Date of Award

8-17-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Catherine Y. Chang, Ph.D. - Chair

Second Advisor

Gregory Brack, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jonathan Orr, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Julie Ancis, Ph.D.

Fifth Advisor

Danica G. Hays, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study investigated the experiences of supervisors and supervisees involved in multicultural supervision, specifically regarding how cultural issues are addressed in supervision, the impact of attention to cultural issues on the supervisory relationship, and the impact of attention to cultural issues on supervisees’ development of perceived multicultural counseling competence (MCC). Six supervisors and nine supervisees who differed from each other on at least one cultural variable (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, spiritual identity, age, ability status, and socioeconomic status) participated. The participating supervisees were receiving supervision from one of the participating supervisors at the time this study took place. Data were collected through individual, semi-structured interviews and a demographic information sheet. Data were analyzed using a phenomenological framework, which involved coding transcribed interviews and organizing codes into themes that express the essence of participants’ experiences. Themes that describe how cultural issues are addressed in supervision include frequency, responsibility for initiation of cultural discussion, supervisor’s role in addressing cultural issues, degree of intentionality, and scope of attention to culture. Participants also described positive and negative experiences with attention to cultural issues in supervision and the impact of these experiences on the supervisory relationship. Themes associated with the impact of positive experiences include cohesion/bonding, safety, and awareness. Themes associated with the impact of negative experiences include supervisee withdrawal, decreased feelings of competence, and improvement. Participants described factors contributing to the development of perceived supervisee MCC including supervisor techniques and characteristics, supervision process and experiences, clinical experience, coursework, and supervision has no impact on MCC. Implications for counselor education programs and supervisory practice are discussed.

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