Dr. Finger is a licensed clinical psychologist and AASECT Diplomate in Sex Therapy. He has over 30 years of clinical, academic, and research experience in the field of sexual health. He is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and in the Department of Medical Education, where he is the director of the sexuality component of the medical curriculum. He has authored multiple book chapters on sexual health topics and has over 50 peer-reviewed publications and presentations. He has served on and chaired numerous AASECT committees, co-chaired AASECT annual conferences, and has served on the AASECT board in multiple capacities, including president.
Approach to Supervision
My primary theoretical orientation is cognitive behavioral, with the recognition that dyadic and systemic dynamics can have a significant impact on the individual, and that personal and cultural diversity brings both opportunities and challenges to individuals’ lives. My general approach to supervision is twofold. Primarily, it is to assist and direct the practitioner in providing effective, ethical, and culturally sensitive care to clients of diverse backgrounds. Secondarily, it is to help the practitioner grow by providing a safe, supportive environment in which they can explore their own challenges, barriers, and areas for potential growth in the provision of sexual health interventions. For students seeking sex therapist certification or the PhD degree, my expectation is that they will have a solid theoretical framework, solid case conceptualization skills, and core therapeutic skills. Therefore, supervision resembles a consultative relationship, in which the supervisor’s role is to assist the clinician in applying their existing skills to new presenting problems. Novel approaches may be explored and suggested, to the extent that they remain syntonic with the clinician’s basic conceptual and theoretical framework. Supervision should help solidify existing therapeutic skills while encouraging new professional growth. For students seeking sex counselor certification, basic counseling skills are expected, such as rapport building, empathy, genuineness, active and reflective listening, and the ability to recognize their own implicit biases that impact the counseling interaction. Students should be able to understand how clients’ personal and cultural diversity impacts the individual, their relationships, and the counseling interaction. Sex counselor supervision focuses on applying the PLISS components of the PLISSIT model to concerns regarding sexual health, sexual concerns, and sexual dysfunctions.