Commitment to Diversity in Clinical Training and Practice

Therapy and clinical supervision are cultural encounters. Clients’, therapists’, and supervisors’ world views develop from simultaneous participation in multiple contexts: including language, urban or rural setting, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, gender, religion, ability challenges, nationality, employment, education, occupation, political ideology, state of migration/acculturation, experience of historical moments and ideologies, etc. Therapists and supervisors are encouraged to reflect on all of the contexts to which they and the clients they serve belong, and to attempt to understand the resources, constraints, and cultural dilemmas those multiple contexts create. Therapists and supervisors are encouraged to engage in ongoing education regarding multiple contexts so that they can raise relevant questions with clients. Because each client is unique and processes the world selectively, knowing general information about the person’s context is not the same as knowing the individual. However, knowing which questions might be relevant to ask based on an individual’s context can facilitate a collaborative approach to developing a culturally informed treatment plan. This collaborative approach may lead to adaptations of evidence-based treatments that better serve clients. It is part of the clinical supervisor’s responsibility to create an atmosphere of respect for and curiosity regarding diversity.