Coordinating Author Information: JoAnna Molina | SPAGS and Callie Jowers | SPAGS
Session Abstract: Cultural competence has been championed across all areas of clinical work, research, and assessment (APA, 2017). One area which is especially important to explore in regards to cultural considerations is supervision. In particular, there is a need to understand the many aspects of supervisee and supervisor intersecting identities and forming strong mentorship bonds (Falender, Shafranske, Falicov, 2014). Students from systematically oppressed backgrounds often face unique challenges that their mentors may be unfamiliar with and struggle to provide appropriate mentorship. Indeed, psychology trainees from systematically oppressed backgrounds are less likely to complete their doctoral programs despite having similar qualifications to their peers (Callahan et al., 2018). This suggests academia still posits significant barriers to students within systematically oppressed communities, which need to be addressed through education, advocacy, and action. Furthermore, supervisors must continually explore themselves to understand better how their identities are impacting their supervises.
This roundtable aims to act as a foundation for attendees to gain insight and explore becoming culturally competent supervisors. This topic can feel overwhelming at all levels of training: graduate students first stepping into peer supervision, early-career academics gaining a sense of their mentorship styles, and seasoned professionals fostering students while building their professional identity. Across these levels are essential considerations for best supervision practices. For instance, where is the line between providing professional support and crossing personal boundaries? When and how can I effectively use self-disclosure with my supervisees? How can I support my supervisees when they face discrimination, especially when it may have accidentally been from me?
Two SPA Graduate Student (SPAGS) committees are coming together to help navigate these questions: the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and Career Development Committee. Panelists from various stages in their career will share personal and professional knowledge that they have gained related to these questions and more. This discussion aims to guide attendees in understanding how the synergy of supervisor’s and supervisee’s diverse identities, power dynamics, and mentorship can enhance or harm their academic families.