CWRU University Health & Counseling Services is deeply committed to the appreciation of diversity. We value individuals of all identities including identities based on race, ethnicity, sex, gender expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, nationality and citizenship, age, body, religion, spirituality, ability, and ideology. We recognize the effects that discrimination, prejudice, and systemic issues of power and privilege can have on a community and on individuals. We aim to respect individuality within the context of cultural background and to provide students a safe space to explore the intersection of their identities.
Our training program conforms to the American Psychological Association’s position that providers must serve a diverse public. We expect that our trainees will develop and demonstrate effectiveness when working with diverse populations, including clients whose cultural identity, characteristics, and beliefs differ from those of the counselors. While we respect each trainee’s right to maintain a personal belief system, the training of mental health care professionals who can serve a diverse public necessitates both the trainee’s and trainer’s openness to learning, introspection, cognitive flexibility, and exploration of personal beliefs, attitudes, and values.
The UH&CS clinical training program honors the diversity of students, trainees, and staff, and the program aims to integrate multicultural perspectives and social justice awareness throughout training activities and experiences. Diversity of identity and background, as well as diversity of thought, are valued as part of the training experience. As a training site, we incorporate themes of multiculturalism in supervision, consultation, clinical intervention, and professional development. We collaborate with other CWRU departments to reach out to underrepresented and marginalized populations on campus. Trainees are valued for the diversity of experience and identities that they bring to the center. They are encouraged to explore their own intersecting identities and how these might impact their experiential work during internship. Trainees are included in outreach to a range of campus populations and we invite them to collaborate with campus partners invested in the University’s diversity mission. They give feedback to the agency regarding how we meet our multiculturalism and diversity goals; we actively seek their evaluation of our quality improvement efforts.
In an aim to recruit diverse interns invested in the value of multiculturalism, we ensure that a diverse representation of staff participates in the interview process, and we ask questions in the interview that emphasize our interest not only in knowledge but also in application of multicultural themes. We do not require in-person interviews; instead, we explicitly state in our materials that we are committed to encouraging a wide range of applicants, including those who may have physical or economic barriers to travel for interviews.
In terms of the training program, our site is engaged with multiculturalism and social justice themes. We include a Multiculturalism Seminar in the didactic program facilitated by our Multicultural Specialist, who regularly seeks training and education about issues of race and ethnicity in higher education. This didactic series includes the exploration of diverse identities of the Trainees, as well as of clients. Multicultural themes are readily woven throughout the internship year in consultation and supervision and in overall program design.