Can LPC Diagnose in GA | SB 319: 2019 and Beyond

Ethics Demystified: Can LPC Diagnose in GA

Georgia Composite Board Diagnose Law -Updated 1/23/2020

“I have heard that prior to SB 319 it was illegal for LPC’s in GA to diagnose”. This is false. The Georgia composite board has always enforced it is legal for LPC’s to diagnose. The driving force behind the new law was the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia. It further establishes the professional identity of masters level therapists. Now the word, “diagnose” is in the LAW and allows LPC, SW and MFT to inform a judge they can legally diagnose. Amending the law to include “diagnose” was important especially for civil suits.In practical terms, SB 319 addressed reimbursement issues and compliance with other state laws. For example Medicaid chooses which credentials they will reimburse for mental health services. If you bill Medicaid without that credential they can seek remedy including reporting this to federal authorities as fraud, but legality of “diagnosing” is determined by the state licensing board.

What is GA SB 319?

First, SB 319, is the most sweeping change to our practice law since the law creating these licenses was passed in 1984. My ethics workshops provide opportunities for you to ask questions about my experience enforcing this law. Senate Bill 319 includes an amendment to GA Code § 43-10A-3. This section of our law states what PC, SW and MFT can perform, what we can not perform, and what is an infringement especially on other licensed healthcare professions. can lpc diagnose georgia

Do I need to understand this law?

The language of this amendment is complex and convoluted. The law contains many other elements and changes that impact everyone licensed by the Composite Board- GA Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors. The other issues in the new law are related to education requirements and the various instruments used for psychological testing. However, now that GA law contains the word “diagnose” for LPC SW and MFT, they now also must prove they’re qualified to do it. You should read that law, but it is not possible to interpret because the board enforces it in a manner that suits the current climate of the profession. What is important is that you read and understand Board rule Chapter 135-12.

Corresponding Rule Chapter 135-12, Testing and Assessment

Board Acceptable Educational Requirements

What has changed is there are now educational requirements that must be met in order to be in compliance with the new rules. If you have been fully licensed ( not associate level) for 10 years, you are exempt from any additional requirements. If you have been licensed for less than 10 years you will need to document that you completed a 3 semester or 5 quarter credit hour graduate course that had diagnosing in the course content or a curriculum in diagnosing workshops. If you have not satisfied these requirements, here is where things get a little complicated primarily because the board has yet to determine the best way to enforce the educational requirements. The board could exercise discretion in the following areas: 1) The composite board does not accept diagnose continuing education as meeting the diagnose rule requirements. At least not yet. As of 5/13/2019,  the board is waiting for a decision from the Georgia attorney general’s office. This will officially establish if the board can begin to accept continuing education courses as a substitute for diagnose courses and the 45 hour curriculum offered by LPCAGA, GA NASW, GSCSW and GAMFT. 2) Accept courses that are completed after the 12/31/17 deadline as stated in board rules but prior to 9/30/18 license renewal.

PRO Tip: Would you like a personalized evaluation of diagnosing in your practice?

If you are interested in structuring your practice in an ethical manner including diagnosing, I can answer questions at any of my workshops. If you would like a comprehensive evaluation, call me and we can schedule a license consultation appointment.

4 Key Points: Rules Compliance With Diagnose and Testing

The following recommendations are based upon personal experience with many of Georgia’s other Georgia licensing boards scopes of practice violations e.g. psychology, nursing, and dental boards.

Diagnosing Mental Disorders

There is no list of mental disorders that LPCs can’t diagnose, however limit your diagnosing if possible. Usually it is not necessary for LPC SW and MFT to render highly specific diagnoses in order to carry out our work. For example, it is not inaccurate to render a more general diagnosis of recurrent major depression for a patient who a psychiatrist or psychologist has diagnosed as bipolar type I or borderline personality disorder since with all of these disorders patients may suffer from major depressive episodes. Psychiatrists and psychologists sometimes need to render more specific diagnoses. You are protecting yourself on several fronts if whenever possible you allow a psychiatrist to be the diagnosing clinician of record.

Social Workers, LPC and MFT and Psychological Testing

From reading the previous paragraph it is easier to determine which type of testing you are able to perform. Even prior to the new law, Composite Board licensees could legally administer many tests including the MMPI–clearly a psychological test. The fundamental change in this new law is that it clarifies the psychology board’s rights to perform psychology testing in an exclusive manner. The result is that it could be easier for the psychology board to issue cease and desist orders to non-psychologists for unlicensed practice of psychology. Cease and desist orders are a very serious and public disciplinary action.

