Creating and Elaborating the Cultural Third: A Doers-Doing with Perspective on Psychoanalytic Supervision

“…all supervision must integrate…culture”

(Tummala-Narra, 2004, p. 304).

Abstract

Although recognized as highly crucial to supervision practice (e.g., Tummala-Narra, 2004), culture has been addressed minimally in the psychoanalytic supervision literature. Calls to remedy that limitation have been made and making culture matter has been identified as a most pressing need for psychoanalytic supervision. But how then do we as supervisors go about doing that? How might we better position culture in, and make culture central to, our psychoanalytic supervisory conceptualization and conduct? We subsequently take up those questions, expanding upon our earlier proposals about cultural humility and the Cultural Third (Watkins and Hook, 2016) by (a) proposing a tripartite multicultural perspective (i.e., cultural humility-cultural comfort-cultural opportunities) as supervision sine qua non; (b) using recognition theory as a way to better understand that very process of Third creation and elaboration; and (c) providing a rupture/repair case example that shows efforts to create and build the Cultural Third in supervision. The Cultural Third is conceptualized as a product of doers-doing with so as to culturally learn together through “not knowing”.

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Correspondence to C. Edward Watkins Jr..

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Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

C. Edward Watkins, Jr. Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology at the University of North Texas.

Joshua N. Hook, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of North Texas.

Jesse Owen, Ph.D. is Professor in the Counseling Psychology Department at the University of Denver.

Cirleen DeBlaere, Ph.D. is Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program, Department of Counseling and Psychological Services, Georgia State University.

Don E. Davis, Ph.D. is Associate Professor, Department of Counseling and Psychological Services, Georgia State University.

Jennifer L. Callahan, Ph.D. is Professor and Director of Clinical Training for the clinical psychology program, Department of Psychology, University of North Texas.

Address correspondence to: Prof. C. Edward Watkins, Jr., Ph.D.; Dept. of Psychology, University of North Texas, Union Circle # 311280; Denton, TX 76203, USA. Email:watkinsc@unt.edu

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Watkins, C.E., Hook, J.N., Owen, J. et al. Creating and Elaborating the Cultural Third: A Doers-Doing with Perspective on Psychoanalytic Supervision. Am J Psychoanal 79, 352–374 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1057/s11231-019-09203-4

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Keywords

  • psychoanalytic supervision
  • Cultural Third
  • cultural humility
  • cultural comfort
  • cultural opportunities