Title

Examining the Lived Experiences of African American Supervisees in Cross-Racial Supervisory Relationships

Conference Strand

Research and Theory

Abstract

The central purposes of supervision are to foster the supervisee’s professional development and to ensure client welfare. It is imperative for White supervisors to have a clear understanding of their own personal awareness, knowledge, and skills in relation to multiculturalism when working with African American supervisees. This presentation will highlight approaches to cross-racial supervision that can improve supervisor's cultural understanding.

Description

There is no shortage of theoretical frameworks that shed light on the complexities involved in understanding and working with African Americans, however it is important for supervisors to continue to consider the interaction between social/cultural difference and dynamics in supervision that can be unique to African American supervisees. Studies have shown negative, prejudicial responses of Whites to African Americans, that African Americans report higher race-related stress as compared to other ethnic groups, and that African Americans’ experiences with racism are associated with physical and psychological distress (Kelly & Boyd-Franklin, 2005). Therefore, many lessons can be gleaned from the exploration of mixed racial dyads and dynamics that occur within the supervisory relationship that can impact clinical supervision.

There is a growing trend in the counseling research that addresses the importance of multicultural counseling and specifically the need for effective work with African American clients (Chang, Hays, & Shoffner, 2004). More specifically, attention should be given to African American supervisees in cross-racial supervisory relationships who experience complex forms of discrimination due to the differing cultural identities within the supervisory relationship. While also meeting the needs of the African American clients, increased representation in the field could also be beneficial for the counseling profession and supporting the growth and development of same race clinicians. This influx of African American clinicians will also grow the population of supervisors working with clinicians. One way to do this is to explore the perceptions and experiences of African American supervisees.

In fulfillment of a dissertation and to continue enhancing the research for cross-racial supervisory practices, this study aims to investigate the lived experiences of African American supervisees in cross-racial supervisory relationships. The aim of phenomenological research is to determine what an experience means for the persons who have had the experience and are able to provide a comprehensive description of it (Moustakas, 1994). During this presentation the results of the presenter’s dissertation will be described with implications for future research and supervisory practices.

Evidence

Attendees will examine how culture, specifically race and ethnicity, impacts the supervisory working alliance.

Attendees will also explore theoretical frameworks or resources that can enhance the cultural competence of a White supervisor working with African American supervisees.

Attendees will learn ways that clinical supervisors can engage effectively with African American supervisees.

Attendees will discuss how White supervisors can create supportive and inclusive environments for African American supervisees navigating the complexities within counseling relationships.

References:

Chang, C. Y., Hays, D. G., & Shoffner, M. F. (2004). Cross-Racial supervision. The Clinical Supervisor, 22(2), pp. 121-138.

Kelly, S. & Boyd-Franklin, N. (2005). African American women in client, therapist, and supervisory relationships: The parallel processes of race, culture, and family In M. Rastogi & E. Wieling (Eds.), Voices of color: First-person accounts of ethnic minority therapists (pp.67-89). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Moustakas, C. (1994). Phenomenological research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Format

Individual Presentations

Biographical Sketch

Brittany A. Williams is a doctoral candidate in Counseling and Supervision at James Madison University. Brittany received her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from Syracuse University and is a National Certified Counselor (NCC). Brittany has past clinical experience working with communities of color and underserved populations. During her time at James Madison University, she has completed research projects and presentations on race-related issues and multicultural competence in counseling and supervision.

Location

Session One Breakouts: Hampton C

Start Date

2-7-2020 10:15 AM

End Date

2-7-2020 11:30 AM

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Feb 7th, 10:15 AM Feb 7th, 11:30 AM

Examining the Lived Experiences of African American Supervisees in Cross-Racial Supervisory Relationships

Session One Breakouts: Hampton C

The central purposes of supervision are to foster the supervisee’s professional development and to ensure client welfare. It is imperative for White supervisors to have a clear understanding of their own personal awareness, knowledge, and skills in relation to multiculturalism when working with African American supervisees. This presentation will highlight approaches to cross-racial supervision that can improve supervisor's cultural understanding.