Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision

Document Type

Empirical Research Article


International, Counseling Trainees, Culture, Supervision, CACREP Accredited Programs

Subject Area

Clinical Supervision


Enrollment of international counseling trainees in graduate counseling programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) in the United States is considerably high. Researchers previously revealed that international counseling trainees’ supervision challenges related to language barriers, relationship-building processes, supportive and unsupportive experiences, and limited supervisor attention to diversity issues. In this qualitative study, the authors used reflective thematic analysis to explore the experiences of international counseling trainees (n = 14) in clinical supervision. Four key findings were: (a) the need to address the “elephant”: supervisor failure to address cultural aspects; (b) acculturative challenges and impact on supervision; (c) supportive and unsupportive supervisory alliances; and (d) the need for supervisor cultural curiosity, knowledge, competence, and sensitivity. The authors discuss implications for supervision practice and research.



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