Date of Award

Fall 12-20-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Counselor Education


Counselor Education

Major Professor

Dr. Roxane Dufrene

Second Advisor

Dr. Zarus Watson

Third Advisor

Dr. Gerard Williams


Substance abuse counseling has many counselors and supervisors who are in recovery from a personal history of substance abuse. Approximately 37% of supervisors in the substance abuse field reported being in personal recovery (Eby, Burke, & Birkelbach, 2009). Little is known about how a clinical supervisor’s personal recovery influences his or her clinical supervision. The purpose of this phenomenological research study was to investigate the perceived lived experiences of clinical supervisors’ in recovery during the clinical supervision of substance abuse counselors working towards a license or credential in Louisiana. A qualitative phenomenological methodology, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyze data from six clinical supervisors in recovery using semi-structured interviews. Themes emerged from the data, which resulted in 13 categories: 1) functions of supervision; 2) factors influencing the supervision relationship; 3) insight into addiction; 4) factors pertaining to self-disclosure; 5) managing dual relationships; 6) recovery isn’t enough; 7) relapse potential and management; 8) stigma of addiction; 9) structure of supervision; 10) countertransference; 11) feelings about self-disclosure; 12) importance of self-care; and 13) supervisors need supervision and consultation The categories provide increased understanding and insight into how recovery influences and were used in supervision by supervisors in recovery. Implications for supervisors in recovery, supervisees of supervisors in recovery, and clinical supervisor educators are also addressed.


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