Clinical supervision and consultation have long been considered integral elements of training and maintaining competency for psychologists and other mental health professionals. One of the primary responsibilities of supervisors is to help with the professional socialization of supervisees; instilling in them an understanding of the relevant ethical principles and standards is a significant component of this charge.
Although students may have considerable knowledge from graduate courses in professional ethics, only in the context of clinical work do the nuances and complexities of ethical issues begin to emerge. Supervisors must be present and attentive to capture and fully utilize those proverbial "teachable moment" in which the applications of ethical principles and standards may be recognized and internalized. The potential for misunderstanding and misapplication is significant for novice clinicians.
Even seasoned professionals are vulnerable to ethical errors caused by other factors such as mismanaged countertransference, lack of knowledge about evolving standards, and personal problems that compromises objectivity and effectiveness. Supervisors and consultants must provide the guidance necessary to protect the welfare of clients, educate supervisees, and facilitate the professional development of consultees.
The Ethics of Supervision and Consultation: Practical Guidance for Mental Health Professionals represents the confluence of ethics with supervision and consultation. Supervision and consultation are treated as discrete areas of specialization. Ethics codes and specialty guidelines are analyzed in terms of their applications to this work. Supervisors and consultants are provided with both theoretical concepts and practical strategies for incorporating ethical principles into their work.
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The Ethical Practice of Supervision and Consultation
Ethical Practice Standards for Supervision and Consultation
Psychotherapy-Based Models of Supervision: Ethical Challenges
Developmental Models of Supervision
Boundaries and Multiple Relationships
Informed Consent to Supervision and Consultation
Consultation and Supervision Groups
Mandated Supervision: Ethical Challenges for Supervisors and Supervisees
Documentation of Supervision and Consultation
Psychology Professional Associations—Ethics Codes
Counseling Professional Associations—Ethics Codes
Other Mental Health Professional Associations—Ethics Codes
Mental Health Professional Associations—Ethical and Specialty Guidelines
Clinical Case Presentation Format
Summary of Case Consultation/Supervision
Clinical Record Checklist
Clinical Record Quality Assessment
About the Author:
Janet T. Thomas is a licensed psychologist in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She earned a doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Saint Thomas and has been in independent practice since 1991. Her clinical work includes psychotherapy, assessment, and consultation and supervision with psychologists and other mental health professionals facing ethical dilemmas, licensing board complaints, and lawsuits. Professional experience includes work in an in-patient psychiatric hospital, medical clinic, rehabilitation unit, community mental health agency, assessment clinic, and in college counseling centers.
Dr. Thomas began teaching psychology graduate students in 1990. She has served on the adjunct faculties of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, the University of Saint Thomas, and Argosy University-Twin Cities. She has taught courses on professional ethics, counseling skills, practicum, supervision and consultation, and professional psychological writing.
Professional contributions include journal articles, book chapters, and presentations on topics related to ethics and supervision, both in Minnesota and the United States. Dr. Thomas is a former chair of the Minnesota Psychological Association's Ethics Committee.