Speaking Up: Experiences of Graduate Student Therapists of Color


Gift McDougal

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Lavita Nadkarni

First Committee Member

John McNeil

Second Committee Member

Sarah Lamm-White


Racial minority therapists, Graduate student therapists, Race, Multicultural Training

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


The focus of the current study was to explore the unique lived experiences of racial minority student therapists in a predominantly white doctoral-level psychology program. Graduate student therapists of color participated in either a focus group or individual interviews. The researcher used Consensual Qualitative Research, a categorical methodology that required additional raters or judges to make sense of the data. Results produced several domains, including solo status, therapist awareness, microaggressions, view of self-identity, therapeutic dyads, and supervision experience. The domains centered on how students view their identity as therapists of color, how their identity influences the therapeutic relationship, and how clinical supervision can be a powerful resource for students of color. Results also showed that students seemed to be in different stages of their racial-ethnic identity development as they had different levels of awareness of race. Based on the results, the researcher provided recommendations for training programs and supervisors, highlighting the importance of racial dialogue in addressing the needs of graduate student therapists of color.


32 pages

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