Supervision is an integral part of a new counselor’s career. The Maryland Board of Professional Counselors & Therapists requires LGPC’s to obtain 100 hours of direct supervision with an approved supervisor. The hours must be accumulated post master’s degree, 50 of which must be individual hours and a maximum of 50 may include group supervision.
What is supervision and why is it so important?
Supervision is used in the field of clinical counseling and other mental health disciplines as a means of training new counselors and preparing them to handle clinical issues outside of the classroom. Supervision consists of the supervisor (someone with more experience and skill) and supervisee meeting on a regular basis to ensure good, ethical client care and therapeutic work. The supervisor provides support, teaching, constructive feedback, coaching, goal setting and encourages professional development so that the supervisee can effectively learn from his/her clinical experience and become an ethical, competent counselor.
Supervision helps the budding counselor gain more knowledge, skill, and confidence. In supervision you will be able to discuss cases, review legal and ethical issues, explore therapeutic techniques, and make space to explore your own self-care.
So just how to you find the right supervisor?
A good place to start is the Maryland Board of Professional Counselor’s website. There, you can search by last name, license number or zip code. In your search results, you will want to make sure that the supervisor is approved for LGPC supervision. LGPC’s can also contact their school for referrals, research local therapists on Psychology Today, or contact community mental health agencies who may offer supervision as part of employment or internship placement.
Once you’ve decided on a supervisor to contact, there are some important factors to consider:
1. Is the supervisor qualified to provide the supervision experience you need for the population of people you work with? For example, if the supervisor you’ve found only sees adults and you work with children, it would be a better fit to find someone who has experience working with children.
2. Do they have the availability to meet on a regular basis? Supervisors will typically meet with supervisees who are in full time practice 1 time per week for at least 1 hour. If the supervisor you’ve chosen is not able to provide regular supervision, its recommended that you find a supervisor who is able to devote time and attention to your training.
3. What are your professional goals and learning objectives? Before hiring a clinical supervisor, write down and define what your goals are. Choosing a supervisor that line up with both your goals and objectives can have a positive impact on your career as your supervisor can help you achieve those goals.
4. Consider supervision style. Supervision style is the way in which your supervisor will approach and implement tasks. Supervision is relational. Do you prefer direction, collaboration, or a little bit of both?
Having good clinical supervision can not only set you up on a path for success in your career, but also prevent burn out. Take time to research and invest in your future.
Are you looking for supervision? Brittany Edie, LCPC, LPC can be YOUR supervisor! She can provide you with the necessary individual direct LGPC clinical supervision required for LCPC licensure. Contact her today to see if you’d be a good match for your supervision needs.