What trainee sport psychologists want to learn in supervision

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Supervised experience is a crucial element in the education of trainee sport psychologists (TSPs). Insight into the issues that are raised in supervision is relevant for the development of educational programs. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into supervisory issues of TSPs.


A mixed methods design was employed.


369 supervision questions from fourteen TSPs were collected from written supervisory reports. The supervision questions were initially rated on the supervisory issues described by Loganbill, Hardy, and Delworth (1982) and Rabinowitz, Heppner, and Roehlke (1986). Inter-rater agreement and occurrence of issues were calculated. An alternative model for supervision questions of TSPs was developed through inductive and deductive analyses.


For most of the supervisory issues described by Loganbill et al. (1982) and Rabinowitz et al. (1986) the inter-rater agreement and occurrence was low. An alternative model was developed consisting of two higher-order categories (‘Know-how’ and ‘Professional development’), six lower-order categories (‘Intake’, ‘Treatment plan’, ‘Execution’, ‘Reflections’, ’Working principles’ and ‘Coping with dilemmas’) and 19 separate themes.


The supervisory issues proposed by Loganbill et al. (1982) and Rabinowitz et al. (1986) do not fully capture the learning needs for supervision as formulated by the TSPs studied. Our alternative model provides an overview of supervision questions of TSPs. The developed model may contribute to the quality of trainees' learning in supervision by helping both trainees and supervisors prepare for supervision, and by helping sport psychology educators to offer efficacious curricula and learning experiences.

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