School of Behavioral Sciences
Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)
Mary M. Deacon
privilege, oppression, counselor education, counseling, intersectionality, Black female, multiculturalism, social justice
Spellman, Kimberly, "The Shared Experiences of Privilege and Oppression Among Black Females in Counselor Education and Supervision Programs: A Thematic Analysis" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3890.
Because the United States has one of the most complex cultural identities in the Western world, it is essential that counselors and counselor educators develop the multicultural and social justice competencies needed to work within this diverse society. To this end, counselor educators must have awareness of their own knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors related to privilege, oppressions, social group status, etc., as well as to be aware of the intersectionality of privilege and oppression across one’s various identities. This is particularly important given that research suggests that the intersectional privilege and oppression dynamics often experienced by Black females facing unique challenges affecting their success and performance. Yet historically, Black females have received minimal acknowledgement in research, praxis, practice, discourse, curriculum, and policies within institutional settings. To address this gap, a qualitative thematic analysis design was used to gain knowledge of the Black female doctoral students’ experiences with privilege and oppression in counselor education programs (CES). This study examined how Black females in CES programs described privilege and oppression; how they experienced privilege and oppression within their department, and with their interactions with faculty, and in the learning environment; and how they are impacted by their experiences as Black women. Several themes emerged for each of the five research questions examined. While most of the emergent themes were consistent with previous research, they also provided greater insight in understanding the experiences of privilege and oppression faced by Black females in CES programs. Implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.