Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Social workers-Supervision of, Cultural competence, Cross-cultural orientation, Whites-Race identity, Race awareness, Race, Racism, Supervision, Supervisors, White supervisor, Caucasian clinicians, Cross cultural therapy, Addressing racism, Addressing race, White supervisory dyads, Cross cultural dyad, Cross-cultural counseling


This research examines how multicultural competency and racial difference are addressed in supervision between White mental health clinicians and their White supervisors in mental health settings that serve primarily clients of color. The researcher completed a qualitative case study analysis of five participants who were asked to discuss the content and nature of their supervision with their White supervisors. Three research questions served as the foundation to explore supervisors' and clinicians' attention to cultural competence in the supervisory relationship: (1) How are multicultural issues, race, and racism addressed in supervision? (2) How does attention to clinician-client cultural issues in supervision impact the supervisory relationship? and (3) How do clinicians conceptualize the development of cultural competence and their own White racial identity? For participants in the study race, racism, and cultural competency was not often addressed in supervision. All five participants felt that they had to initiate conversations about race, racism, and cultural competency with their White supervisors. The participants also felt that when they did raise issues of cultural competency that their supervisors were supportive. Many participants reported that addressing race, racism, and cultural competency was not a priority neither at their organization nor in their work with their supervisor. Many felt limited time in supervision impacted the frequency of these conversations. Participants shared a perception that training and supervision about cultural competency was most often found in their graduate education and not in their professional organizations or supervision. This research suggests the need for intentional discussions with clinicians about addressing race, racism, and cultural difference in academic institutions, organizations, and in supervision, and that more research is needed on how addressing such issues impact treatment.




v, 65 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 62-65)