Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Department of Graduate Psychology
Lennis G. Echterling
Multicultural counseling competence is an important part of counselor preparation and continued education. Demographic projections for the United States indicate that the population will continue to grow in diversity in the coming decades, reinforcing the need for counselors to be well trained in multicultural counseling. Research on existing approaches to multicultural counseling training (MCT), meanwhile, has identified effective strategies as well as areas needing refinement. Quality MCT needs to challenge learners to explore their racial identity, confront biases, and reflect on intersections of identities within a greater socio-cultural context, all through a safe environment designed to meet a variety of developmental learning needs. This is no short order. The curious, open, nonjudgmental stance that is used in mindfulness practices is well suited for the demands of MCT. Mindfulness strategies and practices have been widely and successfully applied to clinical interventions. Mindfulness research is also emerging in counselor supervision and education. Prior to this study, mindfulness strategies had not yet been applied to MCT. This phenomenological study explored the lived experiences of participants who attended a one-day workshop in “Mindful Multiculturalism,” and their related personal and professional experiences pertaining to multiculturalism and diversity. Study participants included six licensed mental health providers and one counseling student. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather data, and transcripts of the interviews were analyzed using inductive qualitative coding. Eighteen themes were identified and are presented in the report. Study findings offer support for key MCT principles, as well as important implications for future MCT. A main implication is for the use of mindfulness strategies in MCT, a mindful approach as a multicultural counseling skill, and a call for continued research into mindfulness applications in multicultural counseling training.
Heselmeyer, Rebecca J., "Using Mindfulness to Explore Worldview Perspective and Enhance Intercultural Development" (2014). Dissertations. 80.