Cultural Awareness in Two UK Counselling Psychology Settings: Initial Training and Supervision

Peter Andrew Martin

Abstract


The issue of cultural awareness is inherent in every expression of social science. This paper addresses this topic in a Counselling Psychology context by presenting and discussing two separate questionnaires. Both were sent out to UK Counselling Psychologists between March and May 2013. The first on cultural awareness provision in training was sent to all 14 UK Counselling Psychology training institutions. The second questionnaire related to the experience of supervising or being supervised in the context of “cultural awareness”. This was sent to all 3000 BPS Division members. The purpose of the questionnaires was to find out about current practice, opinions, attitudes and perceived problems as they relate to cultural awareness. The questions in each case were usually multi-choice but responses that are outside of the categories offered were all included in the full results. The results of the training questionnaire indicated a varied coverage of the syllabi from being inherent in the philosophy of a training course, to being a specifically targeted area of teaching and learning. The chief problem in offering such teaching is lack of time on the syllabus. Experience of supervision was also very varied, and ranged from cultural issues being dealt with in great depth, to the experience of such issues being ignored. The discussion raises the key issues the responses pose and asks some of the questions that need answers from the whole psychological and wider community.

Keywords


supervision; multi-culturalism; difference; counselling psychology; BPS; discrimination; training