In last month’s ASWB exam prep blog, we covered the topic of consultation with colleagues. We discussed when to (and when not to) choose this answer option on the exam. Sometimes the exam will present you both with the answer option to ‘consult with colleagues’ as well as the option to ‘seek supervision’ (‘consult with a supervisor’). When this happens, which answer option should you choose? And in what other scenarios is seeking supervision appropriate?
Consult with colleagues or seek supervision: which is best?
The answer the ASWB is most often looking for when some form of consultation is needed is to consult with a supervisor. Very rarely will you see both ‘consult with colleagues’ and’seek supervision’ available with the correct answer being to ‘consult with colleagues.’ The only times this would be appropriate is 1. If the colleague specializes in an area the social worker is needing support in or 2. The question stem specifies that the social worker does not have a supervisor. Otherwise, you want to go with consulting with a supervisor/seeking supervision.
When else do we seek supervision?
Seeking supervision is a great option when a social worker is experiencing a values conflict or countertransference issue. It is also a good answer option to go with when the question stem indicates that the social worker is unsure of how to proceed. Whether the answer option is to ‘consult with a colleague’ or ‘seek supervision’ keep in mind you only want to choose these answer options when there is a reason to do so. As we discussed in last month’s blog on consultation, you don’t want to choose these answer options simply because they are available. Similarly to our real life clinical work, we don’t seek consultation or supervision on every client situation; only when it is needed.
A social worker meets with a new client presenting with issues of anxiety and depression. During the initial session, the client shares political views very different from the social worker’s. What should the social worker do?
A. Seek supervision
B. Consult with colleagues
C. Treat the client without bias
D. Refer the client to a social worker with more similar political views
(scroll for answer and rationale)
The correct answer is (C), to treat the client without bias. This is a situation where there is not a reason identified in the question stem to do (A) or (B). If the question stated that the social worker felt frustrated toward the client or in any way unable to treat them as they would any other client, then (A) would have been a good step. But as the situation is written, it is not needed at this time. There is also no need to do (D); there are many instances in which we will treat clients with different viewpoints from our own. This does not inherently warrant a referral to a social worker with more similar views.
ASWB Masters and Clinical Exam Preparation
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