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A Qualitative Study Examining Discussions Of Multicultural Perspectives In Clinical Supervision

Dissertation
Author: Angela Lynn Zapata
Abstract:
Multicultural counseling competencies (MCCs) are fundamental to the ethical practice of providing services to clients. One such competency is the aspect of self-awareness of one's own worldview. As such, it is incumbent that attention to counselor's self-awareness be a part of clinical training. While research has begun to examine multicultural supervision, much of the research holds assumptions about the types of multicultural discussions that take place, as well as what may actually occur within these sessions. Little is known about what is discussed and how. This exploratory, qualitative study examined what actually occurs within clinical supervision sessions with regard to having discussion of multicultural perspectives, as well as how supervisors and supervisees experience these discussions. Five supervisory dyads from university counseling centers in the southwest were recruited to engage in a guided discussion of multicultural perspectives (DMP) in a supplemental supervision session. In these DMPs, dyads were asked to discuss issues related to personal identity, as well as to discuss the relevance of having such discussions in clinical supervision. Both the supervisors and supervisees then engaged in follow-up telephone interviews with the researcher to discuss their experience in having this discussion. All supervision sessions and follow-up interviews were recorded and transcribed. Grounded theory was used to analyze the transcribed sessions and the follow-up interviews for emergent themes. Four domains emerged from the data: dynamics in the relationship, cultural lens, characteristics of the discussion, and impact of the discussion. Further, several areas of congruence between supervisors' and interns' accounts of what occurred during the DMP, as well as congruence between supervisors' and interns' accounts of what occurred and what actually happened during the DMPs were discovered. These areas of congruence that emerged included power, similarities, differences, comfort level, enjoyment, intentionality for future work and increased awareness. The one distinct pattern of incongruence that emerged from the data was in the category of increased connection in supervisory relationship. A theoretical model of supervisors' and interns' experiences in discussions of multicultural perspectives is included. Implications, limitations and suggestions for future research are explored.

vii TABLE OF CONTENTS Page LIST OF TABLES ....................................................................................................... x LIST OF FIGURES .................................................................................................... xi CHAPTER PAGE 1 THE PROBLEM IN PERSPECTIVE ................................................... 1 Conceptual Framework and Literature Review ................................. 2 Multicultural Competencies in Clinical Practice ............................... 4 Multicultural Supervision ................................................................... 7 Multicultural Supervision Theories ............................................... 8 Empirical Research in Multicultural Supervision ....................... 12 Multicultural Supervision and Supervisory Working Alliance .. 17 Purpose .............................................................................................. 22 2 METHODOLOGY ............................................................................... 23 Research Paradigm ........................................................................... 23 Methodological Approach ................................................................ 28 Qualitative Research Methodology ............................................. 29 Grounded Theory Research ......................................................... 30 Researcher-as-Instrument ................................................................. 33 Participants and Recruitment ............................................................ 38 Demographics .............................................................................. 40 Measures ........................................................................................... 42 Description of Training ............................................................... 42

viii CHAPTER PAGE Procedure .......................................................................................... 43 Multicultural Supervision Session .............................................. 43 Interviews and Rapport ................................................................ 44 Data Collection and Transcription .............................................. 46 Data Analysis ............................................................................... 47 3 RESULTS ............................................................................................. 52 Domain 1: Dynamics in Relationships ............................................. 53 Domain 2: Cultural Lens .................................................................. 65 Domain 3: Characteristics of Discussions ....................................... 73 Domain 4: Impact of Discussions .................................................... 83 Comparison Coding .......................................................................... 90 Theoretical Model ........................................................................... 129 4 DISCUSSION .................................................................................... 131 General Discussion ......................................................................... 133 Implications of Emergent Categories ............................................. 139 Domain 1: Dynamics in Relationships ...................................... 139 Domain 2: Cultural Lens ........................................................... 152 Domain 3: Characteristics of Discussions ................................ 157 Domain 4: Impact of Discussions ............................................. 169 Limitations ...................................................................................... 176 Recommendations........................................................................... 178 Concluding Thoughts ..................................................................... 179

ix REFERENCES ...................................................................................................... 181 APPENDIX A INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL LETTER 188 B DEMOGRAPHIC FORM ............................................................... 190 C ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ASKED OF SUPERVISORS . 192 D ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ASKED OF INTERNS ........... 194 E SUPPLEMENTAL SUPERVISION INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUPERVISORS ........................................................................... 196 F DIMENSIONS OF PERSONAL IDENTITY ................................ 201 G QUESTIONS FOR SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEW ........... 203

x LIST OF TABLES Table Page 1. Pseudonyms for Participants by Dyad ................................................ 52 2. Emergent Domains and Categories .................................................... 53

xi LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page 1. Theoretical Model of Discussions of Multicultural Perspectives in clinical supervision .......................................................................... 205

1 Chapter 1 The Problem in Perspective Many psychologists suggest multicultural competencies are directly related to ethical practice in providing services to clients (APA, 2003; Arredondo & Toporek, 2004; Fouad, 2006; Heppner, 2006; Sue, Arredondo, & McDavis, 1992). The APA Code of Ethics (1992) states, “Psychologists provide services, teach and conduct research only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, or appropriate professional experience.” (Principle 1.04). Arredondo and Toporek (2004) cite the ACA Code of Ethics as the backbone for inclusion of the Multicultural Counseling Competencies as ethical practice. Fouad (2006) further cites the ethical need for skills in recognizing differences among cultural groups and in learning to work with those who differ from us. She suggests that helping trainees become culturally competent increases their ability to be effective practitioners, teachers and researchers. Fouad suggests that curriculum be infused with a culture- centered perspective, with practicum being included in the curriculum. Heppner (2006) contends that increased cross-cultural competence encourages a deeper understanding of counseling as it occurs within a cultural context and increases overall effectiveness of counseling, as well as increases the profession’s ability to address the needs of diverse populations. Sue, Arredondo, and McDavis (1992) suggest a need for multicultural competence in a society in which services to underserved ethnic minority populations is increasing.

2 Though the need for multicultural competencies is great, there is little research examining the methods for increasing such competencies, especially within the context of clinical supervision. In fact, most of the research examining multicultural issues in clinical supervision has looked primarily at satisfaction and perceptions in supervision, as well as the ability to include multicultural issues in case conceptualization. Those studies that do examine multicultural competencies focus on self-report and do not control for social desirability. This exploratory, qualitative study proposes a necessary step back to examine what actually happens when supervisors and supervisees engage in discussions of multicultural perspectives, as well as their perceptions of such discussions. Conceptual Framework and Literature Review In order to understand the issues that are important in multicultural clinical supervision, a detailed review of the guidelines regarding multicultural competencies and theories of multicultural supervision is necessary. Often, multicultural supervision has been defined in previous studies as being a supervisory dyad that is comprised of a supervisor and supervisee who differ in relation to their race, ethnicity and/or culture, or it has been defined as that supervision that focuses on multicultural case conceptualization (Ladany, Inman, Constantine, & Hofheinz, 1997; Burkard, Johnson, Madson, Pruitt, Contrereas- Tadych, Kozlowski, Hess, & Knox, 2006; Gatmon, Jackson, Koshkarian, Martos- Perry, Molina, & Patel et al., 2001) . Multicultural supervision is defined in this study as supervisory relationships in which the supervisor and supervisee engage in discussions of multicultural perspectives (DMPs). While the term multicultural