Guidelines for Psychological Testing

1) The new board rules state you can administer tests that you have been properly trained to administer and interpret, but even though you have been trained in administering for example the Rorschach, it is clearly a psychological test that is usually studied in a psychology PhD program. 2) The board does not a have list of tests masters prepared psychotherapists can administer. In order to protect your license, err on the side of caution:

Suggestions To Avoid

Psychological tests that can potentially cause psychological harm to a patient if misinterpreted. For example, some IQ testing. Tests that are primarily used in psychological research. For example, the lexical decision task (LDT). Many of the common instruments used in a formal neuropsychological battery for example those used by the Social Security Administration for making determinations about psychological disability. Avoid making a determination of malingering. You can query this in your progress notes but also document either a referral or reference to a psychologist or psychiatrist needing to assess it. Avoid tests which are used to diagnose degenerative brain disorders. In fact, this potentially places you in the realm of practicing medicine.

Safe But Proceed with Caution

Questionnaires completed by the patient that render results that are a simple sum total of the items which you then interpret. Examples include the Beck Depression Inventory and the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale. An example of a test you can administer and interpret by virtue of training is the Dissociative Experiences Scale. Many masters level therapists are trained in trained and skilled in treating dissociative disorders and the DES renders information useful for assessment and informing treatment planning. Career and vocational tests are generally acceptable. Some psychological tests, but only if under supervision of a psychologist. Document in your record that the psychologist both interpreted the results and directed you to administer the test.

Advertising Your Testing Services

Avoid the use of any and all terms with variants of the word, “psychology” in your advertising. Examples of what to avoid are psychological assessment, career psychology assessment services and psychological and counseling testing services. “Career and vocational testing” won’t likely be challenged by either the Composite or the Psychology Board. Be clear about your testing services. As a rule, don’t attempt to push the boundaries of any of your advertising.

Information for New Licensing Applicants

It is important you learn how to submit an LPC application that is clean, concise and clear.

All 50 States Diagnose

An alphabetical listing of counselor diagnosing by state scope of practice law and regulations. I have quoted this language directly from each state’s law or regulations. georgia counselor social work diagnose rules law It’s important to understand the history of diagnosing for professional counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapists and other master’s level mental health providers. Many states have only recently added ‘diagnose’ to masters level therapists scope of practice laws. Some state boards including Georgia’s composite board have enforced masters level therapists diagnosing is legal even though the word ‘diagnose’ was not in the law. In some states, counselors have vast authority primarily due to their licensing boards lack of resources or the shortage of psychologists and psychiatrists.

Alabama

“…diagnose and develop treatment plans but shall not attempt to diagnose, prescribe for, treat, or advise a client with reference to problems or complaints falling outside the boundaries of counseling services.”

Alaska

“..may diagnose or treat, other than through the use of projective testing or individually administered intelligence tests…”

Arizona

” diagnosis and treatment of individuals, couples, families and groups.”

Arkansas

‘Diagnose’ is in the Social Workers law, however it is not in the Marriage and Family Therapists and Counselors laws.

California

“…the application of counseling interventions and psychotherapeutic techniques to identify and remediate cognitive, mental, and emotional issues…”

Colorado

(Will provide information as it becomes available.)

Connecticut

“…evaluation, assessment, analysis, diagnosis and treatment of emotional, behavioral or interpersonal dysfunction or difficulties that interfere with mental health and human development.”

Delaware

“… methods or procedures and the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders to assist individuals in achieving more effective personal and social adjustment.”

Florida

“…practice of mental health counseling includes methods of a psychological nature used to evaluate, assess, diagnose, and treat emotional and mental dysfunctions or disorders…”

Georgia

“…utilizes counseling and psychotherapy to evaluate, diagnose, treat, and recommend a course of treatment for emotional and mental problems and conditions…”

Hawaii

“…The assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of, and counseling for, mental and emotional disorders;…”

Idaho

“…prevent, assess, and treat mental, emotional or behavioral disorders.”

