.

Part I: The Interactional Supervision Model: Basic Assumptions, Theory, and Research

Chapter 1: Introduction, Overview, and Basic Assumptions

  • Focus of the Book

    • From Theory to Practice: Making the Connection
    • Problem of the False Dichotomies and Phony Dualisms

  • What’s New and Updated in This Fourth Edition

    • Supervision of Evidence-Based and Evidence-Informed Practices
    • Expanded Discussion of Practice Content
    • Ethical Issues, Updated Changing Legislation, and Risk Assessment Strategies
    • Group Leadership, Group Supervision, and the Impact of Trauma and Secondary Trauma on Staff
    • Supervisor’s ‘Two Clients’: The Frontline Workers and the Agency or Setting Itself

  • Five Core Assumptions

    • Supervision is an Interactional Process
    • Common or Constant Elements in Supervision
    • Universal Dynamics and Skills Apply to Different Modes of Interaction
    • Existence of Parallels between Supervision Dynamics and Other Helping Relationships
    • Supervisor-Supervisee Relationship: A Medium for Influencing Outcomes of Practice
    • Impact of Supervision on Client Outcomes

  • Organization of the Book
  • Empirical Base
  • Summary

Chapter 2: An Interactional Approach to Supervision

  • Terminology

    • Supervision Practice Theory
    • Supervision Skills
    • Working Relationship
    • Worker, Agency, and Supervisor

  • Functional Role of the Supervisor
  • Major Areas of Work in Supervision
  • Worker-System Interaction
  • Obstacles to Worker-System Interaction
  • Supervisor’s Mediation Function
  • Supervision Models
  • Research Findings

    • Role of the Supervisor
    • Context of Supervision
    • Impact of Job Stress and Job Manageability

  • Summary

Part II: Supervision and the Phases of Work

Chapter 3: Preparatory and Beginning Phases

  • Impact of Time and the Phases of Work on Supervision

    • Preliminary Phase of Supervision: Tuning In

      • Advantages of Tuning In
      • How Tuning In Works: The New Hospital Supervisor
      • Concerns and Reservations about Tuning In

    • Beginning Phase of Supervision: Contracting

      • Contracting Skills
      • Contracting Example: The New Supervisor

    • Beginning Phase of Supervision: Contracting

      • Contracting Skills
      • Contracting Example: The New Supervisor

  • The New Supervisor: Some Variations on the Theme

    • Promotion from Practitioner to Supervisor
    • Social Relationships with Staff
    • Stereotypes
    • Continued Resistance
    • Hired-Gun Syndrome

  • Diversity and Supervision in the Beginning Phase

    • Culture of Silence: Addressing this Issue
    • Affirmative Action in Promotion and Hiring

      • New Latinx Supervisor with a White Staff Group
      • New Black Supervisor with a White Staff Group

    • Intercultural Supervision
    • Ongoing Intracultural Issues in Supervision
    • Supervisory Beginnings with New Workers

      • Beginning Phase for Inexperienced Workers
      • Integration of New Staff Members
      • Experienced New Worker
      • Abrasive New Worker
      • Student as New Worker

  • Research Findings
  • Summary

Chapter 4: A Work-Phase Model

  • Middle Phase: Stages of a Single Session
  • Preliminary Stage Before a Session
  • Beginning Stage of a Session
  • Middle or Work Stage of a Session

    • Elaboration Skills

      • Movement from the General to the Specific
      • Containment
      • Focused Listening
      • Questioning
      • Ability to Reach Inside Silences

    • Empathic Skills

      • Recognizing Barriers to Empathic Responses
      • Reaching for Feelings
      • Acknowledging Feelings
      • Articulating Workers’ Feelings

    • Skills in Sharing Feelings

      • Showing Vulnerability
      • Showing Anger
      • Supervising a Worker Who Is Preparing to Retire
      • Showing Feelings: Supervisors’ Concerns

    • Skills in Making a Demand for Work

      • Addressing Demand for Work in the Supervision Process
      • Engaging in Facilitative Confrontation
      • Partializing the Worker’s Concerns
      • Holding to Focus
      • Checking for Underlying Ambivalence
      • Challenging the Illusion of Work

