Affirmative Supervision: Becoming Deliberately Developmental


Presenter: Cadyn Cathers, PsyD

Recorded Webinar (Available Soon)

6 CEs



Clinical supervisors are in a unique position to support their interns' development of mind. Kegan’s constructivist/developmental theory (CDT) proposed that learning and development has five progressively more complex ways of knowing or “orders of mind”: Impulsive Mind, Instrumental Mind, Socialized Mind, Self-Authoring Mind, and Self-Transforming Mind. Each order of mind manages conflict and ambiguity differently as they vary in how they create meaning. The structure of one’s knowing, or Subject, includes emotions, assumptions, beliefs, and other unconscious material that drives how people create meaning. The content of one’s knowing, or Object, includes the conscious material that can be considered, reflected upon, and controlled. CDT posits that growth occurs when someone can take something that was once Subject and make it Object. In other words, we can develop more complex meaning-making when we can consciously reflect on previously unconscious ways of knowing. The majority of individuals only reach the 3rd order of mind: the Socialized Mind (Kegan and Lahey, 2009). 


For affirmative psychotherapists, the 4th order of mind, the Self-Authoring Mind, is the minimum level of complexity necessary due to the need to think systemically and help LGBTQIA+ clients manage conflict and navigate uncertainty in a homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic world. A person with a Self-Authoring Mind can trust their own voice, respond thoughtfully, create a personal philosophy for action, and establish secure internal commitments. Furthermore, a person with a Self-Transforming Mind can reflect beyond their identity or ideology to understand connections between systems and others; they can embrace contradiction and paradox. 


Through lecture and vignette discussion, this course will explore how affirmative supervisors can meet their interns where they are developmentally while also supporting their growth towards a more complex way of knowing.       


By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain 2 reasons why affirmative supervision needs to be deliberately developmental 
  • Describe the underlying structure of meaning-making in each of the 5 orders of mind
  • Describe at least 2 ways clinical supervisors can support interns movement through the orders of mind

About the Presenter

Cadyn Cathers, PsyD smiling and standing in front a rainbow brick wall. He is wearing a light blue button down, blue slacks, and brown belt. Photo Credit: Crystal Lily PhotographyCadyn Cathers, PsyD (he/him/his) has been teaching courses on human sexuality, psychotherapy with LGBTQIA+ communities, and psychodynamic theory for over 10 years. He is the founder and CEO of The Affirmative Couch, which provides online continuing education on clinical work with LGBTQIA+, CNM, and kink communities. He is a licensed psychologist in private practice at the Out Couch Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, P.C., where he focuses on psychoanalytic psychotherapy with transgender and nonbinary patients.







$99 for licensed

$79 for licensed in non-profit organization (Use coupon code at checkout: CDTNP)

$39 for pre-licensed (Use Coupon Code at checkout:  CDTPL)

Read more

This course is included in the annual and lifetime memberships.

Annual Membership

Lifetime Membership

Completion Requirements

Live Event

  • To get CE credit for the live event, you need to be present for all five hours.
  • You will be asked to sign in and out in the chat box in order to track attendance during breaks.
  • We will email you your certificate of attendance within 48 hours of the course.


You will need to take the post-test with at least a 80% score in order to receive your certificate for a homestudy course.

Additional Information

Instruction Level

This course is meant for an intermediate audience. 

Therapists with extensive experience working with transgender and nonbinary clients will likely find this course basic. 

Who should Attend

Psychologists, counselors, and marriage and family therapists and social workers.


Live, virtual presentation with the opportunity for interaction with the presenter. 

Recorded live webinar

Recorded, edited video.

Zoom Link

You will need to get your zoom link to attend the live event. After purchase, go to "my account" then "my courses" and obtain your zoom link. If you do not receive a confirmation email from zoom within 24 hours, please contact us.


Financial Support

The Affirmative Couch pays course presenters for their teaching. There is no other financial support for this course.

Conflict of Interest

There is no reported conflict of interest or outside commercial support for this course.

Contact Information

For any inquiries related to subject matter, problem resolution, corrections, grievances, or anything else, please contact us.


The Affirmative Couch will work to accommodate reasonable accommodations requests. Requests can be emailed with the event date and “accommodation request” in the subject line at least 1 week ahead of time. Requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Testimonials Regarding the Presenter in Other Courses

Identity Development around Sexuality, Gender and Relationships

"Cadyn's mastery of knowledge combined with his personable and approachable style made for a welcoming space for learning."

"Cadyn is amazing! He is a wealth of knowledge and provides such a rich tapestry of understanding, perspective taking, and case conceptualization. It was so informative and I am excited to share this information not only with clients but also with fellow clinicians."

Psychological Preparation for Medical Transition

"Dr. Cathers/Cadyn was such a rockstar. I can't even imagine teaching a 6 hour training, much less a 12-hour. He's incredible and I hope he enjoyed teaching it as much as we loved learning about the info."

Transference/Countertransference with LGBTQIA+ Clients

"This was so informative and had rich clinical implication! Cadyn provided so many excellent clinical examples and metaphors that were very illustrative and digestible"

"This was helpful as a cis-gendered therapist in being able to recognize transference and countertransferences with working with LBGTQIA+ folx that I have previously been unable to recognize or work with in a therapeutic way."

"I wish I'd had more of this in grad school. This made psychodynamics and object relations so much more accessible to me. I became disinterested in psychoanalytic therapy because, based on experiences with professors, I thought psychoanalytic work was inherently homophobic and I struggled to sort out what was helpful and what was not. I wish I'd had more of this and am glad to have found this resource now. ALSO this presentation of psychoanalytic therapy felt humble and respectful. I often experienced my professors as asserting that they knew me, other students, and their clients better than we all each knew ourselves. These experiences left me worried that psychoanalytic therapy often put the therapist in a position of too much power and could be hurtful (which I still think can be the case), but this training has left me with more imagination of how to play with psychodynamic theory."

Continuing Education Approvals


APA Approved Sponsor Logo

The Affirmative Couch, LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Affirmative Couch, LLC maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


$99 for licensed

$79 for licensed in non-profit organization (Use coupon code at checkout: CDTNP)

$39 for pre-licensed (Use Coupon Code at checkout:  CDTPL)

Read more

This course is included in the annual and lifetime memberships.

Annual Membership

Lifetime Membership

Module 1 Recorded Webinar
Unit 1 Course Materials  
Unit 2 Post Course Quiz  
Unit 3 Post Course Survey