Illinois

“…diagnosing for the purpose of establishing treatment goals and objectives…”

Indiana

“… to evaluate and treat emotional and mental problems and conditions in a variety of settings…”

Iowa

“…“Mental health setting” means a behavioral health setting where an applicant is providing mental health services including the diagnosis, treatment, and assessment of emotional and mental health disorders and issues…”

Kansas

“…may engage in the independent practice of professional counseling and is authorized to diagnose and treat mental disorders…”

Kentucky

“…methods, and procedures, including assessment, evaluation, treatment planning, amelioration, and remediation of adjustment problems and emotional disorders,…”

Louisiana

“…means rendering offering prevention, assessment, diagnosis and treatment…”

Maine

“…means assisting individuals, families or groups through the counseling relationship to develop understanding of intrapersonal and interpersonal problems, to define goals, to make decisions,…”

Maryland

“… methods in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and amelioration of psychological problems and emotional or mental conditions…”

Massachusetts

“… includes, but is not limited to, assessment, diagnosis and treatment, counseling and psychotherapy, of a nonmedical nature of mental and emotional disorders,…”

Michigan

“…a service involving the application of clinical counseling principles, methods, or procedures for the purpose of achieving social, personal, career, and emotional development…”

Minnesota

“…the implementation of professional counseling treatment interventions including evaluation, treatment planning, assessment, and referral;…”

Mississippi

“…Counseling/Psychotherapy involves diagnosis, assessment and treatment by use of the following:…”

Missouri

“…techniques, methods, or procedures based on principles for assessing, understanding, or influencing behavior…”

Montana

“…conducting assessments and diagnoses for the purpose of establishing treatment goals…”

Nebraska

“Diagnosing major mental illness or disorder except in consultation with a qualified physician, a psychologist licensed to engage in the practice of psychology…”

Nevada

“…counseling interventions to prevent, diagnose and treat mental, emotional or behavioral disorders and associated distresses…”

New Hampshire

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Can LPC’s only give diagnostic impressions?

This is false. The term “diagnostic impression” is used in many different ways, but it did not form the basis for legality of diagnosing in Georgia.

Historical Timeline

11/21/16- The 2016 Law and Pending Composite Board Rules

If you are licensed by the Composite Board, avoid the use of any form or derivative of the word “psychology” in your practice or any information you publish or advertise through print and the internet or social media unless you are also licensed by the GA State Examining Board of Psychologists. This is regardless of whether the proposed rules are passed.

2/8/17: Rule changes focusing on psychological testing

First and foremost, the board enforces our practice law–no one else. There is no way of knowing what is legal under this new law until new rules are passed. The board has significant discretion in the interpretation of this law. Your main concern at present is to be certain you are not representing yourself as a psychologist.
  • Any new diagnose course requirements which could be passed for LAPC/LPC will become partially moot when an existing rule becomes effective after 9/30/2018 requiring a course in diagnose as part of an acceptable graduate degree. In essence, you will automatically be in compliance if you have completed that course and that course is required by most CACREP and other board approved degrees.
  • There may be CEU requirements, but the law allows the board to accept experience in lieu of educational requirements. It is not known whether the board will write the rules to allow that.
  • In essence how the new law will be enforced is unknown at this time. It is possible that the Board of Examiners of Psychologists will attempt cease and desist orders with individuals who are engaging in certain activities. However, most of psychology board’s cease and desist orders on Composite Board licensees are related to advertising.
  • The Composite Board has it’s February 2017 meeting on 2/9/2017 to further discuss SB 319 and rules drafts.
  • Don’t panic. As usual, adhere to GA composite board code of ethics 135-7. Avoid the use of any form or derivative of the word “psychology” in your practice or any information you publish or advertise through print and the internet or social media unless you are also licensed by the GA State Examining Board of Psychologists. This is regardless of how the proposed rules are passed. Beside that, there is no way of knowing what you will need to do to be in compliance with this law until the Composite Board begins to enforce it and new rules are passed.

2/15/2017: Rule Changes Still in Discussion and on the March 2017 Board Meeting Agenda

The outcome of the meeting will be reflected in the minutes which should be posted within a few weeks on the Secretary of State licensing board website. I will try to post here any other updates asap.

