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Using performance to highlight real life - A collaboration between a theatre and Health Services to develop clinical skills – an Australian experience

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 15:27 authored by Harris, DM, Chugg, J
This paper will describe the collaboration between an amateur theatre company and four large mental health services in Australia that undertook the task of developing a course for mental health clinicians in Clinical supervision. It aimed at teaching the skills required to become a competent clinical supervisor and to maximise the use of clinical supervision within the workforce. A number of educational modalities were utilized including small group work, large group discussion, and the strategic use of filmed vignettes to promote the development of knowledge and problem solving skills. It used strategies that engaged the participant in dealing with the issues that are encountered in clinical supervision such as the ethical issues that confront both the supervisee and supervisor. By far the most innovative and effective strategy we employed was the use of the actors from the local theatre company who, along with its President, the vignettes’ director, were able to highlight the complex nature of human relationships as they may be found in the clinical supervision relationship. The course would not have been able to provide such a high level of reality and challenge as was achieved without this innovation. This paper will describe the process and stages that were discovered by the educators as they embarked on the journey of writing, coaching the actors and making the vignettes that challenged participants beyond what was expected during the course. Points will be highlighted by showing snippets of the developed vignettes. The paper will be delivered by the director/President of the theatre company who is also a mental health clinician and an active clinical supervisor.


Publication title

Proceedings of INTED 2012






School of Nursing



Place of publication

Valencia, Spain

Event title

6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference

Event Venue

Valencia, Spain

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) not elsewhere classified

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