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Promoting Multicultural Issues in Clinical Supervision October 11, 2008 Lionel Lee, M.A. Pepperdine University.

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Presentation on theme: "Promoting Multicultural Issues in Clinical Supervision October 11, 2008 Lionel Lee, M.A. Pepperdine University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Promoting Multicultural Issues in Clinical Supervision October 11, 2008 Lionel Lee, M.A. Pepperdine University

2 APA Ethics Code Psychologists have a responsibility to uphold the highest standards in activities, a professional responsibility to recognize competency boundaries and limitations, and an ethical obligation to provide services only within areas of education, training, and experience. Psychologist also have a moral obligation to avoid activities that passively or actively perpetuate cultural biases, a social responsibility to advocate for services that would advance the welfare of underserved cultural groups, and a personal responsibility to be sensitive to personal values, needs, and limitations and how they may inadvertently impact others with culturally different backgrounds.

3 Cultural Competence in Supervision What do trainees choose to present about clients and about themselves in supervision? What do supervisors choose to present and recommend in supervision?

4 Cultural Competence in Supervision Does discussion of ethnic, gender, and sexual orientation matter in supervision? Findings indicate that the working supervisory alliance is strengthened by even limited interchange about these issues between supervisor and supervisee (Stedman, 2007). Racial, ethnic, and cultural conflicts in the supervisory relationship can have detrimental effects on both supervision and client outcomes (Allen, 2007).

5 Multidimentional-Ecosystemic-Comparative Approach (MECA) Falicove, 2003 MECA takes culture into the mainstream of all teaching, thinking, and intervening in therapy. Has its foundation in family therapy which has emphasized the behavior of families as contextual and ecological issues since its earliest days.

6 Multidimentional-Ecosystemic-Comparative Approach (MECA) Conceptualizes an individual as a multicultural person, rather than a single group that can be summarized with a single label. Encompasses various levels of consideration that affect an individual: “universal” similarities, idiosyncratic particulars, and sociopolitical influences. Recognizes that each person belongs to, participates in, and identifies with multiple groups that provide particular experiences and values, and are denied access or excluded from certain settings, and these exclusions also shape their experiences.

7 Multidimentional-Ecosystemic-Comparative Approach (MECA) MECA holds that the therapeutic relationship is really an encounter between the therapist’s and the client’s cultural and personal constructions.

8 Multidimentional-Ecosystemic-Comparative Approach (MECA) Ecological Context Migration and Acculturation Family Life Cycle Family Organization

9 Domain I: Ecological Context Diversity in where and how the family lives and how it fits in its environment.

10 Domain I: Ecological Context Community (ethnic, racial, religious, social networks) Living arrangements (housing, neighborhood, safety) Work (income, schedule, discrimination, satisfaction, stability) Schools (parental involvement, achievement, discipline, racial/ethnic composition) Other institutions (legal, medical, mental health) How do these similarities or differences impact your clinical work with the client in regards to biases, blind spots, or increased connection?

11 Domain II: Migration and Acculturation Diversity in where the client and their family members came from.

12 Domain II: Migration and Acculturation When, how, and why? How did they live and what were their future aspirations? The meaning the family gives to separations/reunions, trauma, grief, mourning, cultural identity, assimilation, acculturation, or alternation. The language the family speaks, the social networks they have, and their values. How is your life experience similar or different from the client? How do these similarities/differences impact your treatment with regards to transference and countertransference issues, conceptualization of the case, and interventions?

13 Domain III: Family Life Cycle Diversity in how developmental stages and transitions in the family are culturally patterned.

14 Domain III: Family Life Cycle Family’s norms or ideals in regards to age appropriate milestones and life stages (i.e., at what age can a child have play dates, date, live independently, get married, etc.) How is your life experience similar or different? How do these similarities/differences impact your treatment with regards to transference or countertransference issues, conceptualization of the case and interventions?

15 Domain IV: Family Organization Diversity in the preferred forms of cultural family organization and values connected to those family arrangements.

16 Domain IV: Family Organization What is the family’s organization? Who is in the dominant dyad (i.e., husband/wife, parent/child, etc)? What is the proximity between family members (close, distant)? What is the hierarchy (i.e., egalitarian vs. hierarchical)? What are the values concerning individuation vs. connectedness? What is the communication style (direct vs. indirect)? How is your family organization similar or different? How do these similarities/differences impact your treatment with regards to transference or countertransference issues, conceptualization of the case, and interventions?

17 Conclusions While in training, trainees are an extension of their supervisors. Trainees and supervisors may find it difficult to articulate their cultural maps due to resistance, the invisibility of culture, or a lack of opportunities. Trainees are entitled to advocate for their needs.

18 References Allen, J. (2007). A multicultural assessment supervision model to guide research and practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 38(3), Falicov, C. (2003). Culture in family therapy: New variations on a fundamental theme. In T. Sexton, G. Weeks, & M. Robbins (Eds.), Handbook of family therapy (pp ). New York: Brunner-Routledge. Stedman, J. M. (2007). What we know about pre-doctoral internship training: A 10-year update. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 1(1),


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