3 may be used to reference merely race and ethnicity in many other studies, this term is being expanded in this study. These multicultural perspectives may be comprised of a number of personal identities, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, nationality, political affiliation, religion and spirituality, etc., as well as concepts such as stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, oppression, power and privilege. The review of the guidelines regarding multicultural competencies will address awareness, knowledge and skills psychologists and counselors should possess to ethically work with clients of various identities, including race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, etc. (APA, 2003; Arredondo, Toporek, Brown, Jones, Locke, Sanchez, & Stadler, 1996), curriculum for counselor education (Fouad & Arredondo, 2007), and principles to be implemented when working with clients (Goodman, Liang, Helms, Latta, Sparks, & Weintraub, 2004). Review of the theories of multicultural supervision includes developmental stages of cross-cultural awareness (Christensen, 1989), stages of multicultural supervision (Carney & Kahn, 1984), a discriminant model of multicultural supervision (Chen, 2005), an interactional approach to multicultural supervision (Chen, 2001), and the importance of multicultural discussions in supervision (Estrada, Frame, & Williams, 2004). The working alliance in clinical supervision and its relation to multicultural supervision also will be explored. Finally, a review of empirical research regarding multicultural supervision will be included.

4 Multicultural Competencies in Clinical Practice In response to the call for multicultural counseling competencies as guidelines for ethical practice, APA (2003) developed guidelines on multicultural education, training, research, practice, and organizational change for psychologists. The following pertain to counseling and supervision: Guideline 1: Psychologists are encouraged to recognize that, as cultural beings, they may hold attitudes and beliefs that can detrimentally influence their perceptions of and interactions with individuals who are ethnically and racially different from themselves; Guideline 2: Psychologists are encouraged to recognize the importance of multicultural sensitivity/responsiveness to, knowledge of, and understanding about ethnically and racially different individuals; Guideline 3: As educators, psychologists are encouraged to employ constructs of multiculturalism and diversity in psychological education; and Guideline 5: Psychologists are encouraged to apply culturally appropriate skills in clinical and other applied psychological practices.

Further, the members of the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development, a division of the American Counseling Association, developed Multicultural Counseling Competencies (MCCs) (1992). These include the following domains: 1) counselor awareness of own cultural values and biases, 2) counselor awareness of client’s worldview, and 3) culturally appropriate intervention strategies. Multicultural competence is the extent to which counselors have appropriate levels of self-awareness, knowledge and skills within these three areas in working with people from diverse backgrounds (Arredondo, Toporek, Brown, Jones, Locke, Sanchez, & Stadler, 1996). The specific competencies regarding attitudes and beliefs, knowledge, and skills are quite extensive, and are conceptualized in specific behaviors. In regard

5 to the attitudes and beliefs aspect of the first domain of the MCCs, counselor awareness of own cultural values and biases, Arredondo et al. (1996) suggest that culturally skilled counselors: 1) are aware of their own culture and sensitive to their own heritage; 2) understand that their cultural experiences and background influence their attitudes, biases and values regarding psychological processes; 3) can identify the bounds of their multicultural competence and expertise; and 4) can recognize their discomfort with differences that are present between themselves and their clients. In regard to the knowledge aspect of the MCCs, they hold that culturally skilled counselors: 1) have knowledge about their own cultural heritage and how it professionally and personally impacts biases about and definitions of normality/abnormality and counseling process; 2) are knowledgeable and understanding of how stereotyping, discrimination, oppression, racism and privilege affect them both personally and in their profession, which allows them to better understand their own oppressive attitudes, beliefs and feelings; and 3) have knowledge about the impact they have on others socially, including communication styles and how they may foster the relationship or have conflict with clients from different backgrounds. Arredondo et al. also propose the following skills for culturally skilled counselors, including: 1) the ability to seek out experiences for education, consultation, and training in order to further develop their understanding of and effectiveness in working with populations from different cultures; and 2) an understanding of themselves as cultural and racial persons and the pursuit of a nonracist identity.

