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To Conceal or Not to Conceal

Supervisee and Client Identity Processes in Clinical Supervision


Supervision is often conceived of as the “instructional strategy that most characterizes the preparation of mental health professionals” (Bernard & Goodyear, 2019; p. 2). Engaging in this process fully and authentically inevitably involves being vulnerable in front of and with one’s supervisor in an effort to learn and grow. To more fully understand the supervisory relationship, researchers have focused on what supervisees do and do not share with their supervisors. This article sought to understand the extent to which supervisees engage in a process of concealment or nondisclosure about culture while in supervision. Cultural concealment (operationalized by Drinane, et al., 2018) was measured on 2 levels: one focused on if the supervisee concealed their own culture and one focused on if the supervisee concealed aspects of their clients’ cultural identities. First, we found significant negative associations between each of these levels of cultural concealment and satisfaction with supervision and the supervisory working alliance. We then computed a residual score whereby supervisee cultural concealment about clients was predicted by supervisee cultural concealment about themselves. This residual variable was a significant predictor of satisfaction with supervision with supervision and with the supervisory working alliance, indicating that the relationship between these levels of concealment is important and related to the process of supervision. Implications and future directions will be discussed.

Cite This Article

Drinane, J. M., Wilcox, M. M., Cabrera, L., & Winkeljohn Black, S. (2021). To conceal or not to conceal: Supervisee and client identity processes in clinical supervision. Psychotherapy, 58(3) 429-436.



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