The IPscope: Applications to Couple and Family Therapy Supervision

Jeff Chang, Monica Sesma Vazquez, Ka Man Cheang, Shannon McIntosh, Karl Tomm

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The IPscope (IP signifying Interpersonal Patterns), developed at the Calgary Family Therapy Center by Karl Tomm and colleagues, provides a way of understanding behavior in context. Building on our work using the IPscope to conceptualize the functioning of families, we have also used the IPscope to bring a relational ethos to CFT supervision. After describing the development of the IPscope and its use at the CFTC, we describe specific applications of the IPscope to several key foci of clinical supervision: cross-cultural issues; the supervisory working alliance, with specific reference to supervisee nondisclosure and informal supervision; supporting supervisees to develop case conceptualization skills with the IPscopic reflectogram; dealing with impasses in therapy or supervision, usually labeled intrapsychically as countertransference, and a practical approach to isomorphism. Finally, we address limitations and critique of the IPscope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-140
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Family Psychotherapy
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Clinical supervision
  • countertransference in clinical supervision
  • cross-cultural issues in clinical supervision
  • family therapy supervision
  • isomorphism
  • supervisory working alliance


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