4/10/17: Composite Board Public Rules Hearing: May 5 2017, 2:20 pm, Macon Georgia

The most recent version of the diagnose and testing rules has been confirmed by the Attorney General’s office and has been posted on the Secretary of State Professional Licensing board website.  The May 5th hearing is open to any member of the public. There have been several versions of rules drafts that the board has considered. They could be changed again. It is important to note that the board has enforcement power over our practice law and they then write rules to interpret that law. Sometimes the board will exercise discretion and enforce a rule differently than written. It is a complex and fluid process and partly why it is difficult to predict how the board will enforce any aspect of regulating our practice. The previous rules draft was scheduled for a possible vote on 3/10/17. The vote was again tabled. This partly owed to administrative and other work on the rule having not been completed. In effect, we are therefore still regulated under the old/current rules. Until rules are passed, there is nothing factual that can be stated regarding any additional licensee requirements or legality of practice activity under the new law.  All of the recent rules drafts have contained diagnose course curriculum, completion of a graduate level course which includes DSM V diagnosis for LPC SW and MFT content or exemptions for those licensed 10 years or more, and revised language addressing psychological testing, but the rules could still undergo further revisions. For now, obtain a copy of your graduate transcript, descriptions directly from the school bulletin of any courses that include diagnosing, and course syllabus. Retain these in the event the board requires you to produce them. When passed, it is not possible to know precisely how the board will enforce the new rules. The logistics of enforcement of new rules can be a challenge for board members as well as staff.

5/5/17: Board Votes Unanimously to Accept 135-12 Proposed Rules

Have the new diagnose and testing rules officially passed? Not quite–the rules will be sent to the governor who has 90 days to approve, change or veto them. They will then be sent back the the Board Executive Director and once received after 21 days will become effective. It could be August 2017 or later when the rules are official. Stay tuned for developments on how the board begins to enforce this new rule.

8/18/17: Governor Signs “Certificate of Active Supervision”

The new diagnose and testing rules have been approved and signed by the governor. They will be in effect 21 days from 8/18/17. Nathan Deal’s signed document can be viewed here.

LPC Supervision Requirements

Ethics Demystified: LPC Supervision Requirements

LPC Supervision Requirements

A Listing of All 50 States’ LPC Supervision Requirements

Below is a complete listing of all 50 U.S. state LPC supervision requirements. In order to become licensed in your or transfer your LPC license to another state, you first need to determine if that state will accept your supervisor.

This list includes training and other LPC supervision requirements even as their titles vary. For example LPC LMHC, LCPC, and many others. This list specifically specifically addresses what defines an approved supervisor in your state and not hours or years required since you must first select a board approved supervisor or your hours of supervision could not be accepted.

However, since many of the links in this listing lead directly to the state’s complete licensing requirements, in some instances you can also use this guide for LPC licensure requirements,  distance/telemental health supervision and license reciprocity and endorsement. Always consult your state licensing board for confirmation and clarification for license requirements.

How To Use This Guide

1) Six Essential Comparison Criteria for Approval of an LPC Supervisor

We determined there are six essential comparison criteria which determine LPC supervisor requirements:

1) Coursework and continuing education required to be an approved clinical supervisor.

2) The scope of training required:

a) Minimal – simple or no training.

b) Moderate – continuing education/coursework. Whether recertification is required.

c) Extensive – continuing education/coursework. Whether recertification is required.

3)  This is mostly for informational purposes. Supervision and other licensing requirements are written into either state statute/ law or board rules. When written into law, the supervision requirements tend to be less likely to change (passing legislation can take a long time). When written into board rules the requirements may be more flexible.

4)  and 5) Whether being an approved supervisor means a state-issued credential, a national professional association issued credential (NBCC, AMHCA, AAMFT), or no credential.

6) Whether a national clinical supervision credential can be substituted for the state’s other approval criteria.

2) Review the Detailed LPC Supervision Requirements at the State Board Website

Visit the links below for complete supervision requirements law or rules. You can compare equivalency of state requirements to determine whether your supervision could be accepted by other states.

For example, if you are pursuing a Georgia LPC license and currently practice in a different state you will want to determine whether Georgia will accept your supervisor’s experience or credentials.

You may want to use this information to make initial determinations about LPC supervisor eligibility.

You can also use these counselor supervisor requirements by state to target specific states in which you want to develop a telemental health LPC supervision practice.

3) Obtain Final Clarification from That State’s Counseling Board

Board rules change. These are current as of 11/19/19If you believe your supervisor is or could be accepted by that state’s licensing board, click on the links below to contact that board directly and ask what should be your next steps.

