Six Killer LPC Clinical Supervision Tricks

Six Killer LPC Clinical Supervision Tricks

LPC Clinical Supervision has become increasingly complex. Telemental health, digital information hacks and HIPAA laws for counselors make this even more complicated. Let’s make it simple. Here are 6 Killer LPC Clinical Supervision Tricks for simplifying that side of your therapy practice.

These are generally applicable tips, but some will apply to the APC LPC supervision process in the state of Georgia which is where I practice and provide supervision.

1) Stay in Your Lane

You don’t have to be experienced with every clinical situation your supervisee may encounter. None of us know everything. Still, there are simple and practical guidelines for choosing LAPC supervisees that are within your area of competence.

For example, some counseling specialties have unique legal considerations. This is particularly true with child and adolescent populations. You may have child psychotherapy experience, but unless this is a specialty area it may not be possible to competently train and mentor your supervisee.

Each state has unique reporting laws and a host of legal issues related to work with children and adolescents. You need an understanding of how both criminal and civil law impact your psychotherapy. The same goes for geriatric psychotherapy. A thorough understanding of medical conditions related to aging is required.None of us can know every clinical specialty. It is expected that your supervisee may be more knowledgeable than you in certain areas. There are many general principles of clinical intervention that are common such as teaching them triage or assessment, screening and referral. Consult with colleagues. Teach your supervisee how to become an expert in their specialty.

2) Develop a Solid Written Contract.

Holding a state license to practice psychotherapy is a serious matter. It is a privilege–not a right. It is important you convey this fact to your supervisees in your written contract. In Georgia, APCs and lpcs share the same scope of practice. The primary difference is that as a licensed APC you must be under direction and supervision simultaneously during all periods of active psychotherapy practice.

In contrast, LMSW and LCSW scopes of practice differ. Your APC supervisees have taken the same oath as you when you were issued your LPC. Both of you are held accountable for your licenses in the same manner by the Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists.

The spirit of your supervision contract should convey, ‘You have been issued a license and you can lose it. It is therefore in your best interest to invest in your supervision with me and be teachable.’ Some supervisees may find this intimidating, but it is critical for you to impress upon them immediately this enormous responsibility they have to the public.

+ More: Free Fully-Editable Supervision Contract in MS Word Format.

3) Clear and Explicit Financial Arrangements

One of the best ways of avoiding licensing board complaints is by minimizing financial disagreements with colleagues and your clients. Keep a contemporaneous record of supervision dates and periodically compare these with your supervisees’ records to be sure they match.

If there is a disagreement on hours or monies owed, work together towards an agreeable solution. Taking these steps will also minimize the chances of the board auditing your supervision records.

4) Obtain Copies of Supervisees’ License Application and Supervision or Directed Experience Forms

It is important to verify all information pertinent to the APC application, work settings and supervision prior to rendering supervision. By obtaining copies of related documents, you can avoid unexpected scenarios such as inadvertently supervising when the APC isn’t actually employed (yes, it can happen).

By having this documentation you can know the names of all individuals directly involved with the services your supervisee is providing. Finally, this information will enable you to determine your LAPC’s remaining licensing requirements even if they are not under your supervision for the duration of their pursuit for licensure.

5) Avoid Conflicts of Interest

If possible, avoid engaging a supervisee who is also your employee, subordinate or where there is a power differential. While not impossible, as board rules change this scenario is becoming increasingly fraught with problems.

You shouldn’t be paying each other for services and if you are simultaneously their director or employer that is what’s happening.

+ More: When Your Supervisor is Unethical

6) Telemental Health and Distance Supervision

If you don’t have experience delivering distance counseling, it is best not to supervise an APC who is actively developing a telemental practice. Again: stay in your lane.

Mastering LPC Clinical Supervision

In summary:

Stay in Your Lane

Develop a Solid Written Contract

Clear and Explicit Financial Arrangements

Obtain Copies of Supervisees’ License Application and Supervision or Directed Experience Forms

If you want to train in telemental health methods, have experience.

Holiday Blues?

There is a quote from a famous therapist. “If you think you’ve heard it all before, you aren’t listening.” Each person is unique. Many clients feel lost. It is your role to talk in your sessions and my aim is not to fix you. It is not my role to find you. You seek counseling to find yourself.

Atlanta Depression Counseling with Eric

Thinking of getting a therapist? I work with adults who struggle with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, life trauma, dissociative disorders and gambling addiction.

