The Juggling Act of Supervision in Community Mental Health: Implications for Supporting Evidence-Based Treatment

  • Shannon DorseyEmail author
  • Michael D. Pullmann
  • Suzanne E. U. Kerns
  • Nathaniel Jungbluth
  • Rosemary Meza
  • Kelly Thompson
  • Lucy Berliner
Original Article


Supervisors are an underutilized resource for supporting evidence-based treatments (EBTs) in community mental health. Little is known about how EBT-trained supervisors use supervision time. Primary aims were to describe supervision (e.g., modality, frequency), examine functions of individual supervision, and examine factors associated with time allocation to supervision functions. Results from 56 supervisors and 207 clinicians from 25 organizations indicate high prevalence of individual supervision, often alongside group and informal supervision. Individual supervision serves a wide range of functions, with substantial variation at the supervisor-level. Implementation climate was the strongest predictor of time allocation to clinical and EBT-relevant functions.


Evidence-based treatment supervision Implementation climate Community mental health 



The authors would like to acknowledge the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery in Washington State, who funded the TF-CBT Initiative. We also thank the many clinicains and supervisors who partnered with us on this research.


This study was funded by NIMH (R01 MH095749).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Authors Dorsey, Jungbluth, and Berliner have received honorariums for providing TF-CBT training. Authors Pullmann, Kerns, Meza, and Thompson declare no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.University of DenverDenverUSA
  3. 3.Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic StressSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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