Games of Supervision in Social Work

14th LUMEN International Scientific Conference Rethinking Social Action. Core Values in Practice RSACVP2020 Copyright © 2020

FORMAT | Presented paper              

LANGUAGE | English

HOW TO CITE| Unguru, E., & SANDU, Antonio (2020). Games of Supervision in Social Work. Presented at 14th LUMEN International Scientific Conference Rethinking Social Action. Core Values in Practice RSACVP2020 | online conference| Iasi, Romania | May 22-23, 2020.

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This paper analyzes a series of games of supervision, games that we understood not from the medicalized paternalistic perspective on social work, which Kadushin printed on this theory, but from the perspective of games as ego transactions, bringing here into discussion Eric Berne’s Transactional Analysis. Thus, in this paper, the games of supervision were seen as strategies for normalizing power relations in the process of social construction of supervision as a professional practice.
In general, supervisors tend to act in the supervision process as they themselves, in turn, received supervision, if it was constructive, or to place themselves on an opposite communication model, if the supervision process in which they were themselves involved was ineffective or they considered it a generator of professional stress.
Seductive strategies aim at transforming the supervisor into a close friend of the supervised person, regardless of the party initiating this approach, by replacing the supervisory relationship with one of protective mentoring and, in general, giving up at least one of the supervisory functions so that side of the process that suits both parties, ensuring the comfort of communication, to be explored only partially.
The games of supervision, as identified, although partially different from the model initiated by Kadushin, follow the structure identified by the author, in the sense that games initiated by the supervisor are aimed at mitigating power disparity by discursive cleavage from case-centered to centered on the relationship, while the games initiated by the supervisor tend to create an empowerment of the supervisor, which allows the supervisor to assert himself, responding to his need for recognition, rather than that of the trained supervisor.


supervision games; transactional analysis, power relations; seductive strategies; empowerment of the supervised.