There are thousands of psychologists, professional counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists in metro Atlanta eager to help you. Like clients, each professional is unique in their approach to provide counseling for depression.verified by Psychology Today

Depression is a broad term but it often manifests as feeling stressed, irritable, sleepless and even unexplained aches and pains. It is the first word that enters our mind when we think about our emotional pain. Depression may also be the “ball of confusion” we feel when we lose a family member, divorce or are struggling in a difficult relationship. Some of the red flags of depression are panic attacks, crying spells, social withdrawal. There are others. Therapy can be incredibly helpful for reducing or eliminating these effects. In fact, many are amazed with their ability to recover from depression and anxiety once they seek help. Therapy can help with many other forms of mental or psychological distress.

I am a therapist. I am also a part time musician. The skills required for both are surprisingly similar. They are equal parts science, art, and craft. When a therapist fuses these skills, clients feel empowered, that their feelings are real, that someone understands them. As a result, they feel less depressed and anxious. When we understand our feelings and beliefs, we learn what motivates our behavior. When we learn what drives our behavior, we can change it. And also change how we think and feel.

Therapy as Science

The science of therapy is learned in graduate school through coursework and research– textbooks on family therapy, play therapy, group therapy, diagnosis of schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses. Also, there are many theories and approaches to helping people improve their mental state and change behavior. Some are therapeutically confrontational; assertive approaches to helping you see irrational behavior. Some are atlanta depression counselorshomework based. Some are targeted at specific fears like spider phobia. My therapeutic approach is focused on growth, change, developing healthy relationships, finding peace and happiness. In textbooks, it is known as eclectic or blended therapy. I blend cognitive, interpersonal and experiential therapy.

Therapy as Art

There is a quote from a famous therapist. I don’t recall his name:

“If you think you’ve heard it all before, you aren’t listening.”

Each person is unique. Therefore, I do not perform therapy as a “procedure”. I do not aim to fix you. Since my life is not your life, I don’t tell you what is best for you. You have the ability to make the best choices in your life. My role is to listen and observe carefully and provide a different perspective. Many clients feel lost. As such, it is not my role to find you, but to help you find yourself.

You as an Artist: Making a Sketchbook of Your Life.

With The Art of Experiential Therapy, everything you experience in my office is an opportunity to help you understand yourself, grieve your losses, and allow yourself to feel and heal and grow and change. When you notice something on my desk has been moved a few inches. When I yawn (but that doesn’t happen often-honestly). When YOU yawn. When your eyes tear. When you suddenly change the topic…these are only examples.

Therapy is both scary and exciting, but that is how therapy should work. As they say, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’. If you are taking risk and feeling emotion in your sessions with me, you will make progress and feel better.

Therapy as Craft

The seamstress, the carpenter, the brick mason. What do these occupations share in common? They all develop their skills through apprenticeship. As a therapist, you learn special techniques; means and methods and systems. Others teach you. As you collect tools, you place them in your tool box. Some you will use often. Some only occasionally. Nevertheless, all the tools have a purpose. One of these tools are the therapist’s own feelings; their compass. It is when the science moves out of the way and the art/craft moves forward that exciting things happen in therapy. You may come to a session thinking you have nothing to share or discuss. You may leave the same session feeling incredible relief and delight that you had a breakthrough!

“There is no substitute for experience.” – Eric Groh LPC GA Licensed

My Background

Now that you know my science, art and craft for providing therapy, please feel free to book an instant appointment.

Professional Specialties

Professional Ethics Training Specialist

10 Tips: Choosing your LPC Supervisor

The following rank in the top ten for choosing an Atlanta CPCS Supervisor.

1) Experience, experience, experience.

When seeking an LPC to provide supervision for licensure, there is no substitute for experience. The ideal LPC Supervisor will have at least 5 years post licensure experience working inpatient, residential, outpatient and clinical supervision training. Ethical dilemmas, substance abuse and severe clinical mental illness should not be a challenge for your supervisor. They should be fully familiar with the Composite Board license application process.

2) Client profile, crisis interventions and substance abuse / addiction.

Determine what age groups they specialize in. Ask what percentage of their experience is in geriatric, adult, adolescent and child counseling. These are all highly specialized areas and you will want to be sure a significant percentage of their client load and experience aligns with yours. Some clients require a high degree of management and often decisive action by the therapist- suicidal, self harming/cutters, binge/purge, dissociation, oppositional defiant disorder. For example, if you work with adolescents in a residential setting your supervisor should have the same experience. If you work with adult survivors of abuse your supervisor should be competent in treating addiction, PTSD, personality disorders, self-harming, panic disorder and dissociative disorders. LPC supervisors should be experienced with DSM V and a possess a working knowledge of diagnoses and determining required level of care. They should be experienced in treating substance abuse as you will encounter it in your work setting and it is a frequent obstacle to successful treatment of mental illness.

