The Resonance from Personal Life in Family Therapy Supervision

  • Inger UllebergEmail author
  • Per Jensen
Part of the Focused Issues in Family Therapy book series (FIFT)


This chapter presents an understanding of the relation between the therapist’s private and personal experiences, and the encounters with different clients. This is a perspective we will bring into supervision conversations. The map of resonance which is drawn and the concepts presented are developed in relation to family therapists, yet it can contribute to the analysis of the meeting between the supervisor and the supervisee, and can be a starting point for questions being asked and subjects being explored in supervision.

The resonance concept derives from the world of music, and in this context concerns what in the clients that might resonate with the therapist. The encounter with the clients might remind the therapist of something from own experience or own history. Subsequently, this resonance can affect what the therapist chooses to emphasize, and what she does in the meeting with clients or families. The map of resonance can help us talk about these connections in supervision.

The map of resonance concerns the part of clinical practice which is understood and affected by the therapist’s personal and private experience from his/her own life. These experiences can be resources for the therapist, but they can also contribute to non-therapeutic moves and can represent blind spots in the practice. Through supervision the link between private and personal experiences and professional practice can be explored and challenged.


Resonance Private Personal Professional practice Supervision 


  1. Can, M. (2008). Tett inntil dagene: fortellingen om min mor. Oslo: Cappelen.Google Scholar
  2. Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Geertz, C. (1994). Thick description: Toward an interpretive theory of culture. Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science, 1, 213–231.Google Scholar
  4. Jennings, L., Goh, M., Skovholt, T. M., Hanson, M., & Banerjee-Stevens, D. (2003). Multiple factors in the development of the expert counselor and therapist. Journal of Career Development, 30(1), 59–72.Google Scholar
  5. Jensen, P. (2008). The narratives which connect. Oslo: University of East London, Diakonhjemmet høgskole.Google Scholar
  6. Jensen, P. (2009). Ansikt til ansikt: kommunikasjons-og familieperspektivet i helse-og sosialarbeid. Oslo: Gyldendal akademisk.Google Scholar
  7. Jensen, P., & Ulleberg, I. (2011). Mellom ordene—kommunikasjon i profesjonell praksis. Oslo: Gyldendal Akademisk.Google Scholar
  8. Lambert, M. J., Bergin, F. J., & Garfield, S. L. (2004). Bergin and Garfield’s handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change (5th ed.). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  9. Minuchin, S. (2012). Families and family therapy. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Norcross, J. C. (2010). The therapeutic relationship. In B. L. Duncan, S. D. Miller, B. E. Wampold, & M. A. Hubble (Eds.), The heart and soul of change: Delivering what works in therapy (pp. 113–141). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Orlinsky, D. E., & Rønnestad, M. H. (2005). How psychotherapists develop: A study of therapeutic work and professional growth. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Saugstad, P. (2009). Psykologiens historie (2. utg. ed.). Oslo: Gyldendal akademisk.Google Scholar
  13. Vedeler, A. (2007). Den bekymrede vandringsmannen—John Shotter om Tom Andersen i samtale med Anne Hedvig Vedeler. Fokus på familien, 35, 166–177.Google Scholar
  14. Wampold, B. E. (2001). The great psychotherapy debate: Models, methods, and findings. Mahwah, NJ: L. Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education and International Studies, Department of Primary and Secondary Teacher EducationOslo and Akershus University College of Applied SciencesOsloNorway
  2. 2.Family Therapy Section, Faculty of Social StudiesVID Specialized UniversityOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations