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The Contemporary Relational Supervisor, Second Edition
Robert E. Lee and Thorana S. Nelson
Routledge / Softcover / Aug 2021
9780367568962 (ISBN-10: 0367568969)
Clinical Supervision / Couple & Family Studies
reg price: $56.50 our price: $ 53.68
272 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

The Contemporary Relational Supervisor, 2nd edition, is an empirically based, academically sophisticated, and learner-friendly text on the cutting edge of couple and family therapy supervision.

This extensively revised second edition provides emerging supervisors with the conceptual and pragmatic tools to engage a new wave of therapists, helping them move forward together into a world of highly systemic, empirically derived, relational, developmental, and integrative supervision and clinical practice. The authors discuss major supervision models and approaches, evaluation, ethical and legal issues, and therapist development. They present methods that help tailor and extend supervision practices to meet the clinical, institutional, economic, and cultural realities that CFT therapists navigate. Filled with discussions and exercises to engage readers throughout, as well as updates surrounding telehealth and social justice, this practical text helps emerging therapists feel more grounded in their knowledge and develop their own personal voice.

The book is intended for developing and experienced clinicians and supervisors intent on acquiring up-to-date and forward-looking, systemic, CFT supervisory mastery.


Reading this book reminded me just how much the literature on supervision is siloed, with the consequence that those of us in psychology are missing excellent work on supervision being written by our couples and family therapy colleagues (and presumably, vice versa). Lee and Nelson have drawn on their rich clinical experience and deep knowledge of the literature to write a book that not only provides a comprehensive overview of the practice of supervision, but does so in a clear, practical, and engaging way. I strongly recommend it to anyone, including fellow psychologists and psychology students, who want to deepen their knowledge of supervision.

Rod Goodyear

Emeritus Professor

University of Southern California and University of Redlands

Contemporary Relational Supervision is a must read for supervisors of all levels. It provides a deep dive into the evidence-based literature for best practice in systemic clinical supervision. Essential topics related to diversity and inclusion are integrated throughout the text which is essential for the practice of Socially Just Supervision.

Toni Schindler Zimmerman, PhD, LMFT

MFT Program Director, Colorado State University

Contemporary Relational Supervision (2nd ed.) is nothing short of a revolution in clinical supervision. No other text on the market covers the depth and breadth of topics tackled by Lee and Nelson in this impressive volume, encouraging readers to cultivate a personal style of supervision as well as guidance on highly relevant topics such as telesupervision. Written with incredible clarity, attention to context, and refreshing humility and charm, this text reinvents relational supervision and is a must-have for any systemic therapist beginning their supervisory journey.

Katherine M. Hertlein

Professor, Couple and Family Therapy Program

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

If Lee and Nelson’s Contemporary Relational Supervision was a client family in a session, this text would read like its genogram, with the authors skillfully laying out for us who in the field did what, when, and how—along with all of the nuance and detail one appreciates in the best kind of genogram narrative. The history of systems supervision ideas is only part of the package; in this book, Lee and Nelson’s scholarship on the practice of supervision in family therapy is as comprehensive and engaging as the suggested exercises and tasks at the end of every chapter. Just as with the best of genograms, this book invites the reader to consider the patterns of supervision scholarship and practice across the generations, while also inspiring us to make our own contribution to its sound future.

Laurie L Charlés,

Global Family Systems & Psychosocial Resilience, Project Lead

Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions (MGHIHP), Visiting Lecturer

The Contemporary Relational Supervisor serves as bridge between the roots of couple and family therapy training and the ways of being that encourage ethical and equitable supervision practices. As a Canadian C/MFT and supervisor, it is challenging to find clinical and supervisory resources that speak to the regulatory and training contexts in Canada. In addition to pragmatic and gate-keeping roles as a supervisor, finding a scaffold on which to structure and communicate the how and why of relationally-based supervision within our regional, personal and professional environments is important. In reading this revised text, particularly Part III Cultural Considerations, I found myself reviewing my scaffold and revisiting the differences that make a difference personally, professionally and systemically. Said differently, this text places supervisors’ way of being in a recursive loop with the systems in which training C/MFTs occurs, the hopes and expectations of those who seek that training and the skills, knowledge and attitudes that make systemic practice a worthwhile contribution to relational well-being.

Sharon Ramsay

Private Practice, Toronto, ON

Lee and Nelson establish a clear foundation for systemic supervision and therapies. This is an outstanding resource that uncannily speaks to both the seasoned supervisor and those working to hone their craft. The book will be incredibly valuable to new supervisors as they bridge the transition from training students to mentoring new clinicians. This work is theoretically cogent, emphasizing social awareness, and elaborating on the distinctive patterns within supervisory relationships. Each chapter opens my mind to research opportunities that could support systemic supervision training. This will be seminal literature for training doctoral students, educators, and mentors. I am grateful for the publication of this innovative work. If you could only buy one book on supervision, this is the one to buy.

Scott Ketring

Associate Professor and Director,

Auburn University Marriage and Family Therapy Program

Following are two that were not able to provide a full endorsement, but these are lines I pulled from their emails that I thought were potentially useful.

…thoughtful, comprehensive and engaging resource.

Olivia Loewy

Olivia Loewy and Associates

AAMFT Approved Supervisor

…students have found it to be extremely practical and helpful.

Megan Dolbin-MacNab,

Associate Professor, Virginia Tech

Table of Contents

PART I: Understanding the Supervisory Process: An Overview; 1: Basic Ingredients in the Supervisory Process; 2: Systemic Supervisory Relationships, Roles, and Goals; 3: Getting Started: Readiness and Procedures; 4: Screening, Contracts, Core Competencies, Evaluation, and Feedback-Centered Supervision; PART II: Relational Supervision Practices; 5: A Closer Look at Supervision Formats; 6: Approaches to Supervision; 7: Effective Supervision According to the Literature; 8: Supervision Based on Core Competencies; 9: Supervising Manual-Based Models; PART III: Contextual Considerations ; 10: Contextual Aspects of Supervision: Settings, Culture, and Self; 11: Legal Aspects of Relational Supervision; 12: Ethical Considerations in Relational Supervision; 13: Self of the Therapist, Self of the Supervisor; PART IV: Troubleshooting and Writing a Personal Philosophy of Supervision Paper; 14: Troubleshooting and Pragmatics in the Relational Training System; 15: Developing Your Personal Philosophy of Supervision Paper

About the Authors:

Robert E. Lee is a senior family science researcher and couple and family clinician who has shaped major academic CFT training programs and served on organizational and governmental panels and boards.

Thorana S. Nelson is a couple and family therapist, supervisor, and educator. She developed and has taught in the AAMFT Foundations of Family Therapy Supervision online course.

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Lee, Robert E
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