TCCBB 52 Establishing Ethical Practices in Clinical Supervision: The Importance of Remediation Plans
The Unsung Hero of Counseling – Ethical LPC Supervision Remediation
Remediation – it may not be the most thrilling term in the world of counseling and supervision, but its importance cannot be understated.
Picture it as the safety net, the unsung hero that quietly ensures the counseling profession maintains the highest standards of care and ethical practice. While it might not spark the same excitement as the Astros playing the Rangers for the American League Championship Series title, remediation's role in safeguarding clients, upholding quality assurance, and nurturing ethical practitioners is invaluable.
In today's ever-evolving counseling landscape, the need to stay aligned with best practices, ethics, and the law is paramount. Remediation serves as a powerful course correction tool, both for the supervisor and the supervisee. This ensures that they are working collaboratively to prioritize the well-being of clients, maintaining the highest ethical standards.
By providing a structured path for improvement, remediation transforms potential obstacles into golden opportunities for growth and development.
But there are a few problems
- Problems arise when supervisors terminate a supervisee without remediation because licensing boards often require it. Both Texas LPC and LMFT boards require supervisors to document a remediation plan before terminating their supervisee.
- Another problem can occur when supervisors who are also employers confuse remediation with a progressive discipline plan. This dual relationship for the supervisor only compounds the issue.
- There is very little research on what actually ‘works' in ethical LPC supervision remediation. The licensing board require it, and good supervisor trainings teach it, but then what? When LPCs and LMFTs take the leap and become a supervisor, it is imperative that they learn remediation best practices in order to protect the public and protect their license.
Crafting a Solid Remediation Plan Phase 1
The process of creating a remediation plan requires a specific approach, guided by a set of detailed assignments that ensure supervisees are fully equipped to meet expectations. Through structured assignments, the entire remediation journey becomes a process that is completed in multiple steps. From in-depth research papers to educational courses on key ethical principles, each assignment is meant to address the core concerns in a concrete, measurable way
Phase 1: Detail the specifics of what your supervisee is doing, or perhaps not doing, to merit this intervention. This involves a detailed breakdown of their actions, frequency, and your approach in teaching and re-teaching these aspects. Documentation becomes your trusted ally, confirming that your supervisee underwent an orientation and pinpointing any prior instances where they fell short of expectations.
Remember, the remediation journey starts with a thorough evaluation – you can't fix what you haven't assessed. There are only two exceptions: either they are incredibly new and haven't had a chance for evaluation yet, or the issue at hand is so severe that it necessitates bypassing the typical process. Egregious errors may warrant immediate termination.
Crafting a Solid Remediation Plan Phase 2
Phase 2: A common pitfall in remediation is solely focusing on the outcomes, such as “Don't be late anymore.” However, the true goal is to mold a new, improved supervisee who consistently arrives punctually for sessions. In phase 2, I list specific activities the supervisee must accomplish by a certain time period that will result in them not being late anymore.
So rather than “don't be late anymore,” instead ask your supervisee to attend a three-CE course on the ethics of punctuality by the end of the month. The supervisee might also be tasked with composing a paper elucidating the significance of timeliness in the counseling profession. Another assignment could be to ask them to research real-world scenarios by studying past board hearing minutes or documented complaints can underscore the consequences of failing to meet these standards.
A Supervisory Imperative
Remediation plans stand as a critical tool for ensuring supervisees are not just on the right path but continue to meet the high standards required for effective mental health practice.
Beyond simply completing tasks, it's about engaging in a transformational process that moves professionals from their current point of struggle to a higher level of competence. By taking remediation seriously and following a systematic approach, supervisors not only set their supervisees up for success but also safeguard the quality and ethics of the profession as a whole. Remember, remediation isn't merely a last resort; it's a proactive measure to foster growth and development, making it a crucial element in the realm of counseling and supervision.
The meticulous process of welcoming and training new professionals involves the OER Triad. That is, orientation, evaluation, then remediation if warranted. This not only enhances their performance but also upholds the high standards of the field. You see, remediation plans are not just about protecting licenses – they are about cultivating best practices for supervisors and ensuring the growth and success of the next generation of mental health professionals.
Blog post by Kate Walker Ph.D. LPC/LMFT Supervisor in Texas
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