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*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.

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Friday, March 6 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
'Your client said what!?” Supervisor-supervisee responses to client micro-aggressions

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One of the noteworthy accomplishments of Feminist Therapy (FT) has been to highlight issues of power in the therapeutic relationship. Brown (n.d.) described FT as "a politically informed model that always observes human experience within the framework of societal and cultural realities, and the dynamics of power informing those realities." Historically, this perspective was essential as the therapist was a White, heterosexual, man and the client was a White woman. While White women continue to be the majority of therapy clients, the field of psychology is becoming more diverse. Minority students are increasingly recruited for psychology programs to become professors, therapists, and counselors. These students often bring a keen awareness and first-hand knowledge of issues of power to the counseling relationship. Many minority students experience "-isms" (e.g. racism, sexism) in their personal lives and training programs. As new therapists, they are often told that they have power, especially over the client, and cautioned about its misuse. However, when their clients, often white and female, engage in behaviors that recreate "-isms", minority therapists are often left feeling powerless and helpless. These difficulties are further exacerbated by supervisors who are unprepared to respond to supervisees’ experiences. They may blame/invalidate students for unsuccessful therapeutic work or not know how to help the therapist respond to the client. In this session we will share perspectives from supervisees and a supervisor on how “isms” impact the therapeutic process and the relationship. It is hoped that through engaging in this dialog, students and supervisors alike may learn strategies of empowerment in an inherently dis-empowering situation. Part of this process involves deconstructing the hurtful interaction taking place in the room between therapist and client. An equally important part of the process involves restorative justice, the act of healing these wounds in a safe, responsive supervisor-supervisee relationship.


Friday March 6, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm
Gold Rush A