Multicultural Issues in Supervision
Ethical supervision must consider the ways in which diversity factors can influence the process. In addition to course work, supervisors need a framework to approach differences in culture, race, gender, socioeconomic status, religion, and other variables pertaining to clients being seen by trainees (Falender & Shafranske, 2004). The ACA’s (2005) code of ethics dealing with supervision states that “Counseling supervisors are aware of and address the role of diversity in the supervisory relationship” (F.2.b.). Barnett (in Barnett, Cornish, et al., 2007) makes three key points: Attention to diversity issues in the supervision process is critically important. Effective supervisors are aware of their impact on the attitudes and beliefs of supervisees; they use the supervisory relationship to promote attention to, and respect for, the range of diversity of those they serve. Supervisors strive to increase their supervisees’ awareness of how diversity is a factor with all their clients; diversity concerns become a major focus of discussion in the supervision sessions. In a five-year review of the literature on clinical supervision, Borders (2005) found a trend toward increased attention to multicultural supervision. Various writers have emphasized the supervisor’s responsibility for introducing cultural variables into the supervisory dialogue throughout the supervisory relationship. In all the studies Borders reviewed, supervisor–supervisee discussions included specific multicultural variables and the influence such discussions have on the supervisory relationship. Multicultural supervision encompasses a broad definition of culture that includes race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religion, gender, and age (Fukuyama, 1994). Supervisors have an ethical responsibility to become aware of the complexities of a multicultural society (see Chapter 4). Ethical and competent supervision involves recognizing and...
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