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Examining the process of professional identity development of psychotherapists in supervision process: a critical discursive psychological approach

Uyar Suiçmez, Tuğba
Identity is a forming notion based on the interactions people live in, and it is continuously formed throughout life (Burr, 2003; Erikson, 1968) like psychotherapists’ education process. The current study consists of two interdependent studies which examine the process of psychotherapists' professional identity development via Critical Discursive Psychology (CDP) approach. The first study comprises of two parts and aims to observe the changes in participants’ discourses through supervision training. In the first part of the first study, three doctoral students were interviewed when they were supervisees. Moreover, in the second part, they were interviewed again as supervisors after they provided supervision for about two semesters. Six individual interviews were conducted, transcribed, coded, and analyzed in terms of interpretative repertoires and subject positions. Eight distinctive interpretative repertoires called as “recognition,” “organization culture,” “rivalry,” “trust,” “familiar experiences and support,” “setting standards,” “power issues,” and “investments on personal and professional identities,” and seven subject positions such as “identical vs. critical,” “competitor,” “filtering,” “familiar,” “acknowledging the borders,” ”outsider,” and “questioning the perceived efficacy” were identified. Then, in the second study, one alumni, one senior and three junior doctoral students met to talk about their supervision training processes in focus group which is moderated by researcher. The focus group data were transcribed, coded, and analyzed. Four interpretative repertoires were identified, called as “power issues,” “relation,” “rivalry,” and “growth.” Emerging subject positions were elaborated under interpretative repertoires. The results, implications, limitations, and future suggestions were discussed in terms of professional identity development process.