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On Supervisors’ Listening

Abstract

Therapists’ struggle to construct the meaning of their patients’ communications includes listening to their musical aspects such as intonations and rhythms. Similarly, supervisors listen to the musical aspects of their supervisees’ therapeutic narratives to construct their unsymbolized meanings and to identify the patients’ voices concealed in the supervisees’ voices. To describe supervisors’ listening processes, I propose the echo chamber metaphor along with the metaphors of evenly hovering attention and dreaming. The metaphoric echo chambers help supervisors in their listening processes by magnifying the sound signals in the supervisees’ voices and by highlighting their richness and uniqueness. Two main devices of echo chambers—adjusting the reverberation time of sounds and using specific surfaces to reflect these sounds can be effectively compared to inner devices used by supervisors while listening to their supervisees’ discourses.

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Correspondence to Hanoch Yerushalmi.

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Hanoch Yerushalmi, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist; Professor Emeritus, Department of Community Mental Health, University of Haifa, Israel; Consulting Editor, Psychoanalytic Social Work journal, USA; member, British Association for Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Supervision.

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Yerushalmi, H. On Supervisors’ Listening. Am J Psychoanal 81, 395–413 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s11231-021-09305-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/s11231-021-09305-y

Keywords

  • listening processes
  • musical aspects
  • supervisees’ discourses
  • echo chambers
  • metaphors