Growth-promoting supervision: Reflections from women of color psychology trainees


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

This paper discusses growth-promoting supervisory practices from the perspectives of women of color psychology trainees. Based on three personal narratives, we discuss the unique ways that supervisors invite the multiple salient identities of trainees into the supervisory relationship and engage in a mentorship approach tailored to each trainee. We discuss key themes that emerged across the three narratives: the importance of a supervisor pivoting between the role of the expert and the role of a learner, the value of embracing an attitude of shared responsibility toward promoting trainee growth, and the role of cultural humility in the supervisory relationship. We draw from various theories in framing our work, including Paulo Freire’s theory of conscientização and Atkinson, Morten, and Sue’s (1998) Five-Stage Model of Cultural/Racial Identity Development. We close with situating these impactful supervisory practices within the context of the American Psychological Association’s (2015) “Guidelines for Clinical Supervision in Health Service Psychology.”

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