11/17/2023: Reflective Supervision: A Diversity-Informed Tenets Approach

Ayannakai Nalo, LCSW & Maria Seymour St. John, PhD, MFT
This Course has passed.

Friday, November 17, 2023, from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm PST. Live Webinar.

Reflective Supervision:
A Diversity-Informed Tenets Approach

Supervision can help or hurt at profound levels based on how interlocking systems of oppression are addressed – or not. Supervisors often lack tools for addressing systems of oppression. The Diversity-Informed Tenets framework promotes social justice in work with individuals, families, and groups. This workshop equips supervisory dyads to use the Tenets to guide reflective work.

Reflective supervision involves appreciating parallel process as both a hazard and a vehicle for understanding; valuing the use of self with clients; promoting reflective functioning in clinician, supervisor, and client(s); and facilitating reflective dialogue around difficult subjects. However, even those who wholeheartedly embrace this model are often at a loss when it comes to addressing within the supervisory relationship race and racism, class and classism, sexual orientation and homophobia, etc. What Glenn Singleton has termed “Courageous Conversations” about “isms” tend to falter in reflective supervision.

The Diversity-Informed Tenets are a set of guiding principles that raise awareness of inequities and injustices by empowering individuals, agencies and systems of care to identify and address social justice issues. In a society in which issues such as race, class, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, immigration status, and others are often fraught with conflict, the chances are that if diversity and inclusion issues are not addressed deliberately, they will be played out covertly in ways that replicate injurious patterns in society at large, reproducing historical injustices. In this workshop, the Tenets are applied to the specific context of reflective supervision. Key concepts of reflective supervision will be framed, and the Tenets introduced. As Tenet Number One pertains to self-awareness and self-reflection, this provides a natural connecting point with reflective supervision, so exercises grounding participants in Tenet Number One will be provided. Tools and strategies for bringing the Tenets into supervision will be introduced and practiced. Participants will engage in reflective exercises designed to promote greater comfort in addressing issues related to implicit bias, intersectionality, and the “isms” from the position of both supervisor and supervisee.

Course Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to describe three key components of reflective supervision and apply corresponding skills within their roles and responsibilities as supervisors.
  • Participants will be able to demonstrate the use of the Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, Children and Families (© Irving Harris Foundation, 2012) in navigating challenging moments in supervision.
  • Participants will be able to apply the concept of “subjugated and privileged selves” (Hardy & Bobes, 2017) to the supervisory matrix.
  • Participants will be able to identify three strategies for implementing a “critical postcolonial lens” (Hernández & McDowell, 2010) in reflective supervisory practice.
  • Participants will be able to compare notions of “safety” versus “bravery” as aspirations for supervisory conversations in order to articulate relational goals.


Ayannakai Nalo, LCSW, is a CPP rostered licensed clinical social worker and has been working with children and families for 30+ years. Ms. Nalo is an early childhood mental health consultant and provides training, technical assistance, and consultation to public health systems, hospitals, and community, state, and national organizations in the areas of infant mental health, early intervention, mental health consultation, reflective supervision and issues of diversity and inclusion. Additionally, The California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health has endorsed Ms. Nalo as an Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Reflective Practice Facilitator Mentor. As a member of the Harris Foundation TENETS Work Group, Ms. Nalo also trains organizations and mentors individuals in the implementation of the TENETS across infant and early childhood mental health providers and public health fields. She integrates diversity-informed principles from TENETS and other sources into reflective supervision and infant mental health services.


Maria Seymour St. John, Ph.D., MFT, is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, where she serves as Co-Director of Training of the Infant-Parent Program at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. A rostered Child-Parent Psychotherapy provider, Dr. St. John holds a private practice as a marriage and family therapist in Oakland. She is a developer and national trainer of the Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, Children and Families and the developer of the Parent-Child Relationship Competencies, a framework for the clinical assessment of strengths and vulnerabilities within parent-child relationships. Her book Focusing on Relationships: An Effort That Pays was published by ZEROTOTHREE. Dr. St. John is a faculty member of the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern CA.

Location: Virtual format—Zoom

Date & Time: Friday, November 17, 2023, from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm PST. Live Webinar.
Zoom invite will be sent out a few days before the course date.

Participants: Limited to 25 Registration is full

Price: $250/person (includes CE certificate)

CE: 6 Credits. Attendees must participate in live sessions to receive CEs. The Psychotherapy Institute is approved by the California Psychological Association (CPA) to provide continuing professional education for psychologists, LMFTs, LCSWs, and LPCCs (provider number PSY005). The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts continuing education credit granted by the California Psychological Association or by any of its Approved Providers. The Psychotherapy Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its content. (see Registration and Course Policies).

Contact Administrative Coordinator with any questions or concerns: sbrown@tpi-berkeley.org.

Registration Closes: 
Friday, October 27, 2023 - 10:00am