"Setting standards for ethical practice helps build public trust in marriage and family therapists" (AAMFT, 2015) For example, according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy's (AAMFT) Code of Ethics, "it is unethical to have multiple relationships with clients that could impair professional judgement or increase the risk of exploitation" (AAMFT, 2015). This protects the client and the therapist from entering into relationships that could potentially harm both the work they are doing in their therapy sessions and each other. .
Supervision from the perspective of marriage and family therapy is defined as "the relationship between the qualified supervisor and intern that promotes the development of responsibility, skills, knowledge, attitudes, and adherence to ethical, legal and regulatory standards in the practice of marriage and family therapy" (Holloway, 1995). There are many benefits of supervision for counselors and clients. The most tangible benefit for the trainee and client is the fulfilment toward obtaining licensing. An amount of supervised hours are required in order to receive a license to practice therapy in a particular state. Obtaining a license informs potential clients that they are seeing a trained therapist. Another benefit of supervision is the opportunity it provides to promote counseling competencies such as: (a) mediation skills, (b) evaluation techniques, (c) relational assessment, (d) case load scheduling, and (e) professional ethics (Silverthorn, Bartle – Harris, Meyer, and Toviessi, 2009). Learning these skills is also a benefit to the client because the trainee is learning from someone who is experienced in the field creating a greater opportunity for service to the client. And finally, the counseling supervisor is the responsible party regarding the welfare of the client. This helps the trainee who may be unsure of professional ethics or legal issues when conducting therapy sessions.