A brief mindfulness intervention: effects on counselor trainees' multicultural counseling competence and ethnocultural empathy
Increasing counselor trainees’ self-efficacy for multicultural counseling competence (MCC) is an essential part of their professional development to serve racially and ethnically diverse clients effectively. The present study examined the impact of multicultural training and the effects of a brief mindfulness intervention, compared to a control condition, on counselor trainees’ self-reported ethnocultural empathy and MCC. Data obtained from a sample of masters (n = 63) and doctoral (n = 23) counselor trainees were analyzed through a series of linear multiple hierarchical regression analyses. Consistent with previous research, results revealed that multicultural training significantly predicted scores of self-reported multicultural counseling knowledge and empathic feeling. The mindfulness intervention significantly predicted self-reported multicultural counseling knowledge. There was a significant interaction between condition (i.e., mindfulness intervention or control) and previous multicultural training when examining ethnocultural empathy’s empathic feeling and expression subscale. Specifically, trainees with lower levels of multicultural training who received the mindfulness intervention scored higher on empathic feeling compared to those in the control condition, while at higher levels of multicultural training there were no differences across condition. Implications for future research and counselor training are discussed.