A Phenomenological Study of Supervisors of Color and Their Experiences of Racial and Ethnic Microaggressions in Supervision




Knight, Danielle N.

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There is an increasing number of racially and ethnically diverse individuals entering into counselor education programs, meaning there will be more interactions between racially and ethnically diverse individuals. Even with this increase in diverse individuals, few studies examine the perspectives and experiences of supervisors of color. This study explored supervisors of color and their experiences of racial and ethnic microaggressions in cross- and mono-racial/ethnic supervision. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to investigate supervisors of color's experiences of racial and ethnic microaggressions in supervision with racially and ethnically different supervisees (i.e., cross-racial/ethnic supervision) and racially and ethnically similar supervisees (i.e., mono-racial/ethnic supervision). Eight supervisors of color participated in this study. Transcendental phenomenological data analysis methods generated four themes and five subthemes to describe participants' experiences: assumptions, negative reactions, relationships (race, institutional/organizational culture), and coping (self-reflection, consultation and therapy, and other coping strategies). Implications for supervisors and counselor educators are addressed and recommendations for future studies are provided.


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