Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Chwalisz, Kathleen


Researchers continue to emphasize the important role supervisors have in creating a safe space for supervisees to effectively navigate and engage in honest multicultural conversations while also addressing potential biases (e.g., Ancis & Marshall, 2010). However, much of the literature on multicultural supervision provides limited guidance on what characteristics define a safe space. The purpose of this study was to examine accounts of counseling psychology graduate students to learn about their understanding and definitions of safe space and brave space within multicultural supervision, using grounded theory methodology (Corbin & Strauss, 2015). Specifically, the purpose of the study was threefold: (a) to define what a safe space and a brave space is from supervisees’ perspective, (b) to determine if the concept of a safe space is viewed similarly or differently to a brave space, and (c) to identify specific behaviors and interventions that supervisors perform that make a supervisee feel they are in a safe or brave space. Results yielded a model characterized by three core dimensions that comprise safe and brave spaces including: (a) safety within the physical space, (b), definitions and use of brave and safe spaces, and (c) supervisor actions and behaviors. This study adds to the current multicultural supervision training scholarship by providing new perspectives on how supervisees in counseling psychology doctoral programs make sense of safe and brave spaces during multicultural supervision and what supervisors can do to create such spaces.




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