SOCW6333 Walden Week 11Discrimination Model Discussion

Due 5/9/19 @ 6 PM EST

Respond to at least two colleagues’ posts and provide an additional strategy your colleague might implement to effectively use Bernard’s Discrimination Model.

Response to Nicole K.

Three Roles in Bernard’s Discrimination Model

The three roles in Bernard’s discrimination model include; teacher role, consultant role and counselor role (Bernard, 1997). When a supervisor assumes the teacher role, this is when the supervisor informs the student of what it the most necessary to know in order to be competent in practice (Bernard, 1997). The consultant role is when the supervisor is there as a resource and encourages the student to trust his/her skills and take control of his/her learning (Bernard, 1997). Lastly, the counselor role is when the supervisor asks for the student to reflect on his/her experience and using those “ah-ha” moments to enhance the students’ professional practice (Bernard, 1997).

When to Introduce the Topic of Vicarious Trauma

If I were a supervisor, I would introduce the topic of vicarious trauma (VT) early on in our professional time together. The earlier I educate the student/trainee on the dangers of this work, the more chance we can utilize prevention strategies or talk about self-awareness. I am pretty straight forward when it comes to addressing serious or potentially serious effects of this practice, especially if I were a supervisor. Part of a supervisory role is to make sure the staff that is under you is getting the care they deserve to provide appropriate services to the clientele. I would introduce VT directly within 2-3 supervisions with the student. After the initial supervision, I would evaluate the experience/professional level of the student and be more willing to address VT and its’ effects.

Besides being upfront/direct about VT, I could use the supervisory process to educate the student about VT. I would watch the student interact with client(s) (intervention skills) and then discuss how the client made sense of the session (conceptualization) to determine risk factors of VT (Bernard, 1997). To determine the sensitivity of the student and his/her background I would use personalization skills to better understand if he/she is at risk for VT with certain individuals of similar culture or just based on sensitivity in general (Bernard, 1997). Lastly, I would utilize professional behavior skills to understand where the student is in terms of ethics and professional development (Bernard, 1997). Using these skills would help me understand his/her ethics and observe differences that may result in the presence of VT.

Introduce VT in Three Roles

In the teacher role, I would introduce VT directly because it is necessary to have knowledge on this risk in the field. In the counselor role I would introduce VT, I would insert comments appropriately in hopes that the student would begin the dialogue him/herself with me or to learn about it on his/her own. In the consultant role, I would take a very backseat driver type of approach. As a consultant, you allow for the student to stumble upon things on his/her own and use you as a resource. This may be the most organic way to discuss VT because the student brings it to the attention of the supervisor, but personally I would take the teacher role approach in my own practice.


Bernard, J. M. (1997). The discrimination model. In C. E. Watkins, Jr. (Ed.), Handbook of

psychotherapy supervision (pp. 310–327). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.


Response to Lorraine

Explain how and at what point you would introduce the topic of vicarious trauma to a trainee/supervisee.

I would immediately introduce the topic of vicarious trauma to a trainee or supervisee. In fact I would want my trainee or supervisee to have training on vicarious trauma. I would have the information available and strongly encourage my trainee/supervisee to follow through with ongoing therapy and vicarious trauma training on a regular basis.

Explain how you would educate a supervisee through the supervisory process.

I would educate my supervisee through the supervisory process by acclimating the supervisee to the role of a supervisor and explaining the overall expectation of the relationship.

Explain the strategy you would use to introduce the topic of vicarious trauma with a new supervisee in Bernard’s three roles.

According to Bernard (1997), “Some supervisors adopt a teacher role whenever the trainee seems to be struggling with interventions, a consultant role when conceptualization is the issue, or a counselor role when personalization is the issue” (p.313). I would encourage the supervisee to utilize training as a benefit in the role of a teacher. In the role of a counselor I would educate the supervisee on trauma and its effects on clinicians and how vt training can be utilized as a preventative method in remaining safe from vt. In the consulting role I would encourage my supervisee to examine various types of trauma he/she has encountered and analyze the potential for vt to occur.

Bernard, J. M. (1997). The discrimination model. In C. E. Watkins, Jr. (Ed.), Handbook of psychotherapy supervision (pp. 310–327). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.>Handbook of Psychotherapy Supervision. 1st Edition by Watkins, C. E., Jr. Copyright 1997 by John Wiley and Sons. Reprinted by permission of John Wiley and Sons via the Copyright Clearance Center.


Bernard, J. M. (1997). The discrimination model. In C. E. Watkins, Jr. (Ed.), Handbook of psychotherapy supervision (pp. 310–327). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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