© 2017

Supervision of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice

  • Arlene Vetere
  • Jim Sheehan


  • Presents an overview of systemic supervision training and practice

  • Encompasses a broad range of modalities including live, retrospective, and peer supervision

  • Includes tools for building a supervision process in couple and family therapy


Part of the Focused Issues in Family Therapy book series (FIFT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Starting off in Supervision

  3. The Supervision Process: Listening, Action and Reflection

  4. Supervision in Special Contexts of Practice

  5. Looking after Ourselves as Supervisors and Supervisees

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 217-217
    2. Gudmund Fossli, Hans Christian Michaelsen
      Pages 227-260

About this book


This much-needed volume examines the process and practice of supervision in family therapy, with special emphasis on systemic practice. Expert trainers and supervisors from diverse disciplines take a systemic tour of the relationships between supervisor, therapist, and client, analyzing the core skills of effective, meaningful supervision—including questioning, listening, and reflecting—and their impact on therapy. These skills and others are applied to supervising therapy with individuals, couples, and families in areas including substance abuse, domestic violence, and research settings. Throughout the book, contributors share self-care strategies, so supervisors can stay engaged and creative, meet the many challenges entailed in their work, and avoid burnout.

Among the topics covered:

  • The resonance from personal life in family therapy supervision.
  • Creating a dialogical culture for supervision.
  • The supervisor’s power and moments of learning.
  • Supervision and domestic violence: therapy with individuals, couples, and families.
  • Systemic supervision with groups in child protection contexts.
  • When the supervision process falters and breaks down: pathways to repair.

The highly practical information in Supervision of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice is adaptable by readers to their particular supervisory or training needs. Novice and veteran mental health, social care, and social work practitioners and psychotherapists, will find it a substantial resource.


Family therapy supervision Systemic supervisor training Supervisor reflexivity Systemic supervision of therapeutic work Family and couple therapy Systemic family therapy Supervision and domestic violence Peer consultation in family therapy supervision

Editors and affiliations

  • Arlene Vetere
    • 1
  • Jim Sheehan
    • 2
  1. 1.VID Specialized UniversityOsloNorway
  2. 2.VID Specialized UniversityOsloNorway

About the editors

Arlene Vetere, PhD, is a Professor of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice at Diakonhjemmet University College, Oslo, Norway, Visiting Professor of Clinical Psychology at Universita degli Studi, Bergamo, Italy and Affiliate Professor of Family Atudies at the University of Malta. She is a practicing clinical psychologist, systemic family psychotherapist, and family therapy supervisor and trainer. She has published 9 books, 48 peer reviewed journal articles, and 20 book chapters. She has recently co-edited with Peter Stratton (2016) ‘Interacting Selves: Systemic concepts and solutions for personal and professional development in counselling and psychotherapy’, Routledge, (to which, Per Jensen, Jim Sheehan and Anne Hedvig Vedeler contributed chapters). Arlene was president of EFTA (European Family Therapy Association) from 2004-2010.

Jim Sheehan, PhD, is Professor of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice at Diakonhjemmet University College, Oslo, Norway. He has been Director of Family Therapy Training at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland for 25 years from 1987 to 2012. Over the last 30 years he has supervised family therapists at all levels of qualifying training and post qualification experience. His research and publications in the area include a study of mature trainee’s experiences of learning within qualifying family therapy training as well as a consideration of the way supervision dialogues contribute to the ongoing personal and professional development of family therapy supervisors. 

Bibliographic information


“This is a needed addition to the relatively scarce literature on supervision in family therapy, especially form a systemic perspective! Written in a clear and practical way and, at the same time, at a high academic level, it reflects the experience and the knowledge of its contributors and qualifies it to as a go-to resource for present and future systemic supervisors in the field of family therapy.” (Ileana Ungureanu, Doody's Book Reviews, August, 2018)