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Who are the parties that will be impacted by whatever course of action is chosen?
Steve, John, other staff, the agency and clients of the agency.
What are the ethical issues involved in this scenario, including conflicting and competing values of the parties involved?
1. Dual relationships between Steve and John
2. John’s impairment
3. John is vicariously traumatized and burning out
4. Steve’s supervisory competence
Questions 3 & 4
What are all the viable courses of action and the possible benefits and risks for each?
Please include the pros and cons of each course of action based on relevant codes of ethics, laws, agency policies, licensing board regulations, reasonable and customary clinical supervision theory and practice, and personal values including religious, cultural, ethical and political ideology.
1. Do nothing – Pros-Steve wont have to make a decision and confront his friend. Cons – the agency is at risk, clients not getting appropriate treatment, alienation of other staff, john continues to use and doesn’t get help, john continues to burnout
2. Bring John in for a discussion about his alcohol use and offer assistance. Pros – John gets help, Steve has addressed the issues, clients and agency may not be at risk, Cons – John and Steve’s relationship suffers, John goes to agency and says Steve is a hostile and incompetent supervisor.
3. Steve goes to the agency director and reports John. Pros – the situation is managed, agency and clients protected, Cons – Steve doesn’t directly address the situation, john is fired, john relapses further, Steve continues to supervise without being aware of what happened.
Who should the clinical supervisor (Steve), consult regarding this scenario and why?
Steve should consult another (or more than one) supervisor with more experience than he has. Steve is a new supervisor and there are a lot of things that he hasn’t experienced yet. He can learn from the other supervisor (s) for the next time that something like this occurs. Also, by seeking consultation, he is mitigating the liability if anything happens.
What is the best possible course of action for a clinical supervisor (Steve) to take in this situation? Steve would be wise to refer John to another supervisor. He is too close to the situation and friends with John. Also his lack of experience may be a contributing factor. Steve doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.
How should the clinical supervisor (Steve) implement the decision, document the decision making process, and monitor and evaluate the effects of the decision?
Steve should discuss this with the supervisor he wants to refer John to. Then he should meet with John to advise him of the change and why. This should be well documented in the ethical decision framework model. Steve could then monitor the effect this change had on staff and clients as well as himself. If John and Steve remain friends, Steve may see a positive change in John.