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Lawrence Shulman is a well-known expert on research, practice, and teaching in the field of clinical social work supervision and a contributor to the last three editions of the Encyclopedia of Social Work. His newly revised 3rd edition of Interactional Supervision gives ample attention to the practical, day-to-day problems encountered by clinical supervisors and is particularly useful in fields such as child welfare, where frontline workers are less likely to have formal social work education.
The book is written in a conversational mode and is designed to be easy for students in supervision courses and for new and experienced supervisors. Along with numerous examples from "real-life" supervision and a thorough explication of a work-phase model of supervision, the new edition includes:
• In-depth discussion and illustrations of the practice content of supervision
• Supervision of evidence-based practices
• Ethical issues, changing legislation, and risk assessment strategies
• Group leadership, group supervision, and the impact of traumatic events, i.e., 9/11
Shulman notes that most social work supervisors describe making the transition from frontline worker to supervisor as a very difficult process in which they received very little support. Many of the books on clinical supervision lack specific examples of individual and group supervision. To address this paucity of examples in the literature, Shulman, in the introductory chapter of the book, outlines some of the experiences that have been drawn from participant presentations at supervision workshops, including the following:
After six years of frontline work with a large welfare agency, a worker was promoted on the retirement of the previous supervisor. On the first Monday morning in her new role, she walked into the common room for coffee and her former peers became quiet. Two of them had also applied for the supervisory job and were upset that they didnít get it. She knew they were talking about her because she used to talk about the former supervisor with them. She wondered if this meant the end of her friendship with them.
Finally, Interactional Supervision, 3rd Edition, argues for what Shulman calls "the parallel process," where supervisors model in their interactions with frontline workers the manner in which the staff should ideally interact with clients, an approach that is well documented in scholarly research.
About the Author:
Lawrence Shulman, MSW, EdD, is professor emeritus and former dean, University at Buffalo School of Social Work. He is a practitioner–researcher who has developed the interactional model of practice and supervision building on the foundation work of William Schwartz.
Shulman is widely used as a trainer and consultant on direct practice with individuals, families and groups, supervision and administration, field instruction, child welfare, and teaching. His research has focused on operationalizing and testing skills for helping professionals at all levels of an organization or agency. He has also explored the impact of contextual factors such as agency policy, cost-containment efforts, caseload size, staff stress, job manageability, and traumatic events on the caseload to develop a grounded, holistic model.
Shulman has written or edited 18 books and monographs including books on supervision and management and a widely used social work practice text, The Skills of Helping Individuals, Families and Groups and Communities, now in its sixth edition (Cengage Publishers). His most recent book, Dynamics and Skills of Group Counseling (Cengage Publishers, 2010) presents the interactional and mutual aid model for group practice.
His research results are reported in Interactional Social Work Practice: Toward an Empirical Theory and in a number of published articles. He was the author of the supervision section in the last three editions of the Encyclopedia of Social Work and has been a contributor to The Social Work Dictionary. Shulman is on the editorial boards of six major journals, was the coeditor of The Clinical Supervisor, and has published often in professional journals. He was also the cofounder and cochair of the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse)-funded International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Clinical Supervision (2004 to 2009).