During supervision, the supervisor talks about the difficulties in family therapy of a married couple (Japanese and Russian), where, during the study of family conflict, it turned out that the trigger for a serious trial, including family therapy, was the discovery that the Japanese husband, with enviable regularity for many months, had been attending the so-called “pinsaro” (pink salon, blow-job bar), while engaging in sex with his wife quite infrequently. For the supervisee, the main difficulty in dealing with the family situation was the fact that neither spouse particularly focused on this circumstance, regarding it as an annoying misunderstanding. Their major difficulty in marriage was the lack of time spent together and attention given to one another. In countertransference, the supervisee had many experiences, including aggression, associated with the complete rejection of such behavior of her husband in marriage and an inability to imagine that this could really hurt partners so little. The supervisor rather regarded such lack of interest and reactions at this moment as the result of psychological defense mechanisms on the part of both partners. Anger and intense aggression made it difficult to focus on other aspects of the conflict and the family situation as a whole. There was a suspicion that patients either demonstrated resistance or intentionally misled the therapist, which seriously impeded the development of a therapeutic alliance.
In the course of supervision, the supervisee was given the task of studying the traditions of sexuality in Japanese family culture in general from a transcultural point of view, and further, the place reserved for the pinsaro in particular.
After conducting this research, the supervisee learned that this behavior is not only legal, but that it is only occasionally frowned upon under certain conditions, i.e., it is considered conditionally undesirable, and therefore, easily dismissed by all participants in a family conflict. Thus, the supervisee had to expand his/her ideas about the conditional norm in sexual and family behavior, which was fundamentally different from his/her own culture. In the end, he/she managed to separate the traditions of family culture (in full disclosure, it should be noted, after several sessions of personal therapy) so that he/she was able to focus on other aspects of family relationships presented by the family, and to help this couple.
To become more transculturally educated, the supervisor needs to study his/her own limitations, expand his/her transcultural experience, and resist the tendency to narrow down the type of preferred patients or the nature of their difficulties, limiting them only to Christians, women who have suffered violence, representatives of only one ethnic group, race or profession, etc. On the one hand, the higher the level of transcultural differences, the more difficult to understand, accept, and share the traditions of another person, the more emotional reactions they cause in a specialist. On the other hand, the more transcultural experience working with professionals from diverse cultural backgrounds the supervisor has, the easier it is for him/her to accept the relative value of his/her own cultural traditions and, therefore, to accept diversity in its many dimensions.
That is why, in the spirit of constant apprenticeship, curiosity, and openness, the supervisor should be able to interest and captivate the supervisee with other cultures and traditions, regardless of their transcultural differences. As a result, the more the supervisee studies the various traits leading him/her to love another culture, the more he/she learns to understand and respect its traditions and genuinely accept its differences from his/her own culture and traditions. Thus, a transculturally educated supervisor is one who has experience dealing with representatives of different cultures, who recognizes their equality and value, and knows how to deal with cultural similarities and differences.
Supervision in Positive