Episode 5 - Dr. Lawrence Shulman: Models of Supervision: Parallel Processes and Honest Relationships

Monday, October 20, 2008, 12:31:04 PM

Image of Dr. Lawrence Shulman

What is supervision? Peter Sobota, Clinical Assistant Professor at the UB School of Social Work, speaks with Dr. Lawrence Shulman, Professor and Dean Emeritus of the UB School Of Social Work, about the nature of supervision in direct practice and administration. During their conversation they touch upon issues of power, authority, trust, and role clarity, to name a few.

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Average Rating: 5stars  interactional supervision model by dr. shulman, Wednesday, February 01, 2017

By Sarah :

I enjoyed learning about Dr. Shulman’s interactional model of supervision. I have personally been involved with very hierachical agencies most of my life where the employees have very little involvement in any decision making, and there is very little value given to the opinions of the workers. The interactional model that Dr. Shulman describes allows for a relationship between the supervisor and the supervised that is respectful as it is built on trust, honesty and caring. In a parallel process model of work, it is important that both the supervisor and the worker (or client) contributes in ‘equal effort’. In order for this to work, the key is getting to know each other. For example, the supervisor can get to know his/her team by having them over for a barbeque after work. Taking time to establish a good working partnership can best ensure each party will ‘play their part’. Dr. Shulman also points out difficulties that can arise from supervision in inter or intra ethnic situations. For example, it may be easy for a supervisor in an intra ethnic supervision to give some ‘leaway’ to a worker that is of the same cultural background. However, this could easily be observed by the other workers, and ultimately cause resentment. It was interesting to become aware about the difficulty that can arise when a colleague becomes a supervisor. This would require a huge role shift both in the supervisor and the supervised. It would be important to ensure training opportunities that address these issues. Dr. Shulman makes a crucial point that the relationship between the supervisor and the supervised is so important that it can either increase or decrease the performance of the entire agency. It is unfortunate that so many agencies still value the hierarchical models of supervision. I’m hopeful that more agencies will make the shift when there is so much evidence for the efficacy of the interactional model.

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Average Rating: 5stars  wonderful information, Sunday, June 05, 2016

By Caroline :

Probably one of my favorite interviews and there are lots on here that are favorites. I really loved the interaction between the interviewer and interviewee and the explanation of larger concepts were really helpful. I will surely listen to it again. Just great insights!

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Average Rating: 5stars  transcript, Wednesday, September 21, 2011

By Betty Surbeck :

I am teaching a hearing impaired student and would like a transcript of this pod cast so she can read it

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Average Rating: 5stars  msw candidate, Saturday, January 08, 2011

By DorleeM :

This was an enlightening podcast for me to listen to at this point during my second year placement at an outpatient mental health clinic. While I had heard about the concept of parallel process beforehand, I only fully understood it after listening to this podcast.

In fact, Professor Sobota’s interview of Dr. Lawrence Shulman “spoke to me” to such a degree that it inspired me to write a post about parallel processes and supervision and how they apply to the relationship I have with my supervisor and my work.

Please feel free to stop by to visit the post at:

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Average Rating: 5stars  thanks, Friday, June 05, 2009

By Daniel :

This has been a wonderful tool for prompting discussion among supervisors and managers in our agency. Dr. Shulman presents information that is informative and challenging. It would be helpful to hear a more in depth conversation of the role of ethnicity in the supervisory process. This is a "must listen" for anyone involved in a clincal supervision relationship.

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