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Developing cultural competences in clinical supervision

Margo Ononaiye

28 Feb 2024


The research focusing on positive outcomes in supervision consistently highlights the importance of the quality of the supervisory relationship (e.g., Holloway, 2016).  The supervisory relationship is a significant predictor of supervisee satisfaction, developing an effective learning context, improving rapport, supervisee safety and professional development (Holloway, 2016).  Clinicians from ethnically diverse backgrounds are under-represented within psychological services (Turpin & Coleman, 2010) and have reported experiencing racism, feeling guarded, unvalued, and unable to display their true emotions in supervision, which is often with white supervisors (e.g., Davis, 2017).  In support, Verkaria, Ononaiye and Phiri (2022) found that culturally responsive supervision was not generally experienced by supervisees from ethnically diverse backgrounds.  The results suggested that supervisees felt that their supervision lacked reflection and collaborative discussions on cultural identity which in turn negatively impacted upon the supervisory relationship.  This workshop therefore aims to address this imbalance by providing skills to enable the development of culturally competent supervision, which will in turn improve the supervisory relationship.

The event will be equivalent to 2.3/4hrs of CPD.


This workshop will:
• Provide a rationale for the importance of bringing our ‘cultural self’ into supervision
• Consider the research exploring the needs of supervisees from a range of cultural backgrounds
• Present practical cultural clinical tools to use in supervision including a 7 step model by Ononaiye (2022)
• Discuss how to make a’ repair’ if there is a supervision’ rupture’ relating to culture

Learning Objectives

By the end of the workshop participants will be able to:
1. Understand the concept of culturally unresponsive supervision and its impact on the supervisory relationship
2. Personally reflect on one’s own cultural identity and biases within a safe, learning environment
3. Experience techniques and strategies that will promote cultural responsivity that can be applied in the supervision relationship to build collaboration, rapport, safety, and trust
4. Supervise using the principles of culturally responsive supervision

Training Modalities

Didactic content, experiential components, polls, Q&A.

Key References

Davis, T. C. (2017). Exploring racial bias within clinical supervisory relationships: The experiences of supervisees of color. (Doctoral dissertation, Northern Illinois University).
Holloway, E. L. (2016). Essential dimensions of systems approach to supervision. In E. L. Holloway, Clinical supervision essentials. Supervision essentials for a systems approach to supervision (p. 13–31). American Psychological
Turpin, G. & Coleman, G. (2010). Clinical psychology and diversity: Progress and continuing challenges. Psychology Learning & Teaching, 9(2), 17–27.
Vekaria (2021). Discussion of race and ethnicity in supervision: a supervisee’s perspective. (Doctoral dissertation: The University of Southampton).
Vekaria, B, Ononaiye, M & Phiri, P. (In prep). A study exploring the supervisory relationship in the context of culturally responsive supervision; a supervisee’s perspective

About the presenter

A Clinical Psychologist by background, Margo is the first Black woman to be promoted to the role of Programme Director on a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme in the UK. She has also been seconded into a part-time role of Widening Participation Lead for the Psychological Professions Network Southeast providing a strategic overview to the equality, diversity and inclusion work that is being done, and needs to be done, within the psychology professions. Margo has an active interest in helping the world of psychology to become more inclusive and representative of the multicultural nation where we live and work.

Dr Margo Ononaiye talks about some of her own experiences of race and leadership in a blog with Dr Adrian Whittington  -

Dr Margo Ononaiye responds to questions collated by Theresa Marrinan -

Who should attend

This webinar is most suitable for practitioners who offer supervision to clinicians in a range of clinical settings.

Low Intensity clinical contact hours survey - BABCP Low Intensity Special Interest Group

Please click below if you are interested in contributing to the survey.


The BACP Low Intensity SIG are interested in the impact of clinical contact hours on Low Intensity/Wellbeing Practitioner wellbeing. This questionnaire contains six multi-choice questions and a free text box for you to share your experiences. The answers to these questions will help the BABCP SIG plan how to meet CPD topics and other developments within the SIG.  The SIG hope to produce a write up of the answers to this questionnaire to be shared with SIG members and to be used in training.

View Survey

This FREE conference is for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners working in Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression services and is brought to you by Bespoke Mental Health in collaboration with the NHS England Talking Therapies National PWP Leads Network

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