3) Ask if they have denied any of their LAPC’s recommendation for full LPC licensure upon completion of the supervision experience.

One of the primary reasons we seek supervision is because it is required for licensure. It is also in the best interest of the public that the law requires monitored training for individuals issued state licenses for healthcare practice. Occasionally, a supervisor will after completion of supervision refuse to recommend the applicant for licensure. The reasons are varied but usually because the supervisor believes the therapist has deficiencies in counselors skills or ethics or lack of competence. It is important to establish a mutual understanding that as soon as the supervisor has determined these deficiencies they will be articulated and alternate arrangements for supervision can be made if necessary.

I require an initial interview of all supervisees. The interview is free. If interested please call me, 404-985-6785. Completing this 5 hour “Ethics and Avoiding Board Complaints for SW, PC and MFT” Workshop will be very helpful for you and your Georgia LPC Supervisor as you complete your supervision.

4) Know what you can disclose to your supervisor.

In order to develop as a therapist, you should be in a training environment that feels safe. Whereas Georgia Composite Board ethics address “full professional consideration” with colleagues, communication is not legally protected in the same manner as patient information. If your clinical supervisor is also your job superior, you are in a dual relationship by virtue of the “bind” of the supervisor. This doesn’t mean that supervision with them is not possible, but they may need to make decisions whether to report to the next person up the chain of command. Clarify this in advance. It may be wise to contract with an independent LPC supervisor instead. In both cases, it is important to ask questions about their personal limits on privacy in supervision.

5) Are they familiar with LPC licensure requirements?

LPC supervisors should be experienced with the GA LPC licensure reuirements. It is important to note that despite some exceptions, nobody can say or convey to peers they know the rules simply by reading them. This is especially true for our code of ethics. The Composite Board of LPC LCSW and LMFT and most regulatory boards write rules in a manner that allows flexibility in how they interpret and apply the rules. This is referred to as, “discretion”. We can read a rule verbatim, but we can’t claim to know it. Only the board knows and they normally do not convey to the public or profession matters of discretionary enforcement. Still, you should find an LPC Clinical supervisor that has guided LAPC’s to successful LPC licensing.

6) Supervision is more than case presentation. Ask the full spectrum of their supervision objectives.

Proper supervision requires much more than going over a list of cases together.a) Sometimes you may need to utilize the entire session on one patient. Exploring issues relevant to a single patient can often translate into principles that you can use across a variety of clients and scenarios.b) Some patients are more complex than others and therefore require greater attention.c) You may require an entire session discussing matters other than case presentation- burnout, feelings of failure, etc.

7) Make sure there is a method to their madness.

A supervisor should have a clear and fully – formulated approach. Ask them which model/models they use to develop peers in supervision. There are many models but some key factors to consider and you should ask how they weigh them in importance in their development of good therapists: authority, mentoring, active intervention, gatekeeping, psychotherapeutic interventions and evaluation. View an article and pie chart that fully describes my model and rationale for supervision.

Do you want a Low or Highly Structured Supervision?

See the hand-drawn illustration below. Structure refers to the extent to which your supervisor allows you to work and problem-solve independently and with minimal intervention. As the diagram shows, the objective is to find a balanced approach but ultimately the level of structure is largely determined by the CPCS supervisor’s comfort level.

8) Select your supervisor similarly to how you selected your therapist

Selecting a supervisor is similar to selecting a therapist. You should have a positive rapport. There should be a ‘click’.

9) Group v. Individual Supervision

Advantages of group supervision is affordability. Advantages of individual supervision include greater privacy.

10) I am uncomfortable sharing certain things with my boss who is also my clinical supervisor.

+More > Privacy In Clinical Supervision

In the State of georgia, your clinical supervisor does not need to be at your work site. (I have used the term “clinical supervisor” for purposes of distinguishing this person from your boss. In the GA licensing rules definitions, it is simply “supervisor” and “director”. Director=boss.) There are many private supervisors and you can arrange to see them at their office–same as you would see your therapist. Individual supervision with a private supervisor has many advantages–the employer/employee conflict can be eliminated, you can focus on growth and development in addition to case presentation. Private supervision usually provides a greater degree of confidentiality.

I am a specialist in LPC Supervision and adjudicated over 7000 LPC applications and 200 licensee complaints during a 7 year appointment to the GA Comp Board. I have always been happy to share my experience with counselors in any manner possible and often free of charge.

This list of tips is not exhaustive. Find a list of qualified LPC supervisors and remember: whatever choice you make, make your supervision an exciting part of your licensing journey.