Supervisor and supervisee perceptions of a hybrid method of individual-triadic supervision


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A dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in COUNSELOR EDUCATION from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards changed in 2001 to include triadic supervision as an equivalent method of individual supervision. Individual supervision was previously defined as one supervisor working with one supervisee. Triadic supervision is one supervisor working with two supervisees. There was little existing literature that explored the efficacy of triadic supervision prior to this change. Similarly, there is a dearth of research about methods of triadic supervision that include the use of both individual and triadic sessions as one modality of supervision. The present study explored a hybrid method of individual-triadic supervision (HI-TS), which involves rotating sessions of individual and triadic supervision. Four doctoral student supervisors and seven master’s-level supervisees participated in the study experiencing rotating sessions of individual and triadic supervision over a period of ten weeks. A phenomenological qualitative approach was utilized to explore the lived experiences of the participants. Data were collected through reflective journals, individual interviews, and focus groups. A total of seven themes emerged through data analysis. Three themes were specific to the doctoral student supervisors’ experience and included supervisor roles, importance of relationships, and professional maturation. One theme, significance of the triad, was unique to the master’s-level supervisee experience. Three themes arose from the data of both doctoral supervisors and master’s student supervisees. These included challenges, session composition, and reactions to hybrid individual-triadic supervision. The results supported the findings of previous research studies about supervision, more specifically supervisory roles, the importance of the supervisory relationship, and supervision session composition and challenges. Additionally, the participants expressed that hybrid individual-triadic supervision was beneficial because supervisors were able to address issues that may have been more appropriate for individual supervision, while continuing to provide the benefits of both individual supervision and triadic supervision to the supervisees. Moreover, the challenges experienced by the supervisors point to the possible need to more deeply develop training methods for supervisors about how to manage triadic supervision sessions. Further research of HI-TS could include a larger scale, quantitative investigation and application with provisionally licensed counselors.
Counseling & Educational Psychology
College of Education and Human Development