Clinical Leadership in Mental Health

  • Kenneth Dantzler

Clinical leadership in mental health provides education for individual in an organization to break down barriers that keeps supervisors from discriminating against an individual from diverse groups based on gender, ethnicity, race, social economic or sexual orientation. Whitney and Ames (2014) addresses the issue of discrimination and ways an organization can be inclusive of all individuals (Whitney & Ames, 2014). The American Psychological Association address issues primarily from a historic domestic multicultural viewpoint based on race, gender, sex, national origin and sexual orientation (Lowman, 2014). This paper identifies reasons the APA promotes inclusion of multicultural awareness in the leader. This document addresses example of multicultural issues that may arise in an organization based on ethnicity and gender. The paper addresses o ways to evaluate a method of leadership in dealing with diverse individuals, and the model that one could provide. This document discusses the concern and the purpose of addressing relational aspects of the supervisory-supervisee as it relates to the importance of diversity in an organization. The major themes through this paper are multicultural awareness, supervision, and supervisee.

Multicultural Awareness

Diversity awareness. Multiculture or diversity competency within an organization is crucial to the organization. The APA’s goal is to recruit individuals from a diverse background (APA, 2012). Managers perceive diversity as an important relationship within organizational performance (Garib, 2013). Having such a various groups of individuals with an organization show that an organization recognizes and values diverse culture and backgrounds (APA, 2012). Supervisors and supervisees may be able to prevent conflicts, such as using ethical decision-making models or increasing the awareness based on the value of culture of other individuals (Cohen-Filipic & Flores, 2014). To be effective in a global world, the organizational strategy must outline ways to define diversity and incorporate these strategic plans, mission or vision statements in company policy for upcoming supervisors and supervisees (Liberman, 2013). Individuals from a diverse background bring a different perspective on how to relate to other individuals who are of different ethnicities, genders, sexual orientation or disabilities (APA, 2012). According to the APA, professionals are to respect the dignity and uphold the rights of all persons (APA, 2012). Under the APA, professional should be aware of the safeguards of individual who may have some impairment, such as blindness, speak or development physically(APA, 2012). However, having diverse in an organization enhances the organization’s views and with such diversity provides and avenue for multicultural education (APA, 2012). Multicultural or diversity training provides the organization with a focus on awareness and raises individual’s perspective of difference and inclusion in the workplace (APA, 2012). For example, if an organization hires an individual who is Native American as a mental health provider this individual may have knowledge of certain rituals, or cultural practices that are unique to the Native American community.

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Multicultural issues. Though there are many examples of issues that a supervisor-supervisee may come in contact with, ethnicity and gender seem to be problematic in today’s society. In dealing with racial ethnicity, each may have a different perspective concerning an issue based on one ‘s racial identity (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014). One may base racial identity on the oppressed or the oppressor (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014). One may view racial identity through concepts, conceptualizations, and depth of ethnic and racial distinctiveness development (Schwartz et al., 2014). Though racial identity may be a social-political construct, one may come in contact where this may be an issue (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014). One may implicitly become racial bias based negative communication in minority client sessions, and that may add to ethnic disparities in processes of care (Schaa et. al., 2015). For instance, in some communities the pain of racial identifies becomes an issue that may cause others to be ashamed of one’s racial identity. Therefore, the individual may internalize certain moods, looks, or words from another group that may be inappropriate. However, researchers noted that racial identity in leadership may be ill-equipped in understanding or having the lack of knowledge of individuals from another race (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014). The psychological implications of persons of color may have a misorientation based on past cultural experiences that are the historical part of one’s past (Ya Azibo, 2011).

Gender seems to be problematic in this society when it comes to hiring females in different positions. Women continue to struggle for fair treatment whether in the education field, promotion to jobs equal pay (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014). Women still earn less than men on many jobs (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014). The gender gap is an area where supervisor-supervisee could come together and discuss gender bias in an organization (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014). Researchers noted that male raters showed more gender-role congruity bias than did female rates in male-dominated occupations (Koch et. al., 2015). For instance, it is a problem when an organization has more clients who are female but have few females in a position to work with female clients. The organization does not represent the population that is being served.

Evaluation Methods. The best plan of action for evaluation issues based on multicultural issues based on the assessment on how well the assessment reveals the gap that may exist in an organization. In the assessment process, individuals may have the objectives in outline form (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014). One may use the objectives to reach a particular goal (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014). The discussion of updates is crucial in reporting where there are gaps or successes (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014). The gaps in the information identify where the needs are (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014). The information also provides the supervisor with data to select an evaluation instrument based on trends within an organization (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014). Though evidenced-based practice may be challenging in the health field, this instrument showed good consistency and simultaneous legitimacy in assessing problems (Son et. al., 2014). The feedback from the supervisor to supervisees and supervisee to supervisor demonstrate that there are a shared communication between both parties (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014).

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Model of supervision. The best model for supervision is the evidence-based practice. The need for evidence-based practice is a model that deals with providing services that tailored to the needs of clients (Cohen-Filipic & Flores, 2014). Within the evidence-based practice model, the supervisor help to provide supervisees with additional education (Drake, 2013). For example, supervisees may come in contact with individuals from a different religious background. Having the know and information gives the supervise a foundation as to how to work with these clients in the mental health setting.

Concerns. The supervisor-supervisor relationship plays a crucial role in providing the best care for individuals who may come into a clinical context. In the integrative approach, the clinician deals with changing the cognitive and behavioral patterns of individuals (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014). The cognitive-behaviors is a learned behavior that may cause negative feelings or views (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014). As a professional, the supervisee may use multiple approaches to help assist in the educational aspect of the supervisee as it relates to conflict (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014). The psychodynamics has roots in psychoanalysis and integrative psychodynamic, and cognitive–behavioral therapy (Wachtel, 2014). The theoretical structure focuses on the personality patterns that play an essential role in the maintenance or change of the problematic patterns (Wachtel, 2014).


Supervisors-supervisees in leadership need competency training. Educational training on multicultural awareness provides information for workers to co-exist and work in a harmonious environment. Discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, race, social economic or sexual orientation is unethical. However, placing cognitive and motivational mechanisms in an organization benefits and challenges both supervisors-supervisees to enhance their understanding from a different viewpoint of other individuals.


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