6 Some scholars have suggested a multicultural focus in educational curriculum for increased multicultural competence in counseling and psychology trainees. Fouad and Arredondo (2007) suggested guidelines and best practices for a culture-centered educational program in psychology. In their book, they propose that programs ensure that trainees increase awareness of their own cultural biases and values, knowledge of other groups, and gain skills to work with people from diverse populations. To this end, they recommend practicum experiences that expose trainees to diverse populations, and that trainees have access to supervisors who possess competence in helping trainees to develop skills to work with clients from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Carter (2003) also suggested that encouraging counselor trainees to engage in self- assessment will increase understanding of themselves, their biases, beliefs, and values. Coleman (1998) posited the promotion of self-awareness and empathy is indicative of increased competence in a clinician. Thus it may be inferred that supervisors also engage in self-assessment and encourage this self-assessment in their supervisees. Goodman, Liang, Helms, Latta, Sparks, and Weintraub (2004) have proposed a set of principles they believe counseling psychologists should implement in counseling and social justice work. These principles derive from feminist and multicultural approaches to counseling. The principles include: 1) on-going self-examination in which counseling psychologists face their stereotypes and biases toward people in out-groups, to recognize how sociohistorical and sociopolitical forces impact one’s own and client identities,

7 and to recognize the role of power in the therapeutic relationship; 2) the sharing of power with the clients with whom counseling psychologists work through shared decision-making and remaining cognizant of the power differentials when working with traditionally disenfranchised groups; 3) a commitment to giving voice to groups who have traditionally been oppressed, which may occur through narrative; 4) a raising of consciousness by helping clients to understand how their presenting issues may be tied to historical, social and political influences; 5) identification of clients’ strengths, skills and abilities, and aid to help clients recognize they are competent and powerful, with the ability to create and enact solutions to their problems; and 6) the intentional provision of access to resources for self-determination among minority groups. While the authors do not explicitly address supervision, one might be curious about whether or not these guidelines may be appropriately applied to supervisors in regard to their supervisees and supervisees’ clients. Multicultural Supervision The inclusion of multicultural issues in supervision seems important. Bernard and Goodyear (1998) suggest the goals of supervision are to examine client welfare and help increase the professional competence of the supervisee. As such, some scholars have proposed a need for culture to be discussed and integrated into supervision (Goodyear & Bernard, 1998; Helms & Cook, 1999). It also appears that supervisees may believe culture should be infused into supervision. Hird, Cavalieri, Dulko, Felice, and Ho (2001) discussed multicultural supervision from the perspective of four supervisees who were psychologists-in-

8 training. According to those who took part in the discussion, multicultural supervision takes into consideration and integrates various cultural interactions as they occur within the supervisor-supervisee-client triad. Supervisees also suggested that the dynamics of the supervisory relationship are greatly affected by cultural interactions; the quality of supervision is impacted by power dynamics associated with multicultural aspects including race, ethnicity, gender and other cultural factors. Multicultural Supervision Theories Given the focus on multicultural competencies among counselors and psychologists, some theories have been developed around supervision that center on multicultural issues. Christensen (1989) put forward developmental stages of cross-cultural awareness among trainees. These stages include: 1) unawareness – in which serious thought has not been given to cultural differences or their meaning and impact on individuals and groups; 2) beginning awareness – in which trainees experience uneasiness and cognitive dissonance around cultural differences; 3) conscious awareness – in which trainees experience conflicting preoccupation with cultural differences and their meanings; 4) consolidated awareness – in which trainees become committed to societal change and intergroup understanding; and 5) transcendent awareness – in which trainees go beyond social dictates for relating to culturally different groups. Christensen’s stages of cross-cultural awareness may inform multicultural supervision. Carney and Kahn (1984) developed stages of multicultural supervision. The first stage is highlighted by the supervisor’s primary task, which

