Date

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Counseling Psychology

First Adviser

Arpana G. Inman

Abstract

Although there is burgeoning literature highlighting international trainees’ experiences in clinical supervision, limited attention has been given to trainees’ challenges related to discriminatory instances in counseling and supervision. Research suggests that international supervisees experience both overt and covert instances of discrimination during counseling and supervision interaction. Supervisors’ intervention is critical in discussing such events during supervision, as it can either promote or hinder supervisee competencies and growth. Yet, little is known about how supervisors handle such critical situations and its relation to supervisee outcomes. Therefore, using the Critical Events Model in supervision (CEM) and a mixed-method design, the current study examined supervisory interventions in addressing international supervisees’ perspectives on their experiences with discrimination and its influence on predicting supervisee outcomes (supervisee competencies: knowledge, awareness, skills; supervisee self-efficacy, supervisory working alliance, and supervisee perception of supervisor’s multicultural competence). Consensual Qualitative Research-Modified (CQR-M) was utilized to explore the discriminatory events experienced by international supervisees and their reactions following these events. Results revealed seven categories of discriminatory events including, negative attitude toward supervisee’s language ability, witnessing prejudiced/racist comment, assumption about supervisee’s culture or knowledge of culture, supervisor invalidated/ignored supervisee’s cross-cultural experience, supervisee not seen as competent, questioned supervisee’s interpersonal style, and lack of supervisory support/encouragement. Supervisee reported their reactions to the discriminatory events through endorsing various feelings (sadness, anger, frustration, confusion, helplessness), thoughts (self-doubt, reflection on supervisory relationship, rationalization, worry about professional issues), and behaviors (avoiding topic or contact with supervisor, impact on clinical work, seeking support from outside networks, processing with supervisor, masking their feelings or advocating for own needs). An exploration of the kinds of supervisor interventions revealed that supervisees perceived their supervisors to predominantly use four interventions, namely, focus on self-efficacy (71%), skills (66%), evaluation (64%), and exploration of supervisee feelings (60%). Additionally, supervisees perceived focus on countertransference (56%), therapeutic process (51%), multicultural awareness (50%), normalizing experience (44%), focusing on reactions in an indirect manner (40%), focus on self-disclosure (40%), focus on supervisory working alliance (39%), becoming angry/dismissive (36%), focusing on supervision process (36%), changing topic of discussion (36%), and discussion of parallel process (20%) as interventions used by their supervisors. Quantitative analyses using multivariate multiple linear regressions revealed that only focus on supervisee feelings was a significant predictor of supervisory working alliance, and supervisee perception of supervisor’s multicultural competence. Implications and limitations of these findings are discussed.

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