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Topics in Supervision: Helping Clinicians in Training on their Journey to Licensure

Updated: Mar 29

When I started supervision in 2013, my primary standard was to discuss cases. As things progressed, and associates came with more elaborate situations, that shifted. While reviewing cases is important and often the standard, as I progressed as a clinician and supervisor, my eyes were opened to the more complex needs and nuances of counseling in general. In fact, I found that the minimum number of hours required by the state for licensure didn't even begin to touch the surface in terms of the amount of time needed to address much of what counselors in training needed. So how does one determine what needs to be discussed in supervision, beyond the clinical aspects of cases? It seems simple to focus on the things that might put your license at risk, but what else? Here is what I have found to be the most helpful;

  1. Include your associate in the process; What are the top three areas that the counselor in training sees as a need?

  2. Find an efficient way to measure associate strengths and weakness. This could help associates work to improve skills needed to be successful clinicians.

  3. As a supervisor, share your top 10 list of topics you have noted over time, that associates have needed. Give explanations and allow associates to process this list.

  4. What is your associates personality style? Knowing this could be extremely helpful in providing the type of guidance/support that can be generalized.

  5. Provide opportunities for group networking. What you say, or are not able to say could be learned through socializing with others.

While the process of supervision is a complex one, the learning process does not have to be. Providing situations that take a holistic approach to growth as a clinician can be one of the most helpful approaches to helping new clinicians understand the journey begins with the supervisors support, but learning goes well beyond that.

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