Title

Experiencing the Disconnect: Microaggressions in Counseling from a Student Clinician Perspective

Conference Strand

Social Change, Leadership, and Advocacy

Abstract

This presentation will highlight the intersection of counselors-in-training and client stories of microaggressions experienced in counseling. Specific topics to be covered include transphobia and ableism, and common microaggressions experienced among these populations. Content will also address interventions and strategies to prevent client harm.

Description

The American Counseling Association’s Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies(Ratts et al., 2016) address counselors’ ethical responsibility to acknowledge their attitudes and beliefs regarding both privileged and marginalized identities and how these beliefs, in conjunction with a client’s worldview, impact the counseling relationship. Although a burgeoning area of scholarship, studies illustrate that microaggressions occur within the counseling context among clients who hold various marginalized identities (Constantine, 2007; Morton, 2012; Owen et al., 2010; Owen et al., 2011; Shelton & Delgado-Romero, 2013). Student clinicians enrolled in the University of Georgia’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program have experienced clients’ re-telling of microaggressive experiences within counseling contexts. Presenters will draw from clinical work to present specific incidences of marginalizing behavior as well as the subsequent impact on client psychological well-being. This presentation will be guided by two questions: 1) How do counselors-in-training to address marginalizing behavior that may occur in the counseling context? 2) What preventative strategies may serve to reduce future microaggressive harm being done at the hands of counselors? Further, this presentation will highlight understudied marginalized identities including clients from the transgender and disability populations. We will explore how microaggressions differ depending on the social identities present and highlight the need for targeted supervision, education, and training. Implications for practice and counselor development will be discussed.

Evidence

Sue, D. W., Capodilupo, C. M., Torino, G. C., Bucceri, J. M., Holder, A. M. B., Nadal, K. L., & Esquilin, M. (2007). Racial microaggressions in everyday life: Implications for clinical practice. American Psychologist, 62, 271–286. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.62.4.271

Sue, D.W., Capodilupo, C.M., & Holder, A. (2008). Racial microaggressions in the lifeexperience of Black Americans. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 39(3), 329. doi:10.1037/0735-7028.39.3.329

Sue, D. W. (2010). Microaggressions and marginality : manifestation, dynamics, and impact.

Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley, c2010. Retrieved from http://proxy-remote.galib.uga.edu/oginurl=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspxdirect=true&db=cat06564a&AN=uga.9940293243902959&site=eds-live

Constantine, M. G. (2007). Racial microaggressions against African American clients in cross-racial counseling relationships. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 54(1), 1–16.https://doi-org.proxy-remote.galib.uga.edu/10.1037/0022-0167.54.1.1

Morton, E. (2012). The incidence of racial microaggressions in the cross-racial counseling dyad. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering. ProQuest Information & Learning. Retrieved from http://proxy-remote.galib.uga.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=psyh&AN=2012-99080-516&site=ehost-live

Owen, J., Tao, K., & Rodolfa, E. (2010). Microaggressions and women in short-term psychotherapy: Initial evidence. The Counseling Psychologist, 38(7), 923–946. https://doi-org.proxy-remote.galib.uga.edu/10.1177/0011000010376093

Owen, J. J., Tao, K., Leach, M. M., & Rodolfa, E. (2011). Clients’ perceptions of their psychotherapists’ multicultural orientation. Psychotherapy, 48(3), 274–282. https://doi-org.proxy-remote.galib.uga.edu/10.1037/a0022065

Ratts, M. J., Singh, A. A., Nassar-McMillan, S., Butler, S. K., & McCullough, J. R. (2015).Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies. Retrieved from https://www.counseling.org/docs/default-source/competencies/multicultural-and-social-justice-counseling-competencies.pdf?sfvrsn=8573422c_20

Shelton, K., & Delgado-Romero, E. A. (2013). Sexual orientation microaggressions: The experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer clients in psychotherapy. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 1(S), 59–70. https://doi-org.proxy-remote.galib.uga.edu/10.1037/2329-0382.1.S.59

Format

Individual Presentations

Biographical Sketch

Adriauna Clay-Potts is a second-year graduate student in the Mental Health Counseling Master’s program at the University of Georgia. Her educational background includes both a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Georgia. Currently, Adriauna is an intern at Advantage Behavioral Health Systems working with a variety of individuals in the Athens-Clarke County community. Adriauna is interested in working with marginalized populations, namely people of color, and seeks to incorporate social justice and advocacy in her work. As a clinician, Adriauna’s theoretical orientation integrates interpersonal and feminist theories with a multicultural framework.

Elizabeth Thacker is a Master's Student in the Mental Health Counseling Program at the University of Georgia. Prior to her work at the University of Georgia, Elizabeth received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Berry College. She is currently a Master's Level Clinician at the Center for Counseling and Personal Evaluation at the University of Georgia. Elizabeth is interested in continuing her work with early adulthood and college populations in the future, as well as using social justice and advocacy both in and out of the therapy room. Elizabeth practices mainly from an integration of Interpersonal Process, Feminist, and Existential theoretical perspectives.

Denise Powers is a second-year student in the Mental Health Counseling program at the University of Georgia and received a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing. Denise is also the current Co-President of UGA’s Mental Health Counseling Student Association, and she currently interns at UGA’s Center for Counseling and Personal Evaluation doing both individual and group psychotherapy from an interpersonal and multicultural framework. A major focus for Denise has been increasing visibility and awareness of disability identity issues in counseling in clinical and classroom settings. Denise’s research interests include disability identity from a multicultural perspective, counselor perceptions on mental and physical disabilities, and counselor education and training regarding disability identity.

Madeline McGarrah is a second-year graduate student at the University of Georgia’s Masters in Mental Health Counseling. Madeline received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, minoring in Human Development and Family Science, from the University of Georgia in 2017. She is completing her clinical internship experience as a Master’s level clinician at the Tree House, Inc., where she provides trauma counseling for children and adolescents. Madeline works from an integrated strengths-based, multicultural, feminist, and interpersonal approach to counseling. Her previous research experience includes examining well-being themes among LGBT+ individuals in middle and late adulthood. Her current interests include working with children and families, in providing both individual and family counseling.

Shawntell Pace, M.Ed.is the second year Mental Health Counseling Masters student at the University of Georgia. She received both her Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television, and Film and her Masters in Higher Education Administration from Auburn University. Prior to UGA, Shawntell spent over 5 years working in education as a Student Affairs professional and as a national award-winning Broadcast Journalism instructor for high school students. During her time as a teacher, her work included developing the curriculum and leading cultural competency trainings for administrators and teachers in the Charleston, SC area to promote inclusive learning environments for all students. Currently, Shawntell works as a masters-level clinician at the Counseling Center for Personal Evaluation at UGA working mostly with people of color and members of the LGBT+ community. Her current research includes the psychological influences of Black History Knowledge in the classroom setting and how Nationally Recognized Race Related Events (NRRRE) impact Black Americans at HBCUs and PWIs. Shawntell practices from an interpersonal, multicultural, and feminist framework.

Location

PARB 239

Start Date

2-8-2019 2:30 PM

End Date

2-8-2019 3:45 PM

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Feb 8th, 2:30 PM Feb 8th, 3:45 PM

Experiencing the Disconnect: Microaggressions in Counseling from a Student Clinician Perspective

PARB 239

This presentation will highlight the intersection of counselors-in-training and client stories of microaggressions experienced in counseling. Specific topics to be covered include transphobia and ableism, and common microaggressions experienced among these populations. Content will also address interventions and strategies to prevent client harm.