Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Dana Heller Levitt

Committee Member

Harriet L. Glosoff

Committee Member

Angela I. Sheely-Moore

Committee Member

Kathryn Herr


As the counseling field continues to become more diverse (CACREP, 2018; NSF, 2016), there is an increase in literature that explores the cross-cultural or cross-racial interactions in counseling and supervision. However, the literature is scarce with research that focuses on the Black supervisor working cross-racially, with literature mainly focusing on the White supervisor working cross-racially or cross-culturally (Constantine, 2007; Ratts, Singh, Butler, Nassar- McMillan, & McCullough, 2016; Wong, Wong, & Ishiyama, 2013). Due to the paucity of research exploring cross-racial interactions in supervision from the perspective of the Black supervisor, this study served to address the gap in literature. A general qualitative research design was applied to answer the research question: How do Black supervisors working crossracially with White supervisees describe their experience in supervision? This study employed two rounds of semi-structured interviews with the 12 participants who identified as Black, completed a supervision course in a CACREP-accredited program, had at least one year of supervisory experience, and have worked with a White supervisee. Utilizing Critical Race Theory as a theoretical guide to analyze the data, the researcher developed three themes: “I Can’t Run from Being Black:” The Salience of Racial Identity Amongst Black Supervisors; “I Have to Make People Feel Safe:” Methods and Precautions Taken to Maintain Safety in Supervision; and “Is It Because I’m Black?” Perceptions and Impact of Race and Racism. These themes all underscore the importance of race in supervision for the Black supervisors. A discussion of the results, implications for counselor education, and suggestions for future research are also presented.

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