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Saturday, August 1 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
S20: The Unspoken Need: Developing Standards and Guidelines for Training Supervisors in Psycho-oncology

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Supervision in psycho-oncology is a complex endeavor as supervisees need training in flexibility, patience, critical thinking, consultation, relationship-building, and communication with interprofessional teams, as well as ample room to explore their emotional reactions to working with cancer patients. Given such challenging and specific requirements, this symposium aims to clarify how we may best train supervisors within the field of psycho-oncology. It will be composed of three related discussions with a concluding case study to illuminate key issues. An overview of the limited international literature and results from an online survey will be incorporated into the presentations.

The first part of this symposium will focus on the unique features of supervising in psycho-oncology. There has been a recent call for psychology trainees to learn more about the biological factors in behavioral health and to put the “bio” back in the biopsychosocial model (Larkin, 2014).  Thus supervisees need to learn about the types of medical treatment that their patients receive, and to understand the roles of other professionals, and basic medical terminology.  Furthermore, supervisees require specific skill-training such as differentiating the effects of medical treatment from the symptoms of mood disorders, addressing existential concerns, working with family systems and on recognizing common countertransference responses.

The second part will focus on the training needs and basic competencies of supervisors. Topics include how to educate supervisees on working with an interdisciplinary team, conveying adequate medical information without being overwhelming, maintaining attention to supervisee’s emotional response to the work, how to facilitate supervisee’s awareness of how they as a therapist may avoid certain issues with a cancer patient (e.g. fear of recurrence) and how they may be more active than reflective in the face of illness.

The third part will discuss the recent shifts in the United States in the last decade to conceptualize clinical supervision as a professional competency for therapists.  The implications of the American Psychological Association Guidelines for Clinical Supervision in Health Service Psychology will be discussed with an emphasis on its metatheoretical approach of competency-based supervision and seven domains of supervision. The discussion will focus on how competency-based supervision is relevant to training students in psycho-oncology, and how it will likely influence the development of standards for training supervisors.

We will close the symposium with a supervision clinical case study focused on integrating the three different supervisor roles of counseling, consulting, and educating in a bone marrow transplant setting.

Chair: Mark Moore
Discussant: Nicole Taylor

S20-1: A Lack of Training for the Supervisor: Supervisee-focused Supervision in Psychosocial Oncology, N. Taylor

S20-2: Wearing the Tri-cornered Hat: A Supervision Case Study, N. Taylor

S20-3: Setting Goals in Supervision: Clarifying What Psycho-oncology Supervisees Need to Know and Experience, M. Moore

S20-4: Perceived Importance of Psycho-Oncology Clinical Guidelines for Chinese Cancer Patients and Health Professionals, L. Tang

S20-5: Competency-based Clinical Supervision: New Developments in the United States, A. Kracen
  

Saturday August 1, 2015 10:30am - 12:00pm
Marquis Salon 3/4

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