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Clinical supervision in older adult mental health services

Alessandra Merizzi (Oldham Memory Assessment and Treatment Service, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, Ashton-under-Lyne, UK) (Manchester Gestalt Centre, Manchester, UK)

Working with Older People

ISSN: 1366-3666

Article publication date: 22 October 2019

Issue publication date: 22 October 2019




The purpose of this paper is to explore how supervision is applied in the context of National Health Service services for older adults, with particular regard to the profession of clinical psychology and psychotherapy.


The clinical supervision theories that are considered in this exploration are the Seven-Eyed Model (Hawkins and Shohet, 2012) and the Cyclical Model (Page and Wosket, 2015). The discussion also integrates an overview of psychological dynamics as presented by the existing literature with the author’s reflections on the influence of ageing stereotypes in the therapeutic work with older adults.


The theoretical models of clinical supervision considered can offer a robust framework and pathway for supervisory work in psychology and psychotherapy for older people. However, this alone seems insufficient and needs to be combined with the supervisor’s knowledge on psychology of ageing as well as their own self-reflection on internalised ageing stereotypes.

Practical implications

The paper suggests a need for health care professionals, providing clinical supervision on older adult therapeutic work, to be familiar with the aspects analysed.


Clinical supervision handbooks overlook aspects related to age as an issue of difference. This paper adds value to the clinical work with older people through a novel attempt to link implications of ageing stereotypes with the therapeutic and supervisory practice.



Merizzi, A. (2019), "Clinical supervision in older adult mental health services", Working with Older People, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 241-250.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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