BACP commissioned a systematic review to locate, appraise and synthesise evidence from research studies to obtain a reliable overview of the impact of clinical supervision.

This paper reports on the findings from articles published in this area since 1980, and reviews 25 individual published studies. The quality of evidence is variable, but supervision is consistently demonstrated to have some positive impacts on the supervisee.

The systematic review found limited evidence that:

  • supervision can enhance the self-efficacy of the supervisee
  • supervision has a beneficial effect on the supervisees, the client and the outcome of therapy
  • supervision that focuses on the working alliance can influence client perception and enhance outcome in the treatment of depression
  • clients treated by supervised therapists are more satisfied than those treated by unsupervised therapists
  • skill and process supervision have the same positive impact on client outcome
  • counselling and psychotherapeutic skills develop through supervision