Supporting Trainees with Competence Problems: Practical, Ethical, and Legal Considerations

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Presented by Dr. Rebecca Schwartz-Mette

Please click “Materials” to access a complete course description.

Please click the course video below to watch the course presentation, and then complete the Post-Test in order to obtain your CE certificate.


Supporting struggling trainees is a near-universal experience for trainers and administrators, and working with trainees with competence problems brings much stress, confusion, ethical questions, and legal quandaries for all involved. Practical guidance is required to help trainers balance their goals of creating inclusive, safe training environments for our future psychologists and their roles as gatekeepers for the profession. In this workshop, participants will learn current best-practices for supporting students with competence problems in a communitarian, multicultural, and socially-just framework.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will be able to:

  • Articulate the importance of supporting trainees with competence problems from a communitarian, multicultural, and socially-just perspective.
  • Identify key components of effective behavioral remediation plans
  • Recognize major ethical and legal considerations when assessing and remediating TPPC.
  • Apply knowledge gained to explore potential avenues for remediation, counseling out, and dismissal.

Presented by Dr. Rebecca Schwartz-Mette

Rebecca Schwartz-Mette, PhD, is nationally recognized for her contributions to scholarship in the areas of ethics and training, as well as NIMH-funded research on adolescent peer relationships and psychopathology. She is a licensed psychologist and an associate professor at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), where she trains and supervises doctoral students in research and clinical practice. Her research on professional practice focuses on ethics and competency in psychologists, with a particular focus on working with trainees with competence problems. Dr. Schwartz-Mette is a member of the APA's Board of Educational Affairs' Workgroup on Trainees with Problems of Professional Competence, past cochair of the APA Advisory Committee on Colleague Assistance (ACCA), and past chair of the APA Ethics Committee. She regularly provides consultation and workshops on the topic of trainees with competence problems.

Dr. Rebecca Schwartz-Mette