, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 684-697

Family of Origin Coaching for Clinicians in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

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Abstract

The role of the therapist as a person rather than only as a technician has become increasingly important in family therapy since the post-modern turn. Despite this there is a paucity of research exploring supervision models that focus on self-reflection, as opposed to clinical competence. This study documents the experience of a Family of Origin Coaching group, conducted with six clinicians and one supervisor working in a child and adolescent mental health service. A participatory action framework was used, with data analysed using grounded theory. A variety of benefits were reported, including personal development, an enhanced empathy towards clients and an ability to better cope with stressful team dynamics. Family of Origin coaching has the potential to yield benefits for clinicians as a compliment to traditional supervision. Issues of confidentiality and safety need to be addressed carefully, especially during times of organisational change or stress.

The last six authors have asked that their affiliation not be explicitly cited in the paper given their dual role, both as contributing authors and participants in this participatory action study. All six are clinicians working in child and adolescent mental health who were involved in the research design, coding and writing of this manuscript.