Sunday, May 20, 2018
Barbara L. Goldsmith, Psy.D. and Valeriya Spektor, Ph.D.
Wynnewood, PA

Please note: This brunch is held from 11:30-1:30 pm and open to graduate students and all mentees and mentors who have participated in the mentorship program. This brunch offers 1 CEU.

Trainee disclosure in supervision is an important variable related to the quality of the supervisory working alliance and to effective supervision experiences. Empirical research investigating trainee disclosure, defined as the extent to which the supervisee shares information pertinent to supervision with a supervisor, has illuminated that most trainees conceal or withhold information in supervision (Ladany, Hill, Corbett, & Nutt, 1996). Most frequently, non-disclosed material relates to clinical mistakes, negative evaluations of the supervisor, feedback on the supervisory relationship, attraction issues in the supervisory or therapeutic relationship, and personal issues (Ladany et al., 1996; Mehr, Ladany, & Caskie, 2010; Mehr, Ladany, & Caskie, 2015; Reichelt et al., 2009; Yourman & Farber, 1996). Given that one of the foci of psychodynamic supervision is to facilitate supervisee self-awareness and explore how countertransferential material can impact the trainee’s therapy work (Frawley-O’Dea & Sarnat, 2001), non-disclosure in supervision can pose challenges for supervisees, for their supervisors, and ultimately, for their clients.

Supervision creates a set of triangular relationships between the trainee, client and supervisor, as well as between the supervisor, trainee and graduate training program (Brodsky, 2017). Supervision can challenge a trainee’s self-esteem and expose feelings of inadequacy about being a therapist, which in turn may make it difficult for the trainee to share these painful feelings with an evaluative supervisory figure. A trainee’s self-esteem is often tied to how much progress their clients make, and the slow pace of psychodynamic work can result in frustration and feelings of ineffectiveness. How these feelings are handled in supervision can impact the supervisee’s confidence and professional development. Additionally, understanding how parallel process dynamics between trainee and client are mirrored in the relationship between supervisor and trainee is an important function of psychodynamic supervision. However, parallel process can result in emotional reactions that can cause shame in the supervisee. Countertransference revelations can also leave supervisees feeling exposed and prone to shame. Creating a safe space so a supervisee does not feel defensive, criticized, or shamed (while also being evaluated) by the supervisor is no easy task. Therefore, an important objective for this presentation will be to discuss how supervisors can attend to supervisee’s vulnerable feelings and create a supervisory space in which trainees can feel comfortable-enough to disclose.

Participants will reflect on their own supervision experiences to identify factors that hindered and/or facilitated disclosure, such as shame or impression management (Graff, 2008; Yourman, 2003). Moreover, presenters will underscore the importance of a strong alliance in promoting openness within supervision (Mehr et al., 2015) and will provide case examples of successful and challenging supervisory experiences.

Learning objectives: After attending this program in full, participants will be able to:

List possible reasons that supervisees withhold information in supervision.
Discuss factors that facilitate and those that hinder disclosure in supervision.
Describe the relationship between the supervisory working alliance and disclosure.
Assess how disclosure or non-disclosure in supervision has impacted their training experiences.
Describe triangular relationships between the supervisee, client and supervisor as well as the supervisor, trainee and the graduate/training program
Discuss the role of parallel process in supervision
Reference: Mehr, K. E., Ladany, N., & Caskie, G. I. L. (2015). Factors influencing trainee willingness to disclose in supervision. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 9(1), 44-51. doi:10.1037/tep0000028

Barbara L. Goldsmith, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Philadelphia and Rosemont, PA. She is adjunct associate professor at the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology where she has taught psychodynamic psychotherapy for over 25 years and is on the faculty of the Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis in Philadelphia. She is a training consultant for the University of Pennsylvania’s Counseling and Psychological Services, and was founding president and currently a Board Member of the Philadelphia Center for Psychoanalytic Education. She is also the Director of the PSPP Mentorship Program.

Valeriya Spektor, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist. She currently works at University of Pennsylvania’s Counseling and Psychological Services and has a small private practice in Center City. Dr. Spektor is the Assistant Director of the PSPP Mentorship program and is passionate about training and supervision. Her other professional interests include psychodynamic and multiculturally-informed psychotherapy, immigration and cultural identity, social justice, eating concerns, and the treatment of trauma.


PSPP Brunch Series Registration

PSPP members and non-members alike may register online at the PSPP website,, by locating the brunch you would like to attend, clicking on ‘register’, and following the instructions. Seating is limited and reservations will take place on a first come, first served basis.

Please cancel your registration if you are unable to attend so that your space may become available to another participant. To cancel a registration, please contact Katy Cording, Psy.D. at or 908-403-4956.

Registration is open to PSPP members and other interested mental health professionals, school employees, or scholars from related fields that are not members. These programs are intended for those with an intermediate and above level of knowledge and experience.


Brunch Times and Location

All brunches will be held as follows:

11:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. Brunch

11:30 A.M. to 1:30 P.M. Presentation and Discussion


Registrants will receive an email confirmation containing specific directions to the location of the brunch for which they are registered. All brunches will be held in Philadelphia proper or the surrounding suburban areas.


PSPP Members: Free

Non-Members: $40 per brunch

Registration fees cover attendance to the workshop, 2 CEUs, and brunch. Space is limited, so please register as soon as possible. For paying non-members, refunds in full, less a $10 administrative fee, will be made with written request up to 24 hours before the program.


Continuing Education Credits

PSYCHOLOGISTS: This program, when attended in its entirety, is offered for 2 continuing education credits. Participants must attend 100% of the program. Upon completion of a conference evaluation form, a certificate will be issued. This serves as documentation of attendance for all participants.

SOCIAL WORKERS AND OTHER MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS: Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors in Pennsylvania can receive CEs from CE providers approved by the APA. Since Division 39 is approved by the APA to sponsor continuing education, these professionals will be able to fulfill their continuing education requirements by attending PSPP/Division 39 approved programs.

Responsibility for Program Content

Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Accessibility, Non-discrimination, and Ethics

PSPP and Division 39 are committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in continuing education activities and strive to conduct all activities in strict conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. Participants with special needs will be accommodated as possible.

If you believe that a violation of ethics has occurred during this presentation, or if you have concerns about such issues as accessibility for persons with disabilities, distress with regard to program content, or other complaints, please contact Kelly Bassett, MEd at 646-510-1593. There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants or other funding that could be reasonably construed as conflict of interest. Participants will be informed of the utility/validity of the content/approach discussed (including the basis for the statements about validity/utility), as well as the limitations of the approach and most common (and severe) risks, if any, associated with the program’s content.

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