Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision

Document Type

Empirical Research Article


Multicultural Education, Group Dynamics, Race, Culture, Supervision

Subject Area

Counselor Education


Counselors frequently receive their initial training about the dynamics of race and culture in the counseling process in didactic group settings, such as multicultural courses and experiential skills-building labs. Whereas multicultural and diversity courses reportedly have been growth promoting for students, counselor educators describe several difficulties that arise as they attempt to teach these courses. Yet virtually no research has focused on examination of instructors’ difficulties from a theoretical perspective. To examine the complex, intersecting dynamics that occur when teaching groups of counselor trainees about race and culture, we used Directed Content Analysis with theoretical guidance from the Racial Identity Social Interaction Model. We analyzed interviews obtained from instructors (n = 8) who had led small-group counseling skills labs with a multicultural and social justice perspective. Problematic dynamics occurred in three major domains, group, leader, and institutional dynamics. Implications for teaching about race and culture in group settings are discussed.





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