Date of Award

Fall 9-20-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Counseling Psychology


Professional Psychology and Family Therapy


Jason Reynolds (Choi Taewon), Ph.D.

Committee Member

Noelany Pelc, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Pamela Foley, Ph.D.


race, white, supervision, qualitative research, BIPOC, supervisees, racial identity


Cross-racial supervisory dyads are becoming more prevalent due to the increased diversity of graduate students in psychology. However, research has not adequately examined the narratives of BIPOC supervisees who pass as White. People who pass as White might not be seen as a person of color and their identities might be ignored because it is considered invisible. Due to the lack of research on BIPOC supervisees with a passing identity experience within the context of the supervisory dyad, this study explored the subjective experiences of BIPOC supervisees who pass as White in cross-racial supervisor dyads. Furthermore, an exploration into conversations about race and racial identity developmental processes was addressed. This study employed a constructivist‒interpretivist research paradigm whereby 12 BIPOC supervisees who pass as White participated in a semi-structured interview that explored their experiences of passing within cross-racial clinical supervision. The data were analyzed using a phenomenological approach in which I utilized coding and generated significant themes after a thorough review of the data. Five themes were highlighted of the BIPOC supervisees’ experiences in cross-racial supervisory dyads: feeling disconnected in supervision, frequency of discussions on race, supervisees’ fear to explore identity development, multicultural competency, and lack of safety in cross-racial supervision. Results showed that BIPOC supervisees with a passing identity displayed resistance to sharing their passing racial identity with White supervisors due to lack of perceived safety within the supervisory relationship. Limitations, clinical implications, and future areas of research are discussed.