Week 10 Discussion 1

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Discussion 1: Ethics and Supervision

Counselors who are in a supervisory role must constantly be aware of their ethical obligations. Ethically and legally, supervisors are responsible for the quality of services and actions of supervisees. Ethical supervision includes paying particular attention to the following areas: competence, evaluation and due process, dual relationships, confidentiality, and informed consent. While supervision may seem fairly straightforward, it is actually a complex and often multilayered process that should not be taken lightly.

Counselors in training have an ethical responsibility to secure appropriate supervision from a qualified supervisor, align to this supervisor’s theoretical orientation as it applies to supervision, and to engage as an active partner in the supervisory process. Many states have specific guidelines for approved clinical supervisors. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are receiving the specific type, quality, and quantity of supervision that is required by your academic program and state of licensure.

For this Discussion, reflect on the qualities of effective and ineffective supervisors. Think about a time when you worked with a supervisor. This does not need to be in a counseling position or even a paid position. Consider potential courses of action if you discovered your supervisor was engaged in unethical behavior.

Post by Day 2

a description of the qualities of the most effective supervisor and the least effective supervisor and explain whether you consider these supervisors to be ethical or unethical. Then, explain how these supervisors affected your performance. Explain the significance of having an ethical supervisor. Finally, explain a potential course of action if you discovered that your supervisor was behaving unethically.

Be sure to use the Learning Resources and the current literature to support your response.

Required Resources


  • Remley, T. P., Jr., & Herlihy, B. (2016). Ethical, legal, and professional issues in counseling (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

    • Chapter 7, “Competence, Assessment, and Diagnosis” (pp. 154-187)
    • Chapter 8, “Malpractice and Resolving Legal and Ethical Challenges” (pp. 188-201)
    • Chapter 15, “Supervision and Consultation” (pp. 358-379)
  • By the numbers: Counselor impairment. (2005). Counseling Today, 48(4), 3.Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Everall, R. D., & Paulson, B. L. (2004). Burnout and secondary traumatic stress impact on ethical behaviour. Canadian Journal of Counseling, 38(1), 25–35.Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Lawson, G. (2007). Counselor wellness and impairment: A national survey. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development, 46(1), 20–34.Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Magnuson, S., Black, L. L., & Norem, K. (2004). Supervising school counselors and interns: Resources for site supervisors. Journal of Professional Counseling, Practice, Theory, & Research, 32(2), 4–15.Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Wilcoxon, S. A., Norem, K., & Magnuson, S. (2005). Supervisees’ contributions to lousy supervision outcomes. Journal of Professional Counseling, Practice, Theory, & Research, 33(2), 31–49.Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Wilkerson, K. (2006). Impaired students: Applying the therapeutic process model to graduate training programs. Counselor Education & Supervision, 45(3), 207–217.Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


  • Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Clinical mental health counseling: Counselor impairment [Video]. Baltimore, MD: Author.


    The approximate length of this media piece is 4 minutes.

    Accessible player –Downloads–Download Video w/CCDownload AudioDownload Transcript

Optional Resources

  • Day, S. X. (2007). Health, distressed or impaired: What affects counselor wellness? Counseling Today, 50(1), 39.Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Lawson, G., Venart, E., Hazler, R. J., & Kottler, J. A. (2007). Toward a culture of counselor wellness. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education & Development, 46(1), 5–19.Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Neukrug, E., Milliken, T., & Walden, S. (2001). Ethical complaints made against credentialed counselors: An updated survey of state licensing boards. Counselor Education & Supervision, 41(1), 57–70.Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Wilcoxon, S. A., & Magnuson, S. (2002). Concurrent academic and pre-licensure supervision: When supervision is not just supervision. Clinical Supervisor, 21(2), 55–66.Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Week 10 Discussion 1
Effective vs. Ineffective Supervisor As a counselor in training our eagerness and willingness to help clients may at helps shadow of ethically responsibility to protect the therapeutic relationship in which we build with clients. Counselors have an ethical responsibility to seek and secure the most appropriate supervision from a qualified supervisor, who is align with their theoretical orientation and is able to be an active partner in supervisory process and training. For me I had the opportunity to experience both effective and ineffective supervisors. For me an ineffective supervisor is someone who is not trustworthy, micromanages and instead of leading by example and has no respect for others. I’ve had a chance to experience effective supervisors as well, their qualities or characteristics include, being knowledgeable enough in the line of work to no act as if they know everything but gives you another way of looking at different situations, they listen to concerns and questions without judgment and are able to gain respect from others by looking at them as peers and not subordinate’s. In the view of unethical and ethical I believed my supervisors who were effective were ethical because of their approach to different situations but also the knowledge and support they were are to supply. For the ineffective supervisors they would be considered unethical because of the lack of trust and respect, supervisors have a duty to engage as an active partner in the supervisory process not belittle or take away from learning opportunities. Performance For me personally, I work better under chaos, and I think that’s what professional counseling is. Not one person you will come across in counseling has a structured or prefect life. In my line of work, I am constantly working under pressure and have to be on my toes and ready for action at any time. For a supervisor who is ineffective has the ability to affect my performance in the worst way, I would have to look to others to help solve an issue if I feel I couldn’t come to them because they would feel like they didn’t have to help. On the other hand, effective supervisors in situations like this are able to convey knowledge in a respectable way, but are also willing to learn along side me. Ethical Supervisor An ethical supervisor has the ability to share crucial information in order to create success, they help build and bridge morals and values in a counselor in order to be successful. Most importantly work together with counselors at times of crisis to build better relationships with clients. An ethical supervisor is one that motivated the counselors they are training so they create social change in the lives they touch. Course of Action for Unethical Supervisor When a counselor in training feels as though a supervisor is being unethical there are appropriate steps to follow in order to serve a duty to help clients. Remely & Helihy (2013) stated as counselors in training we have a professional and legal responsibility to address concerns when may have when it comes to an untrustworthy or unethical behaviors of a supervisor. The ACA Code of Ethics Section I.2.b advises a counselor of the course pf action to follow should they need to report an ethical violation. Reference American Counseling Association. (2014). ACA code of ethics. Retrieved from http://www.counseling.org/docs/ethics/2014-aca-code-of-ethics.pdf?sfvr Remely, T.P., Jr., & Herlihy, B. (2014). Ethical, legal, and professional issues in counseling (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJL Merrill/Pearson Education


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