Date of Award

Summer 2022

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology


Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Edwards, Lisa M.

Second Advisor

Burkard, Alan

Third Advisor

Ong, Lee Za


While scholars agree that White racial identity development is necessary for counseling and psychology graduate trainees, how to go about supporting this development is less clear. Scholars and activists have anecdotally suggested that mentorship is a potentially fruitful avenue to sustain White people in anti-racist growth, yet how this phenomenon occurs has not been explored. Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, this study explored the experiences of 10 White, non-Latinx recent graduates of counseling or psychology programs who self- identified as having been mentored in ways that facilitated their racial identity development. Findings suggest that racially-conscious mentoring might be one possible way to support anti- racist development among White trainees. Specifically, White trainees are likely to benefit from relational support that is attuned to their developmental needs, is both challenging and supportive, and considers the intersection of personal and professional influences while providing tools to process racialized experiences. The mentor’s racial identity also appears to be a key influence as participants described experiences with Mentors of Color and with White mentors that were distinct from one another, yet uniquely beneficial. A racially-conscious approach to mentorship appears one way to enhance race consciousness in trainees’ professional work while fostering willingness and skills for engaging in social justice action. Findings have important implications for training, including strategies for enriching faculty relationships with White trainees to be racially-conscious and enhancing anti-racist training efforts in counseling and psychology.



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