Here is the listing:

Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Extensive Mandated By Statute or Rules: Statute State Issued Credential: No, Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: 5 National Credentials Accepted: NBCC ACS, AAMFT, AMHCA AS, AAPC Diplomate

Alaska Board of Professional Counselors

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Minimal Mandated By Statute or Rules: Statute and Rules State Issued Credential: No Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: 5 National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: N/A

Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Extensive Mandated By Statute or Rules: Statute State Issued Credential: Yes, Renewal and biennial CE requirements. Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: 2 National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: NBCC ACS, AAMFT

Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Extensive with Oral Exam Mandated By Statute or Rules: RulesS tate Issued Credential: Yes Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: 3 National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: Not specified

California Board of Behavioral Sciences

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Advanced Mandated By Statute or Rules: Statute State Issued Credential: No Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: Yes Years Required Post Licensure: 2 National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: Not specified

Colorado State Board of Licensed Professional Counselors Examiner (LPC)

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Minimal Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules State Issued Credential: No Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: Not specified National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: Not specified

Connecticut Department of Public Health

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: No Scope: N/A Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules and Policies State Issued Credential: No Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: No Years Required Post Licensure: Not specified. National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: N/A

Delaware Board of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals

LPC Supervision Requirements Education and Training: Yes Scope: Minimal Mandated By Statute or Rules: Statute and Rules/Regulations State Issued Credential: No Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: 2 if DE License, 5 if Out of State National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: Not specified

Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Refer Directly to Rules Scope: Moderate Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules State Issued Credential: No Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: N/A Years Required Post Licensure: Refer Directly to rules. National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: NBCC ACS

Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: For telemental health supervision. See below. Scope: Extensive Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules State Issued Credential: No Formal Credential Required: Yes Years Required Post Licensure: 3 if Master’s Level, refer directly to board rules for additional information. National Supervisor Credentials Accepted:  *Clinical Supervisor must be LPCAGA CPCS or NBCC ACS*

Hawaii Mental Health Counselor Program

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: No Scope: Minimal Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules State Issued Credential: No Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: None required. National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: Not specified

Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists

LPC Supervision Requirements Education and Training: Yes. Scope: Advanced.Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules.State Issued Credential: Yes, Registered Counselor. Supervisor.Formal Credential Required: No.Years Required Post Licensure: 2National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: Not specified

Illinois Dept of Financial and Professional Regulation

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: No.Scope: N/A.Mandated By Statute or Rules: Statute State Issued Credential: No Formal Credential Required: Yes Years Required Post Licensure: None.National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: N/A

Indiana Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: N/A. Scope: N/A. Mandated By Statute or Rules: Statute  State Issued Credential: No Formal Credential Required: No but must hold LMHC license. Years Required Post Licensure: N/A. National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: N/A

Iowa Board of Behavioral Sciences

LPC Supervision Requirements Education and Training: *Rule change 10/1/2020 requiring education*Scope: Minimal Mandated By Statute or Rules: Statute State Issued Credential: No Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: 3National Supervisor Credentials Accepted:  NBCC ACS in lieu of

Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes. Scope: Moderate.. Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules. State Issued Credential: Yes. Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: N/A. Years Required Post Licensure: 2National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: None Specified

Kentucky Board of Licensed Professional Counselors

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes. Scope: Intermediate. Mandated By Statute or Rules: Yes.State Issued Credential: Yes, Recertification required. Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: N/A Years Required Post Licensure: None specified. National Supervisor Credentials Accepted:  None Specified

Louisiana State Board of Licensed Professional Counselors

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Advanced. Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules. State Issued Credential: Yes, LPC-S, Recertification required. Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: N/A. Years Required Post Licensure: 3National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: Not specified.

Maine Board of Counseling Professionals Licensure

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Advanced. Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules State Issued Credential: No Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: Yes. Years Required Post Licensure: 5National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: NBCC ACS in lieu of

Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists

LPC Supervision Requirements Education and Training: Yes. Scope: Advanced Mandated By Statute or Rules: State Issued Credential: Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: Years Required Post Licensure: 2 years of documented clinical supervision experience National Supervisor Credentials Accepted:  NBCC ACS in lieu of

Massachusetts Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Not specified. Scope: N/A. Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules. State Issued Credential: No. Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: Yes. Years Required Post Licensure: 3National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: N/A

Michigan Board of Counseling

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes. Scope: Advanced. Mandated By Statute or Rules: Statute. State Issued Credential: No Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: YesYears Required Post Licensure: 3 plus supervision experience. National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: N/A

Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes. Scope: Basic Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules. State Issued Credential: No. Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: Yes. Years Required Post Licensure: 4National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: Not specified

Mississippi State Board of Examiners for Professional Counselors

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes. Scope: Advanced. Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules. State Issued Credential: Yes BQS, LPC-S, recert required. Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: N/A. Years Required Post Licensure: 2National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: NBCC ACS

Missouri Committee for Professional Counselors

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes. Scope: Advanced. Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules. State Issued Credential: No. Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: Yes. Years Required Post Licensure: 2National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: Board has discretion, too many variables, contact board directly.

Montana Board of Behavioral Health (LCPC)

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes. Scope: Graduate coursework accepted in lieu of supervisor training. Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules State Issued Credential: No Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: N/A. Years Required Post Licensure: 3. National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: Not specified, ACS AAMFT exceed board requirements, contact board directly for clarification.

Nebraska Board of Examiners in Mental Health Practice

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: None. Scope: Minimal. Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules. State Issued Credential: No Formal Credential Required: No. All supervision can be provided by non-LPCYears Required Post Licensure: no post-licensure requirements. National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: Board would have discretion, contact board directly.

Nevada Board of Examiners for Marriage and Family Therapists and Clinical Professional Counselors

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes. Scope: Intermediate Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rule state Issued Credential: No Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: Not specified National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: NBCC ACS AAMFT Approved Supervisor in lieu of board training requirements.

New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Intermediate Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules State Issued Credential: No Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: 3 National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: American Association of Pastoral Counselors; National Association of Social Workers; American Mental Health Counselors Association; or American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

New Jersey Professional Counselors Examiners Committee

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Advanced Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules State Issued Credential: No Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: 2 National Supervisor Credentials Accepted:  NBCC ACS

New Mexico Counseling and Therapy Practice Board (LPCC)

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Basic Mandated By Statute or Rules: Law State Issued Credential: No, but CE Requirements for Renewal Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: Not specified National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: Not Specified

New York Office of the Professions (LMHC)

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Minimal Scope: Basic Mandated By Statute or Rules: Both State Issued Credential: No Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: Years Required Post Licensure: Must have NY License, All supervision can be provided by non-LPC. National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: Possibly but may have been repealed 12/31/2007.

North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: graduate credit or equivalent Scope: Advanced, CE Renewal Requirements Mandated By Statute or Rules: Statute State Issued Credential: Yes, but equivalent accepted Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: 2National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: N/A

North Dakota Board of Counselors Examiners (LPCC/LPC)

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Advanced Mandated By Statute or Rules: Statute State Issued Credential: Yes, Extensive CE Renewal Requirements and Fees Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: 5 National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: Not Specified

Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapists Board (LCPC) 

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Advanced Extensive, CE Requirements for Renewal Mandated By Statute or Rules: Both State Issued Credential: Yes. LCPC-S Formal Credential Required: Yes Years Required Post Licensure: Not Specified National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: N/A

Oklahoma State Board of Behavioral Health (LPC)

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Advanced, Extensive and Jurisprudence Exam Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules State Issued Credential: Yes Formal Credential Required: Yes Years Required Post Licensure: 2 National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: N/A

Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists (LPC)

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Intermediate Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules State Issued Credential: Yes Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: 3 National Supervisor Credentials Accepted:  NBCC ACS

Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriageand Family Therapists and Professional Counselors

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: “qualified by training and experience ” Scope: N/A Mandated By Statute or Rules: Statute State Issued Credential: No Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: 5 National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: N/A

Rhode Island Marriage Family and Mental Health Therapy

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Intermediate Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules State Issued Credential: No Formal Credential Required: No: Years Required Post Licensure: 5 National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: NBCC ACS

South Carolina Board of Examiners for Licensure of Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Addiction Counselors and Psycho-Educational Specialists

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes, graduate coursework or equivalent training. Scope: Intermediate Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules State Issued Credential: Yes, fee required,  must hold SC license Formal Credential Required: Yes Years Required Post Licensure: 5National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: N/A

South Dakota Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapist Examiners

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Advanced Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules State Issued Credential: Yes, Board Approved Supervisor, CE Renewal Requirements Formal Credential Required: Yes Years Required Post Licensure: 2National Supervisor Credentials Accepted:  NBCC ACS

