Talking Circle Supervision: A group supervision format for marriage and family therapy master's students

Date of Completion

January 2008


Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies|Education, Higher




This study involves the design and evaluation of Talking Circle Supervision (TCS), a model of group supervision for marriage and family therapy master's students that strengthens the weak links found in other models of supervising that focus on developing multicultural counseling competence. The literature supports the contention that current models of training and supervision for multicultural competency are not completely effective due to the pluralistic changes in demographics found in many multicultural societies. By using a step-by-step descriptive process based on a modification of the Structured Group Supervision model in combination with a format based on the principles of the Native American Talking Circle, the TCS model addresses these deficiencies and shortcomings found in other models. ^ This study consists of two parts of using a multi-method research approach that combines both qualitative and quantitative procedures. Selected dependent variables are examined using matched pair repeated measures analyses for within-group comparisons and independent sample repeated measures analyses for between-group comparisons. Transcripts and reflection papers from participants lend more richness and depth to the quantitative findings. ^ This study indicates that TCS supervision significantly increases group cohesion, cognitive empathy, counseling skills, and multicultural competence. The transcripts and the reflection papers from participants further indicate the importance of affective empathy and universal-diverse orientation, break down the specific skills that are learned as a result of participating in TCS supervision, and indicate the phenomena of the supervision structure that are most influential. ^