Bulletin No. 2, 2019

07 They Stand on the Shoulders of Giants Nurturer of Inclusive Therapeutic Relationships Sexual minorities are stigmatized in Hong Kong and many other places. Counsellors and psychologists working with sexual minorities need to be sensitive to the latter’s struggles. In view of the paucity of research that looks into how counsellors and psychotherapists can be better prepared to serve this population, Prof. Harold Chui has devoted himself to examining how clinical supervision helps improve the trainees’ capacities. Trainees’ personal characteristics, including sexual orientations, may influence their counselling approaches. Current supervision models, however, do not differentiate how trainees with different sexual orientations work with their sexual minority clients. As the clinical training and supervision literature mainly focuses on sexual minority trainees, Professor Chui attempts to bridge the gap by studying both heterosexual and non-heterosexual trainees who work with sexual minority clients. He and his research team have conducted telephone interviews with psychology trainees to learn about their experiences of being supervised. The interview is semi-structured: besides answering the same set of questions, interviewees were prompted to elaborate on their responses. A follow-up interview was scheduled one week later to capture thoughts arising after the first interview. The research team had a hard time recruiting interview participants because psychology interns typically have busy schedules in clinical work and thesis writing. Interns without a sexual minority client are also not eligible to participate in the study. The team had to go through many agencies in order to reach a desirable sample size. The research sheds light on how trainers of counsellors and psychologists can boost trainees’ sensitivity to sexual minorities’ struggles by staying attuned to trainees’ personal characteristics and attitudes toward the client group. He says, ‘This would hopefully contribute to a more inclusive society as service providers are better prepared to address the needs of sexual minority clients.’ ‘I do appreciate the openness of my department and Faculty in letting me pursue my various research interests. CUHK is very supportive of our research endeavours in terms of providing conference support and internal funding opportunities. CUHK is also a place with many experts from different areas. I enjoy collaborating with like-minded colleagues, both inside and outside my department. This makes research more fun and productive,’ says Professor Chui. Professor Chui’s research interests include counselling process and outcome, counsellor training and supervision, and teacher and student mental health. His recent projects focus on the influence of counsellors’ emotions on counselling and how teachers’ attitudes towards mental health issues influence their support for students in need. ‘I enjoy collaborating with like-minded colleagues, both inside and outside my department. This makes research more fun and productive.’