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Leader as Gatekeeper: When Remediation isn't Enough Presented at the annual Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies (September 2014), San Diego,

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Presentation on theme: "Leader as Gatekeeper: When Remediation isn't Enough Presented at the annual Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies (September 2014), San Diego,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Leader as Gatekeeper: When Remediation isn't Enough Presented at the annual Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies (September 2014), San Diego, CA

2  Timing of Remediation and Probationary Measures Cindy Bruns, Ph.D., Central Washington University  Navigating Host and Sponsoring University Systems Maureen Lafferty, Ed.D., HSPP, University of Notre Dame  Managing the Impact on the Intern Cohort, Training Directors and Supervisors, as well as the Center as a Whole Chris Grant, Ph.D., University of Washington  Considering Intersections of Diversity when Managing Intern Competency Problems Mary Mendoza-Newman, Ph.D., Stanford University Presenters and Overview

3 Timing of Remediation and Probationary Measures Cindy Bruns, Ph.D., Central Washington University

4  All terminations start with remediation  Unless there’s something really egregious  How one approaches remediation and have significant effects on the termination process Remediation and Termination

5 Personal-Professional Issues Affecting Timing of Remediation  “Developmental” vs “Problem of Professional Competence”  Individualized vs Standardized Training  Disagreement among Training Team  Wanting to be perceived as “fair” and “understanding”  Avoidance – of difficult conversations/feedback, difficult reactions, discomfort of process  Empathy for Intern’s situation, background, context, etc.  Lack of Training/experience  Lack of clear policies and procedures  Stigma/sense of professional failure as a supervisor/Training Director  Glimmers of hope

6 Aspects of Timing  Think Developmentally: are developmental milestones being met  Informal is not indefinite  The longer something goes on, the harder it is to fix  Must have enough time to have a fair chance of making changes  Must have enough time to gather data about the likelihood of developing full competency

7 Aspects of Timing  Before your training staff (and you) burn out and get resentful  Agency dynamics and context  Upping the ante – moving from remediation to probation  In terms of potential termination, the closer you get to the end of internship, the more complicated things can be

8  “If you can remediate, you should remediate.” “If you think it is possible, you should try.”  Earlier is almost always better than later.  You must give adequate time for remediation prior to termination.  A chance to change  A chance to gather data to support your decision should you move toward termination  Each remediation plan should have at least 1 month duration – anything less is probably not fair.  An intern may need more than one remediation plan, so factor that into the timing consideration. Compass Points

9  Talk things through with training staff and get concrete – what needs to change, how will you measure it, what is enough change, what are the possible outcomes – link to your evaluation measures.  While remediation plans can cause anxiety, they can also relieve it for interns – clear, concrete, behavioral expectations = no more guessing.  Be clear in your plan about possible outcomes and what will trigger those outcomes.  After each remediation plan you do, look over your policy and procedures again and see what worked and didn’t work.  Have support to work through your own fears, self-judgments, worries, etc. Compass Points

10  Remediation, probation, and certainly termination are not steps to be entered into lightly.  Question, self-reflect, dialogue, consult, and be really honest with yourself about motivations.  Step back and listen to your gut. Compass Points

11 Navigating Host and Sponsoring University Systems Maureen Lafferty, Ed.D., HSPP, University of Notre Dame

12 Navigating Host and Sponsoring University Systems  Psychology Internship Program  Internship’s Host University  Intern’s Academic Program  Sponsoring University  Other

13  Interns may find themselves in a multiple role situation as a student, a trainee, and an employee, which can be quite overwhelming for all concerned.  Training Director may also play a slightly different role in different systems.  The Training Director’s role is pivotal as the person responsible for clear communication across ALL constituencies.  Intern, intern cohort, staff/supervisors, university, academic program/DCT, professional organizations, legal counsel, etc. Multiple Roles and Navigation

14 Challenges for the Training Director as “Navigator”  “Who do I notify first?”  “Who can I consult?”  “Who needs to know?”  “What do I do if I get conflicting advice?”  “Who makes the final call?”

15  Demeanor matters! Communicating in a calm, clear, sensitive and respectful manner with all parties will inspire confidence and may help the intern and others to respond in kind.  Every situation is different. You are the “expert” related to your program and setting. You will likely need to follow university policies and legal guidelines, but you can advocate for what you believe to be the best action! Compass Points

16  You will not always know what to do next. It is okay to ask for time to reflect and consult, and then to respond.  Success is best measured by the process rather than the outcome. You may not get to make the final decision. Outcomes can be based on intern performance/response and the decisions of others, e.g. HR, legal counsel, the academic program, etc. If all parties feel well-informed and treated fairly throughout the process, you have succeeded! Compass Points

17 Managing the Impact on the Intern Cohort, the Personal-Professional Impact on Training Directors and Supervisors, as Well as the Center as a Whole Chris Grant, Ph.D., University of Washington

18  At beginning of process  As process becomes more defined  As process draws to a conclusion  The aftermath Impact on the Intern Cohort: Covert and/or Overt Process?