9 is to encourage the supervisee to explore ways they and their clients have been impacted by group membership. In Stage 2, the supervisor helps the supervisee to increase familiarity with ethnic-racial identity theories, helps to identify stages of identity development, discusses dynamics of interacting at different stages of identity development, and fosters awareness and confidence in using culturally- specific interventions. Stage 3 emphasizes the supervisor’s acknowledgement of dilemmas supervisees face in wishing to work in a more culturally-responsive manner, yet also feeling trapped by their limited professional training. In this stage, the supervisor should be supportive of supervisee’s frustration and provide opportunities to acquire new, culturally-responsive counseling skills. In Stage 4, the supervisee is in the process of developing a professional identity as a multicultural counselor. Here, the role of the supervisor is to help the supervisee develop a comprehensive understanding of the intersection of various contextual factors. In the final stage, supervisees advocate for rights of Persons of Color, and the role of supervisor is one of consultant. This stage model for multicultural supervision presumes that it is the role of the supervisor to broach the topic of multicultural issues in the supervision session. Roles and goals for multicultural supervision have also been suggested. Chen (2005) proposed four roles of a supervisor in multicultural supervision: as teacher, as counselor, as supervisor and as advocate. As a teacher, the supervisor strives to raise supervisee’s awareness about racial-cultural issues in supervision and counseling, as well as expand knowledge and skill base that affect the supervision relationship and process. As a counselor, the supervisor creates a receptive

10 atmosphere of trust and safety; they also help to identify and overcome obstacles that may interfere with acquisition of declarative knowledge. As a supervisor, the supervisor supports integration of cognitive learning with supervision practice; further, they safeguard the welfare of supervisees and clients alike. Finally, as an advocate, Chen suggests the supervisor identifies and remediates problems with an external source for supervisor trainees. According to Chen, the supervisor will be an advocate “when contextual conditions may hamper or sabotage racial- cultural training” (pp. 179). Supervisors should also promote and embrace multiculturalism within the system. Similar to Carney and Kahn’s (1984) developmental stages of multicultural supervision, Chen’s theory of the role of supervisors in multicultural supervision places the introduction of multicultural- oriented discussions in the hands of the supervisor. Note that in Carney and Kahn’s model, the focus in multicultural supervision is solely on race, ethnicity and culture. Chen (2001) also suggested an interactional approach to multicultural counseling supervision. Chen proposed that all supervisory relationships are multicultural in nature, and suggested an inclusivist definition of multiculturalism which includes expanding the discussion to other variables such as sexual orientation, gender, physical ability, and socioeconomic status, similar to the definition of multicultural supervision in this dissertation. He argued that minority groups in each area may experience similar forms of oppression and discrimination from the majority culture. Chen’s interactional approach includes two concepts: intentionality and reflection. Intentionality refers to the counselors

11 and supervisor’s purposeful behaviors and perceptions that may be reactions to the context in which they exist, but also as a result of one’s culture. Chen posited that a counselor’s cultural sensitivity is related to how the counselor purposefully applies a cultural perceptual schema when working with clients to understand the client’s experience. Reflection refers to the internal process of attention and thought. Chen suggested reflection assists the counselor to make meaning of the complexities and ambiguities of the relationship between themselves and their clients across various factors. This means engaging in a series of thoughts and actions grounded in their professional experience. Thus the role of supervision is “to facilitate the reflection of counselor intentionality” (pp.812) in order to aid the supervisee in confronting attitudes and biases, increase the acquisition of knowledge, and improve skills for the integration, evaluation and application of such knowledge. Chen’s (2001) interactional approach for supervision strives to train reflective supervisees who are mindful of their own views and assumptions and who can incorporate intervention strategies into the counseling process. He went on to say that this approach can also motivate supervisees to be self-directed and self- monitored. According to this approach, it is the responsibility of the supervisor to utilize critical incidents to improve the supervisee’s reflective skill by guiding the supervisee’s exploration of interpersonal counseling relationships. The supervisor does this by initiation of discussion through encouraging the supervisee to describe the situation, aiding information gathering regarding to reactions and perceptions, confronting the supervisee in regard to alternative responses, and

