Reflective Interaction Observation Scale (RIOS™)

Use of reflective supervision is growing, spanning many interventions and disciplines. Fourteen states require reflective supervision in programs such as home visiting and early childhood special education. Yet, few studies define how to put reflective supervision into practice. Through this project, we want to better understand how reflective supervision impacts professionals and the families they serve.

This project is guided by representatives from 27 member states of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health with professional organizations that have adopted the Infant Mental Health Endorsement system. The system was created by the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (MAIMH).

One of the competencies identified by MAIMH is reflective supervision. Reflective supervision is a key part of professional development for infant mental health specialists and others who work with very young children and their families. The representatives are mental health clinicians, infant mental health specialists, and researchers.

For this project, we’re exploring the questions below:

  • What are the essential elements of reflective supervision?
  • How are essential elements of reflective supervision defined in practice?
  • What behaviors comprise essential elements of reflective supervision?


Lynne & Andrew Redleaf Foundation

Project staff

Christopher Watson, Ph.D., IMH-E®[IV], Principal Investigator

Mary Harrison, Ph.D., LICSW,IMH-E® (III-C), Research Associate

Jill Hennes, Consultant

Maren Harris, Consultant

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