Conversations about Supervision with Spanish-Speaking, Bilingual Therapists Trained in Collaborative-Dialogic Practices
Wilkerson, Adriana E. Gil
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Bilingual therapists are expected to provide competent, culturally sensitive services in two languages, while often only being trained to perform those services in one language. . Their training and supervision should be supportive through the processes of becoming a therapist as well as through mutual processes of sense-making with and about clients’ stories in order to provide a generative, conversational space where clients have possibilities from which to choose. . In the last 15 years there have been numerous studies about Spanish-speaking clients and the socio-cultural considerations taken in application of treatment interventions to address the specific needs of this population (Stein & Guzman, 2015). . In the most current literature about this population, there is an emphasis on cultural diversity among the ethnic groups and the discourses that are specific to each Latino culture (Updegraff & Umaña-Taylor, 2015). . There is also an abundance of literature about supervision of mental health practitioners and standards that are used in gatekeeping the field (Bernard & Goodyear, 2019). . Social constructionist therapists engage in practices of co-creating the world in which we live through language, dialogue, and what is exchanged interpersonally in moments of relating (Anderson, 1997; Gergen, 1994, 2006; McNamee & Gergen, 1999). Through dialogue and conversation with bilingual therapists trained in collaborative practices, I focused on capturing stories and lived experiences surrounding their time in supervision. Each participant discussed how their experiences in supervision created opportunities for learning and growth. They indicated that collaborative-dialogic training provided structures for them to appreciate the importance of the relational aspect of supervision, to note how languages and local knowledge support the formation of those relationships, and they identified curiosity as a stance for advocacy for themselves and their clients.
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