Vanessa Jayne Leary, Psy.D., is a 2018 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • James Fauth, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Lorraine Mangione, PhD, Committee Member
  • Gina Pasquale, PsyD, Committee Member


disclosure, identity formation, nondisclosure, supervision

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Few studies have explored the long-term impact of nondisclosure and disclosure events on supervisee development and identity formation. This qualitative study explored the retrospective accounts of supervisee (non)disclosure experiences in clinical supervision as supervisees negotiated the learning/vulnerability paradox that accompanies disclosure. Through the use of Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), six early career licensed clinical psychologists who completed their predoctoral internships between 3 and 5 years ago, graduated from an APA-accredited program, and who were actively practicing in the field of psychology were interviewed. Following interview transcription, I engaged in the process of convergent and divergent analysis in order to elicit superordinate and emergent themes within and between participants’ narrative accounts. Themes included supervisee qualities, supervision histories, and supervisor qualities, all of which informed and set the stage for (non)disclosure experiences. (Non)disclosure in supervision served a range of functions and was an important component of clinical training that influenced how psychologists approached future professional practices (e.g., therapy, supervision, consultation). In essence, supervisees carry their personal and professional histories into supervision where they interact with supervisor characteristics and experiences to form a mental model of supervision. This mental model informs the critical threshold by which supervisees come to negotiate vulnerability and safety within the relationship. Clinical implications include the promotion of transparency and communication in order to build trust, safely contain anxiety, and allow for learning. While generalizability was limited by the homogenous and small sample, the narratives of these participants make a compelling argument for further investigation into how supervision histories impact training and development.


Vanessa Jayne Leary

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-3170-3177