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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Roles of the Clinical Supervisor and Supervisee in Multicultural Interventions with Children and Families

item Zevenbergen, Andrea - UNIV OF NORTH DAKOTA
item Gray, Jacqueline

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 29, 2001
Publication Date: November 29, 2001
Citation: Zevenbergen, A., Gray, J., Lei, H. The roles of the clinical supervisor and supervisee in multicultural interventions with children and families. Presented at Third Conference on Minority Issues in Prevention, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, Nov 29-30, 2001.

Technical Abstract: The traditional roles of the clinical supervisor in the supervisor/supervisee relationship have been those of teacher, counselor, and consultant (Bernard, 1992). In the wake of a greater focus on providing culturally sensitive therapeutic interventions to individuals and families, some authors have argued that an appropriate role for clinical supervisors may also be that of "supervisor-as-partial-learner" (Gonzalez, 1997, p. 367) or supervisor as collaborator with the supervisee (D'Andrea & Daniels, 1997; Garrett, Border, Crutchfield, Torres-Rivera, Brothernton, & Curtis, 2001) in planning interventions for clients, particularly in cases when the supervisee possesses a greater understanding of multicultural issues than the supervisor. Cases in which supervisees possess greater knowledge regarding multicultural issues in psychotherapy than their supervisors are not rare (Constantine, 1997; Duan & Roehlke, 2001). One supervisory context that has received little attention in the literature thus far is the situation in which a supervisor is of one particular cultural group, and the supervisee (i.e., therapist) and client are of another shared cultural group (Gutierrez, 1982). The supervisor is likely to have a worldview different from that of the therapist and client (Brown & Landrum-Brown, 1995). These varying worldviews may impact upon many aspects of the proposed therapy, including the goals for treatment, the pace of treatment, the focus on the development of a therapeutic relationship, and methods of communicating with the client (Daniels, D'Andrea, & Kim, 1999). One may consider that the therapist's knowledge is a significant asset in treatment planing in these situations. At the same time, supervisors and supervisees must also not make the error of assuming that because a therapist and client share one cultural context (e.g., ethnicity), the therapist is an expert in all aspects of culture relevant to the client (Bernard & Goodyear, 1992); McNeill, Hom, & Perez, 1995). Another potential error is ignoring the specific ethnocultural identities of the therapist and the client (Atkinson, Thompson & Grant, 1993; Goodyear & Guzzardo, 2000; Marsella & Yamada, 2000). Given the existing literature in this area as a context, we believe that the following questions might be informative for discussion by a multicultural group: (1) How might effective multicultural supervision differ from traditional models of supervision in terms of the roles of the supervisor and the supervisee?; and (2) How can expert knowledge of the supervisee (i.e., regarding multicultural interventions, regarding his or her own cultural group that is different from that of the supervisor) be incorporated into the supervisory relationship and should this knowledge of the supervisee be incorporated into the supervision? It is hoped that discussion of these issues will lead to more research in this area. Overall, we see these issues as important not only in advancing the theoretical literature regarding clinical supervision, but also in conceptualizing and implementing therapeutic interventions with children and families. The discussion leaders would be clinical researchers with a total of over 20 years of supervision experience and varying cultural (i.e., American Indian, Chinese American, and European American perspectives.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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