Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Reflecting Team Supervision in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Jennifer HodgsonEmail author
  • David M. Haralson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_649


First introduced by Andersen (1987), a reflecting team is a group of professionals who at some point during a therapy session switch physical spaces for 2–15 min with the client(s) and therapist to highlight the client(s)’ strengths and offer alternative explanations for existing problems. Subsequent to the reflecting team’s process, the therapist empowers the client(s) to assign meaning and relevance to what was heard. Reflecting teams are a popular training tool for couple and family therapists allowing for unique opportunities for supervisors to equalize the power within the client and treatment system.

Theoretical Context for Concept

Embraced mostly by postmodern practitioners, reflecting team advocates place clients as the experts of their lives, inviting clients and therapists to be cocreators of clients’ preferred narratives (Madigan 2011). Reflecting teams are a way of creating new meaning, perspective, and solutions to the problems that clients are facing. It is...

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  1. Andersen, T. (1987). The reflecting team: Dialogue and meta-dialogue in clinical work. Family Process, 26(4), 415–428.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1545-5300.1987.00415.x.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Chang, J. (2010). The reflecting team: A training method for family counselors. The Family Journal, 18(1), 36–44.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1066480709357731.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  4. Madigan, S. (2011). Narrative therapy (1st ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.East Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Thorana Nelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Utah State UniversitySanta FeUSA