Lost in Translation: Monolingual and Bilingual Supervisors' Lived Experiences in Clinical Supervision with Student Counselors Counseling Spanish-Speaking Clients
Counseling competencies and standards require counselors to address cultural and language issues in counseling. In addition, ethical codes require counselor supervisors to be responsible for the support and development of counselors and the welfare of clients. However, bilingual counseling students have indicated challenges around bilingual counseling and supervision. This study explored the lived experiences of supervisors working with bilingual student counselors providing services to Spanish-speaking clients during their practicum and/or internship placements. Twelve participants providing clinical supervision to Spanish-speaking student counselors in the United States completed a demographic questionnaire and semi-structured interview. Transcendental phenomenological data analysis methods generated themes and subthemes that described the participants' experiences. The six main themes included active discourse, sociological approach, meaning making through and beyond language, incorporating culture and language, identity of the supervisor, and supervisors' conceptualization of their role in supervising bilingual counselors. Findings are discussed in relation to the integrative developmental model of supervision, multicultural competency, and extant literature. Implications for supervisors and counselor preparation, are addressed. Recommendations for future research studies are provided.