Reply To: Week 5 Homework Assignment (Ethical Issues in Clinical Supervision)

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Sindee Gozansky

Exercise 1
A) What are some of the strategies you would employ to initiate and facilitate a discussion about the distinction between self-disclosure as a boundary crossing or boundary violation in your treatment team meeting?
I would incorporate it as a clinical vignette type of training within the meeting to highlight the difference of boundary crossing as sharing the clinician’s response in the here-and-now to the client’s material. The response of the clinician could be experiencing an emotion, physical sensation or thought and sharing that in the service of the client to see if it increases resonance or awareness is a therapeutic intervention. As a Gestalt trained clinician, I am familiar with this exercise and believe it has great therapeutic value. I am also familiar with how to downgrade such an experiment if it’s too much for the client and would share that as well. I would then share more examples of boundary violations which would be unwanted by the client, not in service of the client, potentially damaging or exploitative and focus on the intent of the clinician. I would encourage group discussion, role play and case examples to help the treatment team better understand the difference. I would keep this as a learning and open environment so the team would feel safe to bring up questions or seek consultation about this in the future.
B) Which of the supervisor roles (consultant, advisor, guide, mentor, professional colleague, educator) fits with your values and supervisory style? Which of these stances would you take in the conversation with the team and why?
My supervisory style is more of a mentor/guide and also educator, and it also depends on the experience of the clinician with whom I’m working. When I’m supervising master’s level student interns, they often need more of an educator role in order to learn new skills and concepts whereas an experienced clinician is usually seeking supervision that is more collaborative as a mentor/guide. There are times when I also shift into an advisor role, particularly when supervising conditionally licensed therapists who may need specific direction around clinical and administrative issues, or requirements of the Board.
Exercise 2
Describe 2–3 useful ideas and/or strategies about supervision and ethics that you have learned or been reminded of over the course of the past 5 weeks that you would like to bring back to your colleagues, supervisees, supervisor, administrators, etc. How do you envision integrating these ideas into your work?
I found this course very useful given that I’m currently supervising two student interns and other conditionally licensed therapists at this time. I will definitely continue to bring forth more of the strategies. The chapter on countertransference/transference was especially helpful and I will continue to address this, as well as boundary violation/crossings. Reviewing codes of ethics is an important reminder as part of regular practice. I would use some of the questions we were presented with in homework as potential discussion points or queries for my supervisees as learning opportunities as well.