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Schen, C.R. Greenlee, A. (2018). Race in Supervision: Let's Talk about it. Psychodyn. Psych., 46(1):1-21.

(2018). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 46(1):1-21

Race in Supervision: Let's Talk about it

Cathy R. Schen, M.D. and Alecia Greenlee, M.D., MPH

Addressing race and racial trauma within psychotherapy supervision is increasingly important in psychiatry training. A therapist's ability to discuss race and racial trauma in psychotherapy supervision increases the likelihood that these topics will be explored as they arise in the therapeutic setting. The authors discuss the contextual and sociocultural dynamics that contributed to their own avoidance of race and racial trauma within the supervisory relationship. The authors examine the features that eventually led to a robust discussion of race and culture within the supervisory setting and identify salient themes that occurred during three phases of the conversation about race: predialogue, the conversation, and after the conversation. These themes include building an alliance, supercompetence, avoidance, shared vulnerability, “if I speak on this, I own it,” closeness versus distance, and speaking up. This article reviews the key literature in the field of psychiatry and psychology that has shaped how we understand race and racial trauma and concludes with guidelines for supervisors on how to facilitate talking about race in supervision.

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