Clinical and ethical challenges

The most significant clinical and ethical challenge of the supervision is that the supervisors must attend to the best interest of the client and the supervisee. In this case, where counselor D gives trainee C a negative evaluation despite failing to supervise the trainee effectively, there are several ethical and legal issues involved (Gibson, 2011).

One of the major ethical issues in this situation is the use of power in the supervisory relationship (Syracuse University, 2018). There are several ways in which power manifest in the structure of the supervisory relationship. The supervisor is also considered an assigned authority whose directives and guidance are important to help the trainee develop required competency. The supervisor, therefore, is required to use his or her power, emanating from the skills, qualities, and authority bestowed on them to help the trainee. On the other hand, the trainee is required to respond and obey the assigned authority, which is the supervisor. When the supervisor fails to provide the necessary attention and to offer feedback to the trainee and in the end gives the trainee a negative evaluation, then this is a misuse of power in the supervisory relationship (Syracuse University, 2018). Legally, there is likely to be the issue of vicarious liability. This is a situation where the supervisor may be charged for neglect of duty for failure to offer appropriate guidance to the trainee where a supervisory relationship exists.

There are various ways through which trainee could deal with the emerging ethical and legal issues in the case. For instance, the trainee can complain to the school board to have his performance and the conduct of the supervisor regarding his training reviewed. On the other hand, the trainee may also contact a legal counsel and file a board complaint.


There are many ethical and legal issues that could be involved with this type of supervision. For one, both parties could be at risk for a malpractice suit because they are not ensuring their clients are receiving the best treatment possible. Asking a supervisee to perform counseling, on his own, at this early stage in his career is not ethical. In regard to the ACA Ethics Code, F.6.a, Evaluation, is being violated. This code requires that supervisors document and provide supervisees with ongoing feedback on their clinical performance, which Counselor D failed to do. Additionally, supervisors must schedule formal evaluative sessions throughout the supervisory relationship. In the video, the supervisor spends more time asking his supervisee on his opinion of the game, which is not considered a formal evaluation under any circumstance.

If I were in this position, I would document each session I had with my supervisor. I would attempt to discuss my concerns directly with my supervisor, stressing the importance that I receive the best training possible in the early stages of my career. If my supervisor did not change their behavior within the next session by allowing more time for discussion and feedback, I would consult with another coordinator to make the necessary arrangements to find a new supervisor. As a supervisee, it is my right that my sessions are free of distractions, which include eating, answering personal phone calls, and discussing trivial topics not related to my concerns in practice. Likewise, it would be my responsibility to provide feedback to my supervisor that I was not satisfied with our sessions and discuss what was unhelpful in the supervisory relationship. These steps need to be taken prior to a supervisor administering a negative evaluation.+

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