Tennessee Board for Professional Counselors,Marital and Family Therapists, and Clinical Pastoral Therapists (LPC/LPC-MHSP)

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes. coursework or equivalent Scope: Extensive Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules State Issued Credential: No Formal Credential Required: Ye sYears Required Post Licensure: 5National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: NBCC ACS, AAMFT, AAPC, other at board discretion

Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes. Grad coursework or post grad supervision training course. Scope: Extensive Mandated By Statute or Rules: Rules State Issued Credential: Yes, application fees and renewal required Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: 5 National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: Not Specified

Utah Dept of Occupational and Professional Licensing

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Scope: Minimal Mandated By Statute or Rules: Statute State Issued Credential: Yes Formal Credential Required: Yes Years Required Post Licensure: 2 National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: Not Specified

Vermont Board of Allied Mental Health Practitioners

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Scope: Mandated By Statute or Rules: State Issued Credential: Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: Years Required Post Licensure: National Supervisor Credentials Accepted:

Virginia Board of Counseling

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Scope: Mandated By Statute or Rules: State Issued Credential: Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: Years Required Post Licensure: National Supervisor Credentials Accepted:

Washington State Dept of Public Health, Mental Health Counselor

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Yes Scope: Minimal Mandated By Statute or Rules: Statute State Issued Credential: No Formal Credential Required: No Years Required Post Licensure: 2 National Supervisor Credentials Accepted: Board discretion, NBCC and AAMFT Approved Supervisor exceeds board requirements, contact board directly for clarification.

West Virginia Board of Examiners in Counseling

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Scope: Mandated By Statute or Rules: State Issued Credential: Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: Years Required Post Licensure: National Supervisor Credentials Accepted:

Wisconsin Dept of Safety and Professional Services

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Scope: Mandated By Statute or Rules: State Issued Credential: Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: Years Required Post Licensure: National Supervisor Credentials Accepted:

Wyoming Mental Health Professions and Licensing Board

Counselor Supervision Training and Educational Requirements: Scope: Mandated By Statute or Rules: State Issued Credential: Board Defined Approved Supervisor. No Formal Credential: Years Required Post Licensure: National Supervisor Credentials Accepted:

Dual Relationships in Counseling and Boundary Issues

Ethics Demystified: Dual Relationships Counseling Boundary

Dual Relationships in Counseling

Dual relationships and boundary crossings are perhaps the most frequent Georgia Composite Board license complaints. But this is often not immediately apparent.

To illustrate, the board can receive ten patient complaints that all appear very different and all could be determined to be dual relationships violations and boundary issues.

The fundamental challenges of patient/therapist interactions in psychotherapy are universal. Therefore, it follows that counselor boundaries are also common problems for many other state mental health professional licensing boards.

The Georgia board sometimes requires licensees to complete continuing education in boundary management as a condition for reinstatement or contingent upon issuing a license.

“The Anatomy of a Boundary Crossing and Dual Relationships”

 A 5 NBCC HR Continuing Education Ethics Workshop for LPC, SW and MFT

Client advocacy, improper termination, addiction, violating confidences of colleagues, bartering, practicing beyond your expertise–did you know all can reveal dual relationships and poor boundary management? Learn to know the difference and how to avoid them.

Learning Objectives:

How to protect your clients and retain your privilege to practice. Learn to manage supervisor dual relationships and conflicts of interest.Learn a system for analyzing boundary and dual relationships before they occur. Apply this system across all of your clients. Allow you to practice with less worry and anxiety.

Boundary Violation or Dual Relationship?

Dual Relationships in Counseling

Some dual relationships are boundary crossings. Some dual relationships create a boundary that must be managed, but boundary crossings are not necessarily dual relationships.

When we engage in psychotherapy with patients or clients, we have created a client/therapist relationship. When a client chooses us as their therapist, a power differential is created.  Managing this power differential is the therapist’ responsibility.

This power differential is created by:

1) We are viewed as experts. We have advanced education, are knowledgeable in psychological matters and are licensed or sometimes doctors or PhD’s. Remember: there is ALWAYS a power differential.

2) As a result of the above clients submit to vulnerability and are indeed vulnerable through this power relationship.

In short, a client /therapist relationship is characterized by an individual seeking mental and emotional help because we are believed to be expertly skilled in psychotherapy. Our singular role is to treat their mental distress through psychotherapy.

