Date of Award
PHD - Doctor of Philosophy
Counseling & Psychology
As the counseling profession has evolved to embrace multiculturalism, scant research has focused on examining how Black counselors in predominantly White settings navigate the social injustices of white supremacy and patriarchy. This dissertation project is a critical, dialogue-based study of Black, Master's level counselors' race and gender-related challenges in predominantly White, non-academic, mental health settings. It offers two primary contributions to existing empirical literature: a meta-theoretical understanding and a critical qualitative inquiry based on a methodological integration.
The meta-theoretical understanding offered in this dissertation is grounded in a theoretical reconstruction of Critical Race Theory (Bell, 1980; Crenshaw, 1989; Delgado, 1984; Freeman, 1978), Glass Barriers Theory (Wingfield, 2009), and the concept of dueling consciousness (Kendi, 2019).
The three research questions that guided this empirical investigation were: 1. What are the experiences of being a self-identified Black, Master’s level counselor in a predominantly White, non-academic, mental health setting? 2. What challenges and barriers related to race and gender, if any, are associated with the experiences of being a self-identified Black, Master’s level counseling in a predominantly White, non-academic, mental health setting? 3. How do self-identified Black, Master’s level counselors in predominantly White, non-academic, mental health settings respond to, cope with, and overcome the challenges and barriers related to race and gender in the workplace? Data were generated using semi-structured interviews and analyzed using an integration of Gilligan, Spencer, Weinberg, and Bertsch’s (2003) Listening Guide, a voice-centered relational approach, and Carspecken’s (1996) Critical Qualitative Methodology.
Three main themes emerged: visibility problems resulting from participants’ membership to a group in the numerical minority; dueling consciousness, which manifested as participants vacillated between actively rejecting and adopting racist-sexist standards; and role encapsulation, the experience of being limited by the roles assigned to them without their consent, which was only experienced by female participants. This study presents an overarching interactive framework that demonstrates how participants’ meaning-making and engagement with White colleagues is driven by their desire to be treated as fully human within an often dehumanizing context.
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Number of Pages
Jones, Brandon C., "Counseling while Black: A critical inquiry exploring the experiences of Black Master’s level counselors in non-academic, predominantly White, mental health settings" (2020). Counseling and Psychology Dissertations. 4.