    • Exploration of Taboo Areas

      • Young Male Workers Dealing with Young Women in a Residential Setting
      • Young Female Worker Coleading a Vietnam Veterans’ Group
      • Supervision of Groups for Men Who Batter

    • Skills in Dealing with the Authority Theme

      • Supervisor’s Role
      • Supervisor’s Position as an Outsider
      • Supervisor’s Supportive Function
      • Supervisor’s Limitations
      • Supervisor’s Demand Function

    • Skills in Sharing Data

      • Providing Relevant Data
      • Monitoring the Learning Process
      • Presenting Data in a Way Open to Challenge

  • Ending and Transition Stage of a Session

    • Summarizing
    • Generalizing
    • Identifying Next Steps
    • Rehearsing
    • Identifying “Doorknob” Communications

  • Early Research Findings

    • Review of Findings Related to Supervisory Skill
    • 1991 Study Findings

  • Summary

Chapter 5: Supervisory Endings and Transitions

  • Worker’s Ending Experience

    • Common Ending Themes
    • Strategies for Dealing with a Worker’s Ending
    • Illustrations of Ending-Phase Work

      • Ending a Positive Relationship
      • Ending a Negative Relationship

  • Supervisor’s Ending Experience

    • Illustration of a Supervisor’s Ending
    • Supervisor’s Ending Resulting from Promotion within the Organization

  • Summary

Part III: Education and Evaluation Roles of the Supervisor

Chapter 6: Educational Function of Supervision

  • Impact of the Medical Paradigm
  • Assumptions about Teaching and Learning
  • Requirements for Effective Learning
  • Skills of Professional Performance: The Content of Supervision
  • Teaching Function: Core Practice Skills

    • Tuning In and Responding Directly to Indirect Cues
    • Tuning In: The Parallel Process
    • Contracting
    • Contracting: The Parallel Process
    • Dealing with the Authority of the Worker
    • Dealing with the Authority Theme: The Parallel Process
    • Showing Empathy
    • Showing Empathy: The Parallel Process
    • Using Sessional Contracting
    • Using Sessional Contracting: The Parallel Process
    • Elaborating
    • Elaborating: The Parallel Process
    • Making a Demand for Work
    • Making a Demand for Work: The Parallel Process
    • Sharing Feelings
    • Sharing Feelings: The Parallel Process
    • Sharing Data
    • Sharing Data: The Parallel Process

  • Monitoring of Skills Development

    • Beginning Skills Development
    • Field Instruction: Supervision of Social Work Students
    • Selected Research Findings on Student Field Learning
    • Supervision of Experienced Workers

  • Research Findings
  • Summary

Chapter 7: Evaluation Function of Supervision

  • Obstacles to Effective Evaluation

    • Obstacles in Work Settings
    • Obstacles in Academic Settings
    • Contested Evaluations

  • Evaluation Content and Process
  • Research Findings
  • Summary

Chapter 8: Supervision of Evidence-Based Practices and Evidence-Based Interventions

  • Determination of Whether a Practice or Intervention Is Evidence Based
  • Resistance to the Introduction of Evidence-Based Practice and Evidence-Based Intervention Models

    • Mandated Protocols and Sustainability
    • Is It Really an Evidence-Based Practice or an Evidence-Based Intervention?
    • Integrated Model

  • Criteria for Determining if a Practice Is Evidence Based

    • Elements Defining an Evidence-Based Practice
    • Professional Ethics and Clinical Judgment
    • Issue of Dosage Integrity
    • False Dichotomy between Science and Art

  • Motivational Interviewing

    • Key Concepts for Motivational Interviewing
    • Worker Interventions Based on the Stage of Change

      • Excerpts from the First Session of a Mandated Driving-While-Intoxicated Group
      • Group for People with AIDS in Early Substance Abuse Recovery

    • Brief Review of Motivational Interviewing Research
    • Motivational Interviewing and Group Treatment
    • Supervision and Training of Motivational Interviewing Practice

  • Solution-Focused Practice

    • Key Concepts for the Solution-Focused Practice Model
    • Solution-Focused Practice Defining Techniques

      • Asking About Pre-session Changes during the Initial Interview or First Group Session
      • Asking about Between-Session Changes
      • Asking about Exceptions
      • Asking the Miracle Question
      • Asking Scaling Questions
      • Asking Coping Questions

