Adventures in Relational Psychoanalytic Supervision


While people might think that therapists have it all together, we don’t. We experience challenges. We reach impasses and become stuck, get tangled up in enactments, and find ourselves obstructing our own way in the therapy room. This is where relational psychoanalytic supervision comes in.

Three Associating is a podcast that offers the listener a peek behind the closed doors of therapists working within a relational psychoanalytic model. Join Rachael and Andrew as they explore with their supervisor Gill how their own hidden feelings and motivations influence the therapeutic process and affect their patients. 

Relational psychoanalytic supervision focuses on how things outside the awareness of the therapist enter the consulting room. It is a form of supervision that requires the supervisor to hold in mind both the patient and the supervisee; to focus on both participants in the therapeutic couple and how they co-construct their relationship.

Relational psychoanalytic supervision treats the therapeutic relationship as an exemplar of how the patient may relate to others outside of the room and uses this relationship as a window into the patient’s intrapsychic dynamics. It is a form of supervision that requires a great deal of courage on behalf of the supervisees, as their blind spots come to light, and that demands skill on behalf of the supervisor to create a supervisory experience that is safe and illuminating. 

In each episode, a relational dilemma arising in the context of work with a fictitious patient is explored. While reasons of confidentiality and privacy mean that none of the patients we discuss are real, the relational dynamics are. While in supervision we work with one expression of the dynamic, the dynamics themselves apply broadly to ourselves and others.