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Clinical supervision for clinical psychology students in Uganda: an initial qualitative exploration

Hall, Jennifer, Kasujja, Rosco and OAKES, Peter (2015) Clinical supervision for clinical psychology students in Uganda: an initial qualitative exploration. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 9 (1). ISSN 1752-4458

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Abstract or description


Burn out in clinical psychologists working in low income countries has been reported. Clinical supervisory structures do not yet exist in Uganda. A way to decrease levels of burn out and increase quality of care for people with mental illness is through clinical supervision. The aim of this study was to explore the initial experiences of supervision for clinical psychology students in Uganda to ascertain whether or not clinical supervision is culturally appropriate, and what aspects of supervision had been helpful and unhelpful.


A qualitative design with thematic analysis was utilized. A focus group was held with 12 second year clinical psychology students to ask their experiences of receiving supervision.


Data analysis created five themes. Firstly, the negative emotions that resulted from the training processed were discussed, and how supervision helped and did not help the students to manage these. Secondly, the students voiced that supervision helped them to learn through observational experiences, co-therapist roles and parallel processes within the supervisory relationship. Thirdly, supervision had taught the clinical psychology students their role as a clinical psychology student, how to act within the Ugandan mental health system and skills to conduct therapy. Fourthly, suggestions for the future of supervision were given, with the students requesting for it to start earlier in the training, for supervisors who can meet with the students on a regular basis to be selected and for the training the students receive at university to match the skills required on their placements, with a request for more practical techniques rather than theory. The final theme related to left over miscellaneous data, such as the students agreeing with each other.


The students stated that supervision was helpful overall, implying that clinical supervision is culturally appropriate for clinical psychology students in Uganda. Suggestions for future supervision were given. In order to decrease high levels of staff burn out in the mental health systems in Uganda, supervisory structures with an emphasis on self care need to be established.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2017 13:07
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:49

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