The relationship becomes dual when

1) we purchase an item they are selling because we want to assist them financially.

2) we become an advocate for an agenda in their personal life that is not related to helping them with psychotherapy. For example, assisting in finding employment (unless one is solely–solely– a career counselor).

3) Many other scenarios.

In both instances, the therapist has created two relationships. In the first example, they are therapist and customer of the client. In the second example, they are therapist and headhunter/job recruiter.

Therapy Boundary Crossings and Violations

An effective way to illustrate this is through a hypothetical example:

John receives a letter from the Composite Board asking that he address an allegation of patient abandonment. John’s responds to the board with various details of his work with the patient and that he recently discovered she suffered with borderline personality disorder.

Let’s work backwards and find the boundary crossing/ violation.

X has been a patient of John’s for approximately two years. John admits to having limited experience with treating borderline personality disorder. He had felt uncomfortable working with the patient when he began treating her as he felt manipulated but did not want to abandon her.

He further stated in his response to the board that the patient expressed he was the only therapist who ever helped her and she was very persistent in continuing therapy with him. This was his justification to the board for continuing to treat her.  John finally terminated therapy when the patient became upset and threatened a licensing board complaint after John finally convinced her he was not the best therapist for her. The board confirmed with John this was indeed the crux of the patient complaint.

Why is this a boundary crossing?

1) If John had experience with borderline personality disorder, he would have had the expertise to identify borderline traits almost immediately after engaging her in therapy.

2) Remember: the responsibility of managing the therapeutic relationship rests squarely on the counselor. John’s inexperience further resulted in his inability to assert himself with the client and draw a firm boundary.

By not drawing a boundary, he crossed a boundary.

It is very likely the complaint of abandonment would not have occurred had John referred this patient to another therapist two years earlier.

3) As a side note, John consulted with peers who all agreed (probably erroneously) that since the patient threatened a board complaint he was not obligated to provide referrals to other therapists. So likely a third mistake was made.

We all know in theory we should work within our area of expertise, but this is a great practical example of how a series of clinical decisions resulted in a boundary crossing and licensing board complaint. It is also easy to see how this scenario could result in the patient filing a malpractice suit against the therapist.

Summary

There are almost limitless examples of seemingly very different ethics scenarios which can all be found to be boundary issues and dual relationships.

Join me at the ethics CE workshop and I’ll help with YOUR scenario. All of my workshops teach practical applications of LPC ethics.

Find a Clinical Supervisor in GA for LPC

great-lpc-supervision

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.

find a clinical supervisor in ga for lpc

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.

Supervisor Role

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.”

Your Role

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

Professional Hazards

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.

Supervisor Bias

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.

find a clinical supervisor in georgia

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.

Psychotherapeutic Intervention

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.

Evaluation

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.

Summary

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.

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.

Psychotherapy Practice Development

Psychotherapy practice development is an essential element of our profession. Business Relationships 101: natural human interactions allow for current adversaries to become future allies. Did you know that nearly as many Georgia LPC’s allow their licenses to lapse each year as are issued licenses? Many LPC’s who have worked hard for their license are also in need of the skills to develop and maintain a solo practice.

Psychotherapy Practice Development and “Opportunity Expansion”

Opportunity Expansion is an approach for maximizing achievement in private practice. It is a means for accelerating one’s career. I provide professional training to therapists and business professionals to help them achieve goals they had not thought were possible using the principles of “Opportunity Expansion”. This is a 5 hour Atlanta GA psychotherapist workshop. Who should attend?
1) Those interested in psychotherapy practice development atlantaaccelerating career achievements and therapists in private practice. Did you know that nearly as many LPC’s allow their licenses to lapse each year as are issued licenses? In other words, many LPC’s who have worked hard for their license are also in need of the skills to develop and maintain a solo practice.
2) Some of the principles of Opportunity Expansion include:
a) Never burn bridges.
b) Always have a Plan B. When Plan B must default to Plan A, immediately create another Plan B.
c) Develop a network of close advisors.
d) Natural human interactions allow for enemies to become allies. Be open to it!
3) Don’t be a Generalist. One of the best ways to avoid civil suits is to develop a specialty.
The workshop program covers all of these principles -and more- and teaches you how to immediately execute these principles in your professional pursuits.

If you’re interested in this valuable training, call or message me through my contact page for a calendar of training. For general information on Life Coaching this site has additional information.