19 Impact on the Training Director and Supervisors  Amount of time devoted to ensure clarity for all  Supervisors keeping extensive supervision notes  Some pain about process related to cultural sensitivity  T.D. constructing clear and concise documentation  T.D. burnout  emotional intensity of process  simultaneously holding confidential a lot of detailed information  Still being open and available to all through the process

20  Loss of some of the transparency we are used to as a group  A feeling of sadness and fatigue  Realization of each of our parts in the process and coming to feel it was important and ethical Impact on the Center as a Whole

21  This is a difficult AND important process. As caring professionals, we have a difficult time giving trainees negative feedback, much less informing a trainee that they are below the expected level of competence in any area and will not pass the internship. Supporting the intern, the cohort group, the training staff, the Center as a whole during this process will predict how you will all feel about the process when it is over.  Remember, that there are people you can consult with at any point in the process. You as the T.D. are the person initiating and completing the process, but you are not in this alone. APA/CoA, ACCTA colleagues, the APPIC Informal Problem Resolution Office, and your Center Director not only are there for you, but SHOULD be consulted with during a complex process such as this. Compass Points

22  Stick precisely to your due process document for interns. You will have an opportunity to see what things “work” within your document and what things don’t “work.” You must abide by whatever your due process document says currently, BUT you can change things later, to make a document that is more effective in the future.  “Every change in anyone’s due process document has the name of some intern attached to it.” -- Susan Z. Compass Points

23  Through this process, client care is paramount, next is trainee “care,” and then “care” of staff. Much of how you can explain the covert part of the process to the intern cohort and the training staff is by focusing on respect for the intern and confidentiality for each trainee.  Institute greater self-care during this process. Thought about getting massages on a regular basis? Now is the time to do it. Thought about taking time to go hiking in a beautiful and restful spot? Again, now is the time to do it. Anything that will decrease your stress during this process is a great idea! Compass Points

24 Considering Intersections of Diversity when Managing Intern Competency Problems Mary Mendoza-Newman, Ph.D., Stanford University

25 "Mary, from one woman of color to another, I beg you to reconsider” My personal experience with a layered and complex intersection of competency issues and diversity variables.

26  Instances of managing competency issues can provoke a conflict between Training Directors role as Educator and Gatekeeper.  We generally have a positive notion and experience of training, until you have to manage competency issues.  Recruitment and Retention of diverse interns  Collective commitment to multiculturalism in our profession Diversity Intersections

27 Training Directors Inattention to and Discomfort with Diversity Complicates Interactions and Decisions when Managing Competence Problems (Shen-Miller, et al., 2009, 2011, 2014) Some variables at play for Trainers include:  Strong emotional reactions  Fear of being insensitive  Discomfort with confrontation  Avoidance of confrontation  Multicultural competence  Over/under identification  Lack of preparation and expertise to engage in difficult dialogues  Differing multicultural and developmental stage of trainer/trainee Some variables at play for Trainees include:  Strong emotional reactions  Identity variables (racial, ethnic, gender, marital status, disability…)  Differing multicultural and developmental stage of trainer/trainee  Stress and vulnerability due to minority status(s)  Lack of power  Disrupts the learning process  Diminished trust

28 An ecological/multicultural/feminist perspective Layers of power dynamics at play

29  Consider all aspects of a trainee’s identity when conceptualizing a trainee’s evaluation and remediation plan. Increase the complexity with which we conceptualize diversity variables in addressing competence problems and remediation plans.  Check your own multicultural awareness, sensitivity, and competence. Continue your development of multicultural competence by engaging in dialogues about diversity and explore your biases and blind spots.  Embrace your gatekeeping role! We have an ethical gatekeeping duty to our profession, training, and the public. Managing competency issues is a competence. Compass Points

30  Back to basics. Are you clear what your self-study states about what is expected for training, how you evaluate progression, due processes, and conditions for dismissal and do your trainees know this information.  Consult, consult, consult - with colleagues, in supervision meeting, with training directors, ACCTA, APPIC problem consultation.  Engage in your own self-care. This is a very stressful process and healthy, nurturing self-care strategies are a must. Compass Points

31 Questions and Discussion


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