Updated: Mar 16
The road to becoming a counselor is taxing, yet exciting at the same time. Therapy is both an art and a science. It is certainly possible to learn the basic principals of counseling in school, however, counseling can still present challenges to new counselors. As such, supervisors often take on counselors in training with a goal of helping them develop their skills, however, enhancing clinical skills is only part of the developmental process for counselors both new and seasoned. People and the process can be multi-layered and complex. Second, or first to client care, is your professional identity as a clinician. Counselors often enter the field ready to work, with theoretical framework in mind, desired client population, and while those things are important, what about your needs as a counselor. Do you fit where you think you want to go? Why did you choose the population you desire? Do you have experience with the desired population? How do you handle the the both subtle and apparent nuances of the work place? How do you handle difficulties that come up for you when you are exposed to various client issues? While it is important for new counselors to choose supervisors who are well versed in clinical aspects of counseling, new clinicians might also consider the following;
Can my supervisor support me with challenges that may present in the work place? The things that counseling programs may not teach.
How will my supervisor support me as I develop my professional identity?
Is it possible for my supervisor to give me honest and constructive feedback if I am unaware of my own biases/issues, especially when they impact my work?
There are many aspects to consider, but as you continue the journey to full licensure, be sure to include your needs as a growing professional. These needs are often more than what is realized.