What is my role as a supervisee? What should be my relationship with my supervisor?
1) Be teachable. 2) Seek personal psychotherapy. 3) Understand the rules. 4) Five areas of development. Proper assessment, asking your supervisor for help when you are stuck with a client, case management, thoroughly understanding board rules and developing a specialty.
If you follow these recommendations your supervision should be pleasurable and fulfilling. However, you also should know what you can do about a rude, aggressive or incompetent supervisor.
It’s important to obtain rewarding and flexible supervision.
Supervisors may be reluctant to continue to supervise you if you don’t implement their recommendations. This is especially true when it involves risky situations such as suicidal clients or boundary issues. Be aware of improvements you want to make.
Your journey through your entire career should be evaluating shortcomings and improvements.
Do not view personal therapy as optional. You are performing hazardous work. If you are reluctant to work through your issues, your ability to help clients will be limited. It is also frustrating for a supervisor to work with one who is incapable of addressing countertransference.
Much of the mentoring and development work of a supervisor is helping you manage boundaries.
Personal psychotherapy helps to address your blind spots.
Five Development Areas
Proper assessment, asking your supervisor for help when you are stuck with a client, case management, thoroughly understanding board rules and developing a specialty.
Know the Board Rules
The Most Important Concept
This information is accurate as of 8/2/18. It is subordinate to future rule changes. I make no warranty for this info implied or otherwise.
Find the Board Rules at the Secretary of State website. The page will open in a new browser window. Attest to the copyright notice. Navigate to chapter 135-5. Notice the chapter is introduced by all of the Licensing Definitions. Once you have fully read and understood those definitions, you should have no problem understanding licensing requirements.
Memorize the following most important concept for Georgia APC/LPC licensing:
“…year(s) of post masters directed experience under supervision in a work setting acceptable to the board”.
There are eight definitions contained in that sentence:
1) Year(s) 2) Post Masters 3) Directed Experience 4) Director5) Direction6) Supervision7) Supervisor 8) Work Setting Acceptable to the Board
For example, a “Year” can be 12 to 20 months or it can have no specified number of months as is the case with your internship. “Post Masters” can be months after your degree was conferred or in the case of practicum / internship, Post Masters can mean before you graduated. Get it?
Study those definitions.
Develop a Specialty
None of us can deliver all types of counseling. Develop a specialty because it is a wise business decision and also ensures you are not practicing beyond your area of competence. If you do not enjoy working with adolescents, it is wise to not specialize in that population. If you enjoy adolescent therapy, consider specializing in DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) or another specialized adolescent / child therapy.
Become known in the professional community as a go-to therapist. You will also develop competence in that therapy – an important factor for avoiding civil and licensing board complaints.
Sample Application Denials
Many in supervision are also dealing with a recently denied license application. There are many reasons counseling license applications are denied. Most often a result of incomplete reading of the board rules.
The GA composite board denies applications requiring additional months or even years of directed experience under supervision.
Here they are in no particular order.
“You must obtain an additional 8 months of directed experience under supervision in an acceptable work setting.”
What happened? Possibly several things including the board has deemed ineligible 8 months of your work because you were not under supervision during that period, or perhaps you applied work months that were not post-masters. There may be other reasons.
Remedy: be sure to read and understand the rule that describes that work without simultaneous supervision is not allowed.
“Directed experience form C is not acceptable to the board as you have not documented training in counseling and psychotherapy.”
It is important to note that a state issued LPC, SW or MFT practice license allows you to practice psychotherapy independently. For example, your work was primarily case management. This may not theoretically be a problem, but under the law you are allowed to practice independently.
Since you may decide you want to practice independently, it is important you have been properly trained to do that.
Locate the scope of practice definition, “The Practice of Professional Counseling” in the rules. Acceptable work is further described in that paragraph. If you are a social worker or marriage and family therapist note your scope of practice differs from LPCs.
Remedy: Ensure your work setting provides experience and training in performing psychotherapy. Also, confirm with your Director in advance that the work setting has been previously accepted by the board.
“Your forms were not notarized properly.”
A notary public swears that your signature and date are true and accurate. Forms that have been crossed out or altered are not acceptable. Ensure any form you are required to submit is clean and clear.
Remedy: the board will usually require you to resubmit properly notarized forms so it’s best to get it right first. When your application is pended or denied, this is costing you valuable time and money.
Obtaining a psychotherapy license in GA is not easy.
Getting your LPC license is not an easy task. Don’t expect it to be.
State licensing boards’ primary role is protecting the public from harmful therapists whether psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists or professional counselors–not being charitable or empathetic to your pursuit of getting licensed.
Applicants who are in clinical supervision for LPC should know the rules thoroughly.
It is not relevant that you graduated with a PhD from UCLA and worked at the Betty Ford Clinic if you have not met licensing requirements. It’s that simple. Completion of a graduate degree in counseling is the easier goal.
Your years of learning applied psychotherapy on the job, being the type of supervisee that a supervisor wants to work with, following licensing requirements and submitting a meticulous application are the most challenging tasks.
This requires that you read and understand the board rules and the instructions for completing the application. When you submit your APC, LPC, LMSW, LCSW or other license application, you are making a legal oath with the State of Georgia that you will abide by those rules.
How can you abide by rules that you have not carefully studied?
Understanding how to read the GA composite board rules for PC, SW and MFT can prevent a costly license denial..
These guidelines for APC supervisees address three major components.
1) Reading and understanding the board rules,
2) reading and understanding how to complete the application and
3) adopting a proper role as a supervisee. If you follow these recommendations, you will find the entire application process to be less frustrating and help ensure that you will be issued that coveted practice license.