The Supervisor’s Power and Moments of Learning

  • Tone GrøverEmail author
Part of the Focused Issues in Family Therapy book series (FIFT)


This chapter reflects upon the phenomenon that a supervisee can experience moments of intense learning in supervision. These can be emotional moments of relief, of insight, or of something falling into place. The chapter discusses the role of the supervisor in being able to promote these moments of learning, especially in regard to understanding the supervisor’s position of power and of what type of language should be established in the supervision process. The chapter claims that we as supervisors should be aware of how we balance our power between a centered and a decentered position, in order to make it influential to learning. We should also be especially mindful of the language we use to make an atmosphere and a culture for the learning process. Language can be potentially alienating, and, by extension, alienating for the supervisee’s process of learning as well. However, language can potentially make us feel more intimate with others and our own selves, which can potentially turn the learning process inward. The chapter also presents a concrete model for how we as supervisors can act from a perspective of power that includes this nuanced understanding of the act of language.


Moments of learning Inner world Intimacy Alienation Sense of self Subjectivity Power position 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Family Therapy Section, Faculty of Social StudiesVID Specialized UniversityOsloNorway

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