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The Legal and Ethical Aspects of Clinical Supervision

The Legal and Ethical Aspects of Clinical Supervision
Wren Newman, SLP.D., CCC-SLP
August 10, 2011


This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication access realtime translation (cart) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be totally verbatim. The consumer should check with the moderator for any clarifications of the material.

>> Amy Natho: I would like to welcome you to the SpeechPathology.com Virtual Conference on Topics in Supervision.  We're honored to have Carol Dudding serving as our guest editor this week.  She's helped us gather up a really great slate of speakers for this conference.  Today's seminar is “The Legal and Ethical Aspects of Clinical Supervision” by Wren Newman and it is the fourth in our weeklong series of seminars about supervision.  My name is Amy Natho and I'll be the moderator for this online course. At this time, it is my great honor to present our speaker today, Wren Newman.  Wren Newman, Doctor of Speech Pathology, CCC-SLP is Executive Director for the Program in Speech-Language and Communication Disorders at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  She was named a fellow of ASHA in 2006.  So I would like to welcome Wren and thank you so much for being here today.


>> Wren Newman:  Thank you so much.  Before we begin, my thanks to Carol Dudding for the invitation to participate in this event and to the co-presenters this week, Lisa, Vicki and Nancy.  This has been a wonderful experience for all of us and so it is just an honor to be part of this wonderful week of information sharing about clinical supervision. What we're going to be discussing in this next hour is some of the ethical things that impact the effectiveness of our supervision and what makes supervision effective that we can influence by our behaviors.  We're going to be talking about the power differential between the supervisor and the supervisee.  We're going to be talking about the term "vicarious liability" and how that impacts the supervisory relationship.  Finally, we will look a little bit at dual relationships and what that means ethically and, of course, to the supervisory experience.

I'm going to start just from a great colleague, Lisa O'Connor, who provides us with this working definition of supervision.  With supervision, we want “to create a learning and working environment that enhances the skills and confidence of the supervisee and ultimately, provide mutual strength, support and growth for both the supervisee and the supervisor.”  The experience of supervision should be beneficial to both the supervisee, where the supervisee is gaining knowledge, experience and feedback from an expert or an individual with substantial experience in the field, and it should be of benefit to the supervisor as well.  So often we hear that the supervisor is gaining new things that are coming directly from the University student -- the stimulus of having a student or a person who is anxious to learn more and, also, knowing that you're making a professional difference for the supervisee. 


ASHA Code of Ethics

Much of our discussion this afternoon will be related to the ASHA code of ethics and, of course, that guides us in our ethical decision-making in our professional decisions.  The Code was most recently revised in 2010.  The Code contains four principles and then many rules that are related to each of the principles.  There are several of those rules and principles that apply directly to the supervisory relationship.  So our discussion will be related back to the Code of Ethics.  Also, I want to note that I am now currently a member of the Board of Ethics.  I can tell you that it is, I guess, impressive or disturbing the number of ethical questions that come before the Board relating to supervision.  So I think that understanding ethics or thinking about ethics as it applies to the supervisory process is certainly important to our supervisees and, of course, to us. 

Power Differential: Principle of Ethics 4

Principle of Ethics 4 looks at honoring our responsibility to the professions and our relationships with colleagues, students and members of other professions and disciplines.  And under that, one of the rules states that “individuals shall not engage in any form of unlawful harassment, including sexual harassment or power abuse.” 

wren newman

Wren Newman, SLP.D., CCC-SLP

Wren S. Newman, SLP.D., CCC-SLP is Executive Director for the Programs in Speech-Language and Communication Disorders at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She was named a Fellow of ASHA in 2006.

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