Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

First Adviser

Inman, Arpana

Other advisers/committee members

Hojnoski, Robin; Liang, Christopher; Evans, Laurie Gray


Evaluative feedback in supervision is an important factor that compounds the hierarchical nature of the supervisory relationship. Whereas the evaluative feedback process can be constructive when it contributes to supervisee learning and self-efficacy, the evaluative nature of providing feedback can also make the supervisee feel vulnerable due to its inherent focus on areas of growth that form the basis for evaluation. Moreover, a lack of set criteria for evaluation on a particular issue (e.g., supervisee’s professional development) can further compound the issues. At the same time, challenging feedback can provide a constructive experience when the supervisor’s approach (i.e., interventions) to addressing challenging feedback resonates with supervisee needs. However, supervision literature on the nature of interventions used in addressing challenging evaluative feedback in relation to supervisee outcomes remains scant. Using the critical events in supervision (CES) model, the current study utilized a mixed method design to examine types of supervisor interventions used to address supervisee responses to challenging feedback and its relationship to supervisee outcomes (supervisee awareness, knowledge, skills, supervisee self-efficacy, supervisee satisfaction and supervisory working alliance). Qualitative analyses using consensual qualitative research-modified revealed five distinct categories, clinical approach/assessment, professionalism, interpersonal, and personal feedback and no challenging feedback. Supervisee reactions to the challenging feedback included being disappointed with oneself, frustration with self and supervisor, feeling hurt, shocked, and experiencing self-doubt. Quantitative analyses using multiple multivariate linear regression analysis revealed that three supervisor interventions, focusing on supervisee awareness, skills, and normalizing supervisee experiences were significant predictors of supervisee satisfaction and supervisory working alliance. Implications for these findings are discussed.