Help with practicum supervisor

Oct 2021
1
1
Alabama
Hi everyone. I’m in a small town because my husband is in the military. I’m getting my doctorate in clinical psychology. There was only one option for my practicum placement, a private practice. I’m a young(ish) woman and my supervisor is an older man. We signed a contract for a year specifying the amount of hours and ethical guidelines. From the start I was afraid to talk to him because he was my only option and he made me feel like I had to do what he said or I’d lose the position. The first week, after we had already discussed 2 days a week, he told me I had to do 3, period. So I did. He has had me doing his assessments, using his previous intern to train me in the assessments, and barely gave any supervision. I could be working 12 hours straight without a break doing assessments. The first fallout with him was when I didn’t tell him I had a doctor appointment until the week of. It was a rough week for me but it was my fault I didn’t tell him before. He responded by refusing to speak to me, getting his office manager to tell me not to come in, and would only respond with “my office manager will make an appointment”. The first thing he said during this meeting before even shutting the door was threatening to fire me. I apologised, kept my head down, and kept going. Then I was informed by my school about an issue with supervision hours so I made a meeting. He threatened to fire me again but eventually agreed and I thought things were worked out. 2 days later, he had his office manager text me and tell me if I needed more supervision hours, I would have to find another place. He knows by the way that he is the only place. Once again, we had to have a meeting to get past this. Again, I thought we were ok. I thought I was ok. Then the worse happened. I got pregnant and lost the baby. I had an ultrasound in which the doctor told me it was way too small and I would probably have a miscarriage. I told the office manager. I told him. I had starting bleeding in the office. His response was “well I hope not because that would throw things off for me”… I brushed that off. Then he texted me at 8pm stating, quote, “I expect you to come in this week and next week.” I was distraught, had already started losing it, and horrified. I went through the office manager for help and she intervened. (I later learned I was not the first). That was about a month ago. I haven’t been able to face him, speak to him, or frankly be around him at all. I’ve had panic attacks the first few times I did see him. Since then I have just gone through the office manager. I’ve been trying to catch up on hours so I don’t have to lose 400 hours. Then yesterday, the office manager text me and said “he wanted me to contact you and let you know you are no longer needed here. You’ll need to return the key”. This is, of course, a violation of the contract he signed. He refused to say any more, give a reason, agree to a meeting, or speak to me at all. Everyone, please help me. What can I do?
 
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Aug 2021
155
92
Austin, TX
First, I am so sorry to hear about your baby, what a traumatic thing to have happen to you. Contact your school and let them know what is going on, you should be working with a school counselor regarding your practicum. You should also explain about losing your baby. Taking a year off might not be a bad idea, you have been through a lot! You may also be suffering from PTSD, so counseling for your anxiety and possible depression is probably in order. I know you feel you are the invincible PHD, but even doctors get sick, and after all you have been through I hereby give you permission to be sick and seek cure. You may be able to talk to a contract attorney about the other stuff, but get yourself well first...
Best of luck to you,
Ivery
 
Jul 2021
420
51
London
Hi everyone. I’m in a small town because my husband is in the military. I’m getting my doctorate in clinical psychology. There was only one option for my practicum placement, a private practice. I’m a young(ish) woman and my supervisor is an older man. We signed a contract for a year specifying the amount of hours and ethical guidelines. From the start I was afraid to talk to him because he was my only option and he made me feel like I had to do what he said or I’d lose the position. The first week, after we had already discussed 2 days a week, he told me I had to do 3, period. So I did. He has had me doing his assessments, using his previous intern to train me in the assessments, and barely gave any supervision. I could be working 12 hours straight without a break doing assessments. The first fallout with him was when I didn’t tell him I had a doctor appointment until the week of. It was a rough week for me but it was my fault I didn’t tell him before. He responded by refusing to speak to me, getting his office manager to tell me not to come in, and would only respond with “my office manager will make an appointment”. The first thing he said during this meeting before even shutting the door was threatening to fire me. I apologised, kept my head down, and kept going. Then I was informed by my school about an issue with supervision hours so I made a meeting. He threatened to fire me again but eventually agreed and I thought things were worked out. 2 days later, he had his office manager text me and tell me if I needed more supervision hours, I would have to find another place. He knows by the way that he is the only place. Once again, we had to have a meeting to get past this. Again, I thought we were ok. I thought I was ok. Then the worse happened. I got pregnant and lost the baby. I had an ultrasound in which the doctor told me it was way too small and I would probably have a miscarriage. I told the office manager. I told him. I had starting bleeding in the office. His response was “well I hope not because that would throw things off for me”… I brushed that off. Then he texted me at 8pm stating, quote, “I expect you to come in this week and next week.” I was distraught, had already started losing it, and horrified. I went through the office manager for help and she intervened. (I later learned I was not the first). That was about a month ago. I haven’t been able to face him, speak to him, or frankly be around him at all. I’ve had panic attacks the first few times I did see him. Since then I have just gone through the office manager. I’ve been trying to catch up on hours so I don’t have to lose 400 hours. Then yesterday, the office manager text me and said “he wanted me to contact you and let you know you are no longer needed here. You’ll need to return the key”. This is, of course, a violation of the contract he signed. He refused to say any more, give a reason, agree to a meeting, or speak to me at all. Everyone, please help me. What can I do?
I mean that's a violation of your employment rights, I would avoid the office manager, and if there's a company manager then ask for a transfer whilst you recover from a paid period of health leave. Obviously you are going to continue working, but you are entitled to at least 6 weeks rest-vacation especially if it's to recover to perform better. It is the law after all. If it's just a supervisor switch supervisor, particularly if you feel he is too antagonistic, as you are there to work after all, and it's silly to antagonise someone who is working for you in general.
 
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