Module code: PSYM086

Module Overview

This core module aims to support the development of the skills and competencies needed when supervising psychodynamic practice and consulting to others using a psychodynamic approach. The focus of psychodynamic supervision is on the exploration of unconscious/dynamic factors that influence the interpretations and interpersonal engagement of supervisees with their clients with the manifest aim of enhancing psychological wellbeing. This module must be done in conjunction with module PSYM037.

During this practice based module trainee supervisors explore psychoanalytic/ psychodynamic theory as applied to the supervisory relationship, including the concept of parallel process, and the contribution of the notion of transference and counter transference between the supervisor and supervisee. Trainee psychodynamic supervisors will conduct supervision over a period of a year developing the skills and competencies of supervisees in the application of psychodynamic concepts and techniques.

This module cannot be purchased as an independent CPD module. It must be carried out in conjunction with module PSYM037.

Module provider


Module Leader

TIBBLES P Dr (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: C810

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

At least one of the following three: A practitioner psychologist (clinical, counselling, educational, occupational, health, forensic) eligible to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and eligible to register with the BPC or the CPJA section f the UKCP or eligible for accreditation with the BACP. A qualified psychodynamic/psychoanalytic psychotherapist or counsellor eligible to be registered with the BPC, the CPJA section of the UKCP of eligible for accreditation with the BACP.  Qualification in a relevant profession with training in psychology at an undergraduate and/or postgraduate level (teaching, medicine, nursing, human resources, social work, occupational therapy) with an additional training in psychodynamic/psychoanalytic psychotherapy leading to eligibility to register with the BPC , the CPJA section of the UKCP or eligible for accreditation with the BACP. Those following this pathway should be qualified professionals with two years post-qualification experience and who have provided supervision and consultation and who as part of their employment will be able to use a psychodynamic/psychoanalytic approach when supervising and consulting to others.

Module content

1. The student supervisors/consultants will set up a supervision/consultation project in their work context.

2 The supervisor in training on two occasions during Year One will either be visited by a University staff member at the project placement or submit a audio-visual  recording of a whole supervision session. During placement meetings, an additional 30 minutes will be required for pre-session discussion, and an additional 30 minutes for post-session discussion.

3. Student supervisors/consultants will meet regularly at the University for micro-skills training, and for training in, and consolidating the use of theoretical concepts as a training tool.

4. Each student supervisor/consultant will be part of an e-discussion group and or part of a consulting trio.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

A portfolio of supervision/ consultation practice is submitted at the end of Year One. It should highlight the student supervisor/consultant’s development in their critical understanding and application of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic concepts, the development of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic competencies, and the development of an understanding and utilisation of the interface between the personal and the professional. The account will be illustrated with relevant examples. A mark of 50% or above must be obtained to pass.

Evaluation of practice is undertaken on two occasions. This is done either by a placement visit or review of an audio-visual recording of a whole supervision session plus covering explanatory notes. The first evaluation will assess early progress and identify further developmental goals, and the second occurs towards the end of the training and will focus on the capacity to adapt and change to feedback. Feedback supervisees/consultees should be obtained/included and integrated with critical self-evaluation from the student supervisor. The supervisee/consultee feedback should be documented by the student supervisor using assessment forms specifically designed for the project. Both assignments must obtain a mark of 50% or above to pass.

Formative assessment and feedback

The proposed supervision project should be discussed with the Programme Coordinator who will indicate whether the project would be suitable for the module. This formative assignment does not carry a mark. Feedback only is given.

Module aims

  • Previous knowledge and expertise in psychodynamic psychotherapy can be adapted in order to offer effective supervision, and in particular how this knowledge and expertise can be used to develop or maintain supervisee skills and competencies in psychoanalytic/psychodynamic therapy
  • The psychoanalytic/psychodynamic supervisory stance needs to be adaptable in order to address the training needs of supervisees, whilst maintaining a primary focus on the overall educational goals of supervision
  • A supervisor will need to adjust the balance between taking a collaborative and an authoritative stance according to the developmental needs of the supervisee and the complexity of the clinical material being presented
  • To access previous knowledge of psychodynamic theory and practice expertise in order to critically reflect on the supervisory relationship and its parallel connection with the supervisee-client relationship
  • 5. A psychoanalytic/psychodynamic orientated supervisor can work with the supervisee to critically explore his/her thoughts and feelings in order to better understand their own and the clients' transference and countertransference. 

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Draw on knowledge of the principles underpinning psychoanalytic/ psychodynamic therapy and apply these to the supervisory context.
2 Use personal experience of the clinical applications of psychoanalytic/ psychodynamic therapy to direct and guide supervisees in their clinical practice.
3 Show an ability to be critically self-reflective and to self-monitor the emotional and interpersonal processes associated with supervisor-supervisee interactions.
4 Take a respectful attitude to the supervisee, including an ability to be supportive and non-judgmental, especially in relation to the supervisee's discussion of clinical errors or mistakes. 
5 Integrate “training” and “therapeutic” aspects of the supervisory role when applying psychodynamic ideas and models usually associated with therapy
6 Maintain a primary focus on the educational goals of supervision and maintain an appropriate balance between a collaborative and an authoritative stance
7 Identify the supervisee's knowledge of, and experience with psychoanalytic/ psychodynamic therapy, and identify and discuss any misconceptions that the supervisee may hold regarding psychoanalytic/ psychodynamic therapy and techniques usually associated with this model.
8 Support the supervisee to critically reflect on their development as a psychodynamic practitioner in order to identify specific learning goals, and link material covered in specific supervision sessions to the supervisee's learning needs and personal development.
9 Facilitate the supervisee to critically review and apply knowledge about psychoanalytic/ psychodynamic ideas and technique, as it applies to the supervisee's clinical work.
10 Develop supervisees' skills in assessment and in analytic/dynamic case formulation, and to apply these skills to guide therapeutic interventions.
11 Support supervisees to maintain a balance between supportive and expressive interventions (e.g. building and maintaining a positive therapeutic alliance before moving to more specialised technical interventions).
12 Enable supervisees to observe and explore significant patterns in clinical material, especially when these relate to unconscious dynamics and communication.
13 Show ability to link psychodynamic concepts and principles to therapeutic strategies and techniques with reference to the clinical material presented by the supervisee through direct observation (usually through the use of audio or video recordings, but including joint working where this is feasible and appropriate).
14 Use audio-visual recordings in a structured manner to plan specific training tasks (e.g. to help recognise patterns of transference/ countertransference).
15 Demonstrate a capacity to focus on the client's patterns of interaction with the supervisee alongside the client’s intrapsychic dynamics, and in addition to the client’s dynamics be able to focus on the supervisee’s experiences, mental processes and behaviour.
16 Develop a relationship with the supervisee in order to facilitate discussion of the processes that occur within supervision and the therapy, and the way in which these interrelate to one another.
17 Incorporate service user and carer views in the process of supervision.

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 70

Methods of Teaching / Learning

A mix of experiential and didactic methods, to include: small group work, experiential workshops, micro-skills teaching; simulations, seminars, role plays, and review of audio-visual recordings. Access to some of this material and to a discussion group using SurreyLearn. 

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.