Larry’s confrontation of this female client in the group is retraumatizing her – he has not at all acted collaboratively with her – rather he has taken an authoritarian stance which echoes and reenacts her inability to stand up for herself when she was initially traumatized.
It is important for the supervisor to recognize Larry’s need to be reeducated about how to use 12 step meetings and theory in the TSF model but he also needs an introduction to basic trim, the risks of retraumatizing and the connection between substance abuse and mental health. Therefore, the TSF course the supervisor recommends is really just the beginning for Larry’s training.
The supervisor needs to get in the group and observe Larry and, especially to model appropriate, less confrontational methods of working with these clients. Larry needs experience and education about wrap -around support this particular client could use to help her begin to feel safe about not using. Basic social work training for Larry would be good – how to access community resources; how to seek mentors that can be supportive for clients – all of these areas to expand his view of “recovery” which he has practiced in an oversimplified manner which may have worked for him in his previous position and, indeed, in his own recovery.