Finding a Clinical Supervisor in GA
How do I find a LPC clinical supervisor in Georgia? How do I choose a supervisor that is a good match? How can I ensure I find the best supervisor for me?
These are questions every new therapist confronts in their mental health clinical work. I provide local and distance clinical supervision for LPC and consultation with fully licensed clinicians who are facing difficult ethical dilemmas.
Basic Essential Supervision Skills
While on the Composite Board, for six months in addition to the LPC complaints, I handled all of the Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist consumer complaints. As an Atlanta CPCS and national ACS Supervisor I have been exposed to many clinical, legal, and ethics issues related to practicing psychotherapy.
Your supervisor should be able to help you work through ethical dilemmas. They should also know how to distinguish ethics from legal matters and refer you to an attorney when needed. Learn to avoid incompetent supervisors.
Even though you may not work in a psychiatric hospital or residential treatment program, your supervisor should have broad experience in clinical mental health.
These areas of competence include severe depression and suicide, addiction, traumatic stress–all of those areas that can be frightening for new therapists.
Your clinical supervisor should be able to work confidently and with conviction on complex clinical issues.
Supervisors Legal/ Ethical Concerns
Supervision is defined in Georgia Composite Board rules as, ” to promote the growth and development of the practitioner’s clinical skills.” My LAPC supervision emphasizes mutual trust and confidence as the foundation of the supervisory relationship. But I also interview and screen LAPC supervisees carefully. In contrast, many supervisors are less able to act with support and conviction within the supervisory experience.
Fearful that the supervisee is going to harm a client. Fear that the supervisor is going to report perceived ethical misconduct. Many are reluctant to provide Georgia licensing supervision for the above reasons.
It is important to know that as an APC / LAPC, you have been issued a license to practice psychotherapy. You are ultimately responsible for that license.
Be teachable, be willing to learn.
If you are willing to be mentored, your supervisor should serve as a mentor. Decisions by the Georgia composite licensing board are often predicated on unremorseful actions– if you don’t believe you did anything unethical how can you be remorseful?
Whereas therapist ethics is not simple, approaching ethics in supervision from this simple framework allows both parties to focus on what is most important: producing a competent therapist who is not a risk to the public or liability to the profession.
From the Composite Board Rules, definition of Supervision: “The purpose of supervision is to promote the development of the practitioner’s clinical skills.
Supervision may include, without being limited to, the review of case presentations, audiotapes, videotapes, and direct observation of the practitioner’s clinical skills. Supervision does not require the supervisor to be present at the work site with the supervisee.”
From Composite Board rules, “The practice of professional counseling means practice in that specialty which utilizes counseling and psychotherapy to evaluate and treat emotional and mental problems and conditions, whether cognitive, behavioral, or affective.”
As a supervisee, since you are under directed experience (are under direction from a boss at a site that is your formal licensing work site.) it is your responsibility to work towards learning and being teachable and open to honest input.
I believe that with my guidance you have the ability to be a great therapist. Supervision should be enjoyable and rewarding. Counseling is hazardous and stressful–your supervision shouldn’t be. I employ a moderately structured approach that will allow you to grow, take risks, make mistakes yet also have the safety net I will provide as an experienced and authoritative therapist. A Good LPC supervisor should guide you with confidence and assist with making the difficult decisions that every new therapist faces.
Three Key Factors in Clinical Supervision
Ironically, the greatest hazards for therapists are connected with our urge to help others. Insufficient self-care, excessive empathy leading to boundary crossings. When the lines between help and rescue become blurred. Boundary crossings are on of the greatest hazards of doing this work.
It can blind-side even experienced therapists. When a therapist whose top priority is maintaining public trust connects with a supervisor who understands these hazards, you have a winning combination for creating a good therapist.
There are also external factors that impede the process of becoming a good therapist. Many new therapists are working in public settings. Working for mental health companies that are contracted by state entities. Or working for large healthcare companies. All are operating on tight budgets (I have worked in all of these settings prior to private practice). You may need help finding a job as a counselor.
This can result in:
- Lack of employer support for therapist training.
- List Element
- The boss must report on their employee’s job performance and…
- …”good job performance” is subjective.
Those are less than ideal circumstances for learning. An employer-appointed supervisor has responsibilities that WILL interfere with therapist development. A Director at your Directed Experience site is required to referee employer/employee and human resource issues. If they are also your clinical Supervisor you may be at risk of the supervisor declining to sign your licensing application Supervision paperwork.
It is important you have a clear written contract with your supervisor. Under Georgia board rules you may also obtain distance supervision.
Most Georgia therapists practice ethically. But these inaccuracies can make the prospect of becoming a therapist discouraging when interviewing with a particular supervisor. Making mistakes is part of learning.
Those of us experienced as mental health practitioners had to start somewhere. We all had to encounter our first client with schizophrenia. Our first seductive client.
As long as you are capable of following the therapist oath: ‘first, do no harm’, your relationship with your supervisor should be one of mutual trust.
My Model of Supervision
Balancing Low Structure and High Structure in Supervision
There are many models of supervision. A key concept is high versus low structure. Each has their advantages. The advantages of high structure in supervision is that by erring on the side of caution, the supervisor has greater day to day control of the therapist’s activities. The advantages of low structure are ability to take risk and make decisions on their own.
This pie chart describes the role of structure in my supervision. Whereas there is a structure in evaluation and feedback, planned interventions and gatekeeping has a minor role. The struggle of most new therapists is problem solving and self confidence and moderate structure promotes development in those areas.
The Synthesis of Authority and Mentoring
My supervision is a hybrid of mentoring and authority. Authority doesn’t refer to claiming to know everything. In fact, expect that you will have knowledge in areas I do not. It is referred to as sapiential authority and involves asserting conviction in helping you because I am experienced in clinical aspects of psychotherapy and ethics.
Through experience, I can often provide clarity on clinical and ethical dilemmas efficiently. And quickly. I have managed many high risk clients and can make this much less overwhelming for you. I combine this with a mentoring and coaching approach. Directed experience under supervision need not be frightening.
All of us have “blind spots”. Whether in our personal lives or as professionals. Sometimes we struggle to find a solution to an ethical dilemma or a clinical intervention with a client. Often we learn it is because we have a blind spot. This partly owes to countertransference. As therapists, we are mindful of countertransference as an obstacle- or facilitator- of change with our clients. In a supervisory relationship, we apply the same principles to promote professional growth within our supervisees.
Psychotherapeutic techniques therefore are an important role in therapist’ development. Not psychotherapy per se, but applying the principles of it.
The manner of evaluation I employ is as much critique as a tool in itself for helping you become a better and more confident therapist. I will provide you both formal written and real-time verbal evaluation.
How much can I expect to pay for LPC supervision?
Or simply, how much is clinical supervision to get my LPC license. Fees for private individual supervision in the Atlanta area range from $100- $150 per supervision session.
Some may charge more, some less but these are good approximations. My fees range from $90-$120. I also provide LPC telesupervision / LPC distance supervision.
I have described my perspective on ethics and supervision and my approach to training and developing licensees. It is similar to how I work with clients: you have the capacity to develop professionally and solve problems with my assistance. Obtaining an independent private supervisor lays the groundwork for the trust that is necessary when learning to become a good therapist.
If you wish, you can view my available openings and call to schedule a consultation for Georgia LPC clinical supervision.