Form, function and particularities of discursive practices in one-on-one supervision in Germany

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One-on-one supervision in Germany is not always the counselling of a professional in the helping professions by a supervisor from a similar field. It can also be – due to its adaptation to modern work contexts – a counselling format for a professional in a managerial position, not unlike business coaching. In some cases, these two aspects converge. In this article I will – based on two excerpts from a transcript – describe how two of the ubiquitous communicative tasks in one-on-one supervision (‘establishing the need for counseling, establishing the counselor as authority’ and ‘presenting the problem’) are tackled in light of this convergence and show that supervision is a conversation between experts who create a specific supervisor-supervisee relationship.


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