The Supervision Process through the Eyes of the Supervisor
This study builds on a previous article (Manley & Meijen, 2009) in which advice for in-training practitioners was provided through the shared reflections of experienced and accredited professionals. One of the tips was to choose a supervisor well. This is especially relevant given that the British Psychological Society (BPS) offer some Society-defined roles and expectations of in-training practitioners as part of the candidate handbook for the qualification in sport and exercise psychology. The British Association for Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) offers similar guidance for supervisors and supervisees affiliated to their own process of accreditation through supervised experience (SE). In addition, higher education institutions will often provide PhD supervisors with some guiding principles and expectations with regard to the work they conduct with research students. However, useful as these suggested roles and guidelines are, it could be argued that they are less transparent to students and aspiring practitioners who may want to understand more clearly what it is that potential supervisors expect from their supervisees. Thus, the aim of the current article is to provide students with an overview of some of the common expectations supervisors have of their supervisees and to offer some practical advice to students on how to get the most out of their relationship with their supervisor. To do this, we contacted five supervisors in the field of sport and exercise psychology asking them to respond to a number of open-ended questions (available on request from the authors) in relation to their expectations of the supervisee. The questions were related to issues such as previous qualifications, attitude, preparation before meetings, perceptions of their relationship with supervisees, and how to encourage critical thinking and professional development. The respondents are currently supervising PhD students and/or in-training practitioners (i.e., BPS Stage 2 leading to chartered status or BASES SE). The data were analysed by the authors using thematic analysis in order to identify common threads articulated within the obtained responses. The main themes emerging from the questions will be summarised, followed by practical advice for supervisees.
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