How to Find a Clinical Supervisor in Georgia: Eric Groh LPC CPCS ACS
How do I find an LPC clinical supervisor in Georgia? How do I choose a supervisor? How can I ensure I find the best supervisor that I can trust has necessary skills? These are questions every new therapist confronts in their mental health clinical work.
Basic Essential Supervision Skills
While on the Composite Board, for six months in addition to the LPC complaints, I handled all of the Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist consumer complaints. Also there are advantages to practicing in Atlanta for many years. Partly because it is a large and diverse city, being an Atlanta CPCS and national ACS Supervisor has exposed me to many clinical, legal, and ethics issues related to practicing psychotherapy. Your supervisor should be competent helping you work through ethical dilemmas. They should also know how to distinguish ethics from legal matters and refer you to an attorney when needed. Even though you may not work in a psychiatric hospital or residential treatment program, your supervisor should have broad experience in clinical mental health. These areas of competence include severe depression and suicide, addiction, traumatic stress–all of those areas that can be frightening for new therapists. Your clinical supervisor should be able to work confidently and with conviction on complex clinical issues.
Therapist Supervisors Legal and Ethical Liabilities
A supervision is defined in Georgia Composite Board rules as, ” to promote the growth and development of the practitioner’s clinical skills.” Some supervision is a relationship of mutual fear or at the least, a tentative relationship. Both parties are fearful of acting with conviction within the supervisory experience. Fear that the supervisee is going to harm a client. Fear that the supervisor is going to report perceived ethical misconduct. Many are reluctant to provide Georgia licensing supervision for the above reasons.
It is important to know that as an APC / LAