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Unformatted text preview: Psychotherapy Volume 3 I/Spring 1994/Number 1 CHARACTEROLOGICAL RESISTANCES IN PSYCHOTHERAPY SUPERVISION CHERYL GLICKAUF-HUGHES Georgia State University A developmental model is used to provide greater understanding of the phenomena of resistance in psychotherapy supervision. Some underlying characterological issues that may cause resistance include autonomy, identity, basic trust, shame and narcissism. The manifestations of and approaches for dealing with characterological resistances are discussed. While resistance has long been discussed as an obstacle to the process of psychotherapy (Freud, S., 1912,1914; Freud, A., 1936; Fenichel, 1945; Gill, 1963; Greenson, 1967) it has been less fre- quently addressed in the context of psychotherapy supervision. The most frequent aspect of resist- ance in supervision that has been discussed in the literature is the type of resistant behavior most commonly manifested by supervisees. Among these behaviors Bauman (1972) includes: submis- sion, turning the tables, self-depreciation, help- lessness, and projection. Bauman also discusses supervisory methods for dealing with these forms of resistance including interpretation, feedback, clarification, generalization, ignoring, the alter- ego technique and audio taping. Kadushin (1976) also describes the forms mat supervisory resist- ance can take. These include flattery, redefining the supervisory relationship, reducing the super- visor's power, ensuring that uncomfortable topics won't be raised, engaging in excessive self-criti- cism to solicit reassurance, concealing problems and distorting what actually occurs in the therapy session. Dodge (1982) notes that supervisees may Correspondenceregarding this article should be addressed ID Cheryl Glickauf-Hughes, Georgia State University, Univer- sity Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30303-3083. resist learning by remaining aloof, intellectualiz- ing, rationalizing and discussing tangetial issues. Finally, Gutheil (1986) observed that ideology can be used as a rationale for resisting new behav- iors in supervision. Liddle (1986) rather than describing the forms that resistance in supervision typically takes, dis- cusses the reasons behind it. She defines super- visee resistance as a defensive response to a per- ceived threat. Some possible sources of threat in supervision include: evaluation anxiety, perform- ance anxiety, deficits in the supervisory relation- ship and personal issues of the supervisee. The present article attemptsto further articulate the types of personal issues that may result in supervisee resistance to learning psychotherapy in supervision. In particular, resistance that is caused by developmental deficits or character- ological factors is examined. While develop- mental issues have been previously discussed in the supervision literature with regard to the over- all process of supervision, particularly the task of forming a professional identity (Friedman & Kaslow, 1986; Loganbill, Hardy & Delworth, 1981; Ralph, 1980), they have not, yet, been...
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