    • Role of the Solution-Focused Worker in the Group Practice Context
    • Research on Solution-Focused Practice
    • Supervision of Solution-Focused Practice

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

    • Cognitive–Behavioral Mutual-Aid Support Group for Patients with Chronic Mental Health Problems
    • Research on Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy
    • Supervision of Cognitive–Behavioral Practice

  • Evidence-Informed Practices
  • Feminist Practice

    • Feminist Practice Typology
    • Feminist Theory, Intersectionality, and Social Work Practice
    • Research and Practice in Women’s Groups
    • Supervision, Teaching, and the Feminist Orientation

  • Working with LGBTQQP Clients

    • Oppression Perspective
    • Unique Issues in Guiding Effective Transaffirmative Clinical Practice
    • Supervision of Staff: Inter- and Intracultural Dynamics

  • Practice and Supervision in Response to Trauma, Extreme Events, and Secondary Trauma

    • What Is Trauma?
    • Trauma-Informed Care
    • Supervision of Staff in Response to Trauma and the Impact of Trauma-Informed Care

  • Summary

Chapter 9: Values, Ethics, and Legislative and Judicial Issues

  • Values, Ethics, and Social Work Practice

    • NASW Code of Ethics
    • Ethical Problems and Dilemmas
    • Factors that Affect Ethical Decision Making
    • Factors that Contribute to Uncertainty
    • Risk-Management Strategy
    • Ethical Guidelines for Practice in Family and Group Work
    • Social Changes and Their Impact on Ethical Practice

      • Managed Care
      • End-of-Life Decisions

  • Impact of Legislation and the Courts

    • Confidentiality and Privileged Communications

      • Social Worker and a Police Investigation
      • Confidentiality in Group Practice

    • Informed Consent
    • Duty to Protect a Third Party

  • Values, Ethics, and Legal Responsibilities in Supervision

    • Guidelines for the Supervisor-Worker Relationship
    • Impaired, Incompetent, or Unethical Workers

  • Summary

Part IV: Work with Staff Groups

Chapter 10: Formal and Informal Staff Groups

  • Organization of This Chapter
  • Group as an Organism
  • Leadership Styles
  • Barriers to Effective Group Leadership
  • Dynamics of Staff Groups

    • Definition of a Staff Group
    • Purposes of Staff Groups

      • Staff Meetings
      • Case Consultation
      • Group Supervision
      • In-Service Training

  • Beginning Phase of Work in Staff Groups

    • Clarification of the Group Contract

      • Clarifying Purpose and Reaching for Staff Feedback
      • Clarifying the Supervisor’s Role

    • Authority Theme

      • Control and Power
      • Supervisor as an Outsider
      • Supervisor as a Source of Support
      • Supervisor’s Limitations
      • Supervisor as a Source of Demand

  • Work Phase in Groups

    • Development of a Group Culture

      • Group Cohesion
      • Group Norms and Taboos

    • Group Member Roles

      • Deviant Member
      • Internal Leader
      • Quiet Group Member
      • Scapegoat
      • Being with the Individual and the Group Simultaneously

    • Conflict in the Informal or Formal Group

  • Ending Phase in Staff Groups
  • Research Findings
  • Summary

Chapter 11: Encouragement of Mutual Aid in the Staff Group

  • Mutual Aid Processes in a Staff Group

    • Mutual Sharing of Information
    • Dialectical Process
    • Discussion of Taboo Areas
    • All in the Same Boat Phenomenon
    • Mutual Support
    • Mutual Demand
    • Individual Problem Solving
    • Rehearsal
    • Strength in Numbers Phenomenon

  • Summary

Chapter 12: Trauma, Secondary Trauma Stress, and Disaster Stress

  • Types of Trauma
  • How to Deal with Extreme Major Community Traumatic Events

    • Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Frontline Staff and the Use of Electronic Communications in Supervision

      • Impact of the Pandemic on Frontline Workers
      • Impact of Telesupervision and Video Practice with Clients

    • Mass School and Community Shootings
    • 9/11 Bombing of the World Trade Center Twin Towers
    • Riots/Insurrection in Los Angeles

      • Impact on Child Welfare Services
      • Efforts to Respond to the Crisis
      • Impact on Social Work Students
      • Key to Recovery