12 planning what to do in the next session. The supervisor then facilitates the use of this information to evaluate the supervisee’s cultural effectiveness. Other scholars have also suggested the inclusion of multicultural discussions in supervision. In a case study, Estrada, Frame, and Williams (2004) argued for the importance of meaningful discussions regarding race and ethnicity in cross- cultural supervision. They cited personal observations of resistance by supervisors and supervisees in discussing issues of race, ethnicity and culture. They further stressed creating safety within the supervisory relationship in order to facilitate these multicultural discussions. And similar to Fouad and Arredondo’s (2007) contention that faculty and students be evaluated annually for cultural competence, Estrada, Frame, and Williams suggested that supervisors and supervisees conduct self-assessments regarding cultural awareness, and that they embrace learning opportunities. They also viewed the role of the supervisor as one to raise the topic of differences in race and ethnicity, expectations and fears. Empirical Research on Multicultural Supervision Studies point to the need for increased multicultural competence among counselors and psychologists. Constantine (2002) discovered that clients’ satisfaction with counseling was related to perceptions of counselors’ general and multicultural competence. She further found that racial and ethnic minority clients’ perceived counselor multicultural competence accounted for significant variance in satisfaction beyond that of perceived general counseling competence. Ancis and Szymanski (2001) conducted a qualitative analysis of White counseling trainees’ responses to a questionnaire regarding White privilege. Three themes

13 were discovered in the data: 1) lack of awareness and denial of White privilege, 2) demonstrated awareness of White privilege and discrimination, and 3) higher order awareness and commitment to social action. The authors posit that trainees’ reactions incorporated many interrelated components, exploration of the intersection of socio-identities, and attitudes toward those who are racially different than themselves. The authors imply that these findings point to a need for training that encouraged trainees to listen for clients’ testimony regarding issues of race and ethnicity, as trainees may not have an understanding of how White privilege might impact psychological services to ethnic-racial minority clients. In a recent review of the literature, Hays and Chang (2003) explored the complexity and interdependence of White privilege, racism and oppression, particularly how they impact the field of counseling and supervision. They suggest that defining and explaining how these concepts function is vital in clinical supervision. When working with White supervisees, they presented the following as important: discussing the meaning of being White, examining the values and traditions associated with being White, exploring how the counselor’s racial heritage might impact the relationship with the client, and how this racial identity might also impact the supervisory relationship. In a study examining counselor trainees’ perceptions of clients based on the client’s sexual orientation, Barrett and McWhirter (2002) found that counselor perceptions of their clients were significantly predicted by the client’s sexual orientation, the counselor’s gender, and the counselor’s homophobia. Counselors assigned more negative adjectives to gay male and lesbian clients than they did to

14 heterosexual clients, and counselors with higher levels of homophobia used less positive adjectives for gay male and lesbian clients and more positive adjectives for heterosexual clients than did those counselors with lower levels of homophobia. Further, the relationship between levels of homophobia and the assignment of negative adjectives was stronger for male counselors than for female counselors. There was also a negative relationship between the level of homophobia and the number of relationships the counselors had with gay males or lesbians in their private lives. Given the need for increased multicultural competence in counselors, some studies have examined supervisee perceptions in multicultural supervision. Burkard, Johnson, Madson, Pruitt, Contrereas-Tadych, Kozlowski, Hess, and Knox (2006) conducted a qualitative study which examined culturally responsive and unresponsive cross-cultural supervision experiences among supervisees of color and of European American background. Cultural responsiveness was defined as responses from a supervisor which acknowledge, show interest in and appreciation for the ethnicity and culture of both client and supervisee, as well as identifying client’s and/or supervisee’s problems within a cultural context. Burkard et al. found that in culturally responsive supervision, supervisees felt encouraged to explore cultural issues. The supervisory relationship, the supervisee and the client outcomes were affected positively within the context of culturally responsive supervision. Conversely, cultural issues were not acknowledged, actively disregarded or outright dismissed by supervisors who were perceived to be culturally unresponsive. This seemed to negatively affect the supervisory

15 relationship, the supervisee, and the client outcomes. Further, supervisees of color seemed to experience more cultural unresponsiveness and reported more negative effects than did the European American supervisees. Important to note is that supervisees in this study were asked to focus on supervisory relationships in which they differed from the supervisor racially/ethnically. This study points to the importance of supervisors being open to discussions of multicultural issues in supervision, as well as suggests that the supervisory relationship may be more effective when discussions of multicultural perspectives take place.

