Amari is a second year, full-time, doctoral student in a counselor education and supervision program. In addition to being a doctoral student, Amani has two part-time jobs. She teaches as an adjunct instructor at a local university in a master’s level counselor education program. Additionally, she is also employed part-time as a counselor at a local private practice and holds a license as a Professional Counselor in the state she practices in.
She is using her adjunct teaching experience as part of her doctoral program internship requirement to gain exposure to being a counselor educator and has a faculty supervisor in her doctoral program. She is currently the instructor and faculty supervisor for a practicum class at her adjunct job. On the first day of class, she notices one of her students, Zola, is a former client of hers from 2 years ago and now has a different last name. Amari feels conflicted about how to handle the situation, as she will now be responsible for evaluating a former client’s clinical skills, as her instructor. Other students have also arrived for the first day of class and Amari does not want to draw any unwanted attention to the situation and decides to proceed as planned with teaching.
A few weeks later, during in-class supervision, Zola shares that a client she is seeing disclosed she is getting an abortion in a state that just overturned Roe Vs Wade. Furthermore, Zola’s client discloses to her that she is HIV positive and has been engaging in unprotected sex, with partners who are unaware of her status. The client stated she is still exploring any in-state options available but is also considering going out of state to have an abortion and requested she continue counseling with Zola via telehealth for support, both before and after the procedure. During in-class supervision, Zola asks how she should best help the client and what she should document, as she feels conflicted about how best to help the client while also adhering to her professional responsibility. Amari encourages Zola to not get too involved in the client’s decision-making process and states, “I can see how your client may want you to tell them what to do as I'm sure you might have wanted your own counselor to at times.” Amari laughed at her own statement and carried on with class.
The following day, Amari was asked to meet with the program director of the University for which she is an adjunct. The program director shared that she received an email from Zola, requesting to switch classes. Zola disclosed in the email that she was a former client of Amari’s and felt that her confidentiality was violated in class the night prior. Amari left the meeting with her program director and sent an email to Zola expressing her frustration at her for communicating with the faculty member, instead of with her directly. Amari spends time reflecting on her role as a doctoral student, professional counselor and counselor educator and is unclear on how she could have proceeded differently.