    • 9/11: Primary and Secondary Trauma
    • Practice in Response to Trauma and Extreme Events
    • Small-Scale Yet Still Traumatic Events
    • Crisis, Disaster, and Crisis Intervention Theory: Impact on the Professional

      • Crisis Intervention Stress Management
      • Trauma Groups

    • Single-Session Vicarious Traumatization Model
    • Secondary Traumatic Stress and Burnout
    • Staff Fight-or-Flight Reactions to Trauma
    • Impact of Traumatic Events on Practice

  • Death of a Child on a Caseload
  • Suicide of a Client
  • Death of a Staff Member

    • Death of a Staff Member with AIDS
    • Heart Attack Death of a Worker

  • Physical Attack on a Worker by a Client

    • Client Shooting at a Police Officer and a Social Worker
    • Protection Protocols

  • Public Questioning of Agency Policies
  • Cost-Containment Programs

    • Reduction in Level of Services

      • Hiring Freeze
      • Bloodless Cutbacks
      • Full-Scale Cutbacks
      • Research Findings

    • Mediation of the Impact of Staff Cutbacks

      • Sharing Information and Venting of Feelings by Staff
      • Making the Demand for Work
      • Raising the Unstated Issue

    • Loss of Jobs by Team Members

      • Helping Staff to End with Clients in a Professional Manner
      • Addressing Survivor Guilt
      • Ending and Transition Phase of the Meeting

  • Impact of Sudden, Severe, and Uncertain Cutbacks

    • Who’s on First?
    • Absorbing a Smaller Unit into a Larger Unit
    • Reunification and Starting Over

  • Summary

Chapter 13: How to Work with the System

  • Mediation of Staff Conflict with the System
  • Efforts to Help Staff Negotiate the System

    • Nurse in Conflict with a Doctor
    • Career Planning

  • Third-Force Role of the Supervisor

    • Develop the Relationship
    • Work with the Staff Group

      • Change in Agency Policy
      • Change in Shift Hours
      • When Cutbacks Hit

    • Work with the Administration

      • Difficulties in Supervisor-Administrator Relationships
      • Examples of Work with the Administration

    • Mediating the Staff-Administrator Encounter

  • Research Findings
  • Summary

CODA: Recording Procedures and Professional Competence

Appendix: Notes on Research Methodology

  • Instrument Development and Testing

    • Reliability and Validity of Workers’ Questionnaire Items

      • Stability
      • Internal Consistency
      • Construct Validity
      • Predictive Validity

    • Reliability and Validity of Supervisors’ Questionnaire Items

      • Stability
      • Internal Consistency
      • Criterion and Predictive Validity

  • Methodology of the 1981 Study

    • Study Sample
    • Data Analysis
    • Third-Variable Analysis
    • Limitations of the Study

  • Methodology of the 1991 Study

    • Staff Study Sample
    • Data Analysis
    • Limitations of the Study
    • Sample Social Worker Supervision Questionnaire

Subject Index
Author Index
Case Example Index
About the Author
Lawrence Shulman, MSW, EdD, is emeritus professor and former dean at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. He is a practitioner–researcher who has developed the Interactional Model of practice, supervision, and the Mutual Aid Model of group work and teaching. His research has focused on operationalizing and testing skills for helping professionals at all levels of an organization or agency.

Shulman has written or edited 20 books and monographs. His books have dealt with supervision and management and a widely used practice text, The Skills of Helping Individuals, Families, Groups, and Communities, now in its eighth edition. He has also authored Dynamics and Skills of Group Counseling, which presents the Interactional and Mutual Aid Model for group practice.

His research results are reported in over 40 published articles in peer-reviewed journals. He was the author of the supervision section in the last three editions of the Encyclopedia of Social Work and has been a contributor to The Social Work Dictionary and The Social Work Desk Reference.

Dr. Shulman is a member of the editorial boards of six major journals and was founder and coeditor of an inter-disciplinary journal, The Clinical Supervisor. He has also produced six widely used videotape programs focusing on practice, teaching and the skills of addressing inter- and intra-cultural dynamics in practice.

In 2014, he received the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Significant Lifetime Achievement Award in Social Work Education for dedication to excellence in scholarship and research, pedagogy and curriculum development, and organizational leadership.