Research has also begun to examine the role of multicultural supervision in counselor multicultural competence. Ladany, Inman, Constantine, and Hofheinz (1997) conducted a study to examine supervisees’ abilities to utilize multicultural case conceptualization and self-reported multicultural competence as a function of racial identity and supervisors’ instructions regarding multicultural issues. They found that self-reported multicultural competence was not related to supervisees’ multicultural case conceptualization abilities, though supervisors’ instruction to focus on multicultural issues in case conceptualization was significantly related to supervisees’ ability to do so. Ladany, Inman, Constantine and Hofheinz also discovered that racial identity was positively related to self-reported multicultural competence. Pope-Davis, Reynolds, Dings and Ottavi (1994) conducted a study examining multicultural competencies in doctoral interns at university counseling centers. They found that interns’ multicultural competence was positively related to having received supervision in a multicultural counseling situation, as well as being related to greater

16 multicultural workshop hours or greater number of multicultural courses. Of importance in this study is the finding that only supervision was significantly related to the awareness aspect of multicultural competence. Given this finding, discussions of a multicultural nature and increasing the awareness aspect of multicultural competence may be a necessary function of clinical supervision. Some studies have addressed the importance of multicultural discussions in supervision. In an exploratory study, Constantine (1997) posited that all supervisory relationships were multicultural in nature in that there could be a variety of demographic differences between supervisors and supervisees. She found that approximately 70% of supervisors had not completed formal multicultural counseling training, and a reported 15% of supervision time was spent addressing or discussing multicultural issues. Constantine also discovered that supervisees reported supervisors were reluctant to discuss multicultural issues, and some supervisors reported multicultural issues were not important. Dressel, Consoli, Kim and Atkinson (2007) examined supervisors’ thoughts regarding multicultural supervision and found elements of successful and unsuccessful multicultural supervision. Creating a safe environment for discussion of multicultural issues; developing self-awareness of cultural/ethnic identity, biases, and limitations; and communicating acceptance of and respect for supervisees’ culture and perspective were among the most widely identified successful elements. Unsuccessful elements included a lack of awareness regarding one’s own racial/ethnic/cultural biases and stereotyping; overlooking or failing to discuss cultural issues; becoming defensive around cultural issues; and

Full document contains 219 pages
Abstract: Multicultural counseling competencies (MCCs) are fundamental to the ethical practice of providing services to clients. One such competency is the aspect of self-awareness of one's own worldview. As such, it is incumbent that attention to counselor's self-awareness be a part of clinical training. While research has begun to examine multicultural supervision, much of the research holds assumptions about the types of multicultural discussions that take place, as well as what may actually occur within these sessions. Little is known about what is discussed and how. This exploratory, qualitative study examined what actually occurs within clinical supervision sessions with regard to having discussion of multicultural perspectives, as well as how supervisors and supervisees experience these discussions. Five supervisory dyads from university counseling centers in the southwest were recruited to engage in a guided discussion of multicultural perspectives (DMP) in a supplemental supervision session. In these DMPs, dyads were asked to discuss issues related to personal identity, as well as to discuss the relevance of having such discussions in clinical supervision. Both the supervisors and supervisees then engaged in follow-up telephone interviews with the researcher to discuss their experience in having this discussion. All supervision sessions and follow-up interviews were recorded and transcribed. Grounded theory was used to analyze the transcribed sessions and the follow-up interviews for emergent themes. Four domains emerged from the data: dynamics in the relationship, cultural lens, characteristics of the discussion, and impact of the discussion. Further, several areas of congruence between supervisors' and interns' accounts of what occurred during the DMP, as well as congruence between supervisors' and interns' accounts of what occurred and what actually happened during the DMPs were discovered. These areas of congruence that emerged included power, similarities, differences, comfort level, enjoyment, intentionality for future work and increased awareness. The one distinct pattern of incongruence that emerged from the data was in the category of increased connection in supervisory relationship. A theoretical model of supervisors' and interns' experiences in discussions of multicultural perspectives is included. Implications, limitations and suggestions for future research are explored.