Supervision can be costly and it can be hard to identify the right “fit” for a clinical supervisor.
I was in clinical supervision for my license in professional counseling (LPC) in 2017. During my search I contacted LCSWs and LMFTs, but after learning their prices, location and availability, I decided to get all of my hours with a LPC. The particular LPC I found offered group supervision after work hours. I utilized her group supervision only because I could not afford her for individual clinical supervision. Upon our initial contact, I asked questions about the process, yet very little was asked of me.
After attending several months of group supervision, I felt as though I was missing something. The office was fancy and my peers were very nice, yet I walked away adding nothing to my professional growth or development as a therapist. When I had questions, response via email was hardly ever returned until the day I ended our business relationship. I also learned that although I enjoyed the peers I met during that time, group supervision was not for me. Last, I was not simply looking for someone to sign off on my paperwork. In this case, I was not getting my money’s worth.
I started my search again. This time, I searched LinkedIn and Psychology Today. I was a little bit more adept at identifying what I needed in a clinical supervisor. I started asking people I knew in the field if they knew of licensed professionals that were offering clinical supervision. I was given several lists. While going through the lists, I had to break down them into manageable pieces of information that would help me find the right “fit.”
6 things to consider:
- Location – Where is the office located? I knew I was not willing to travel too far.
- Time – What day(s) of the week are they available for 2 hours?
- Area of expertise – Is this person a LPC? I was not willing to complete half my hours with a LMFT or LCSW.
- Money – How much can I afford per hour?
- Setting – Does this person offer individual clinical supervision? I was not willing to do group supervision.
- Expectations – If I have questions outside of supervision, can I contact them via phone, text &/or email and how often? In what other ways can this professional relationship help me grow professionally and personally?
Since ending my initial experience, I found a clinical supervisor that provided me with what I need professionally and personally. I made sure to state my expectations up front regarding my needs. I then asked about their expectations. The location was close to both my work and home. We met weekly during the early mornings for two hours. If I couldn't make my scheduled day and time, there were other hours available for me. I was challenged professionally and mentally in a healthy way. I was always assigned tasks to ponder, read and bring back to supervision for additional insight and discussion. I was given space to lead the flow of my clinical supervision. Constructive feedback was always provided. Most of all, the supervisor/supervisee relationship was very humanistic.
What are some characteristics you look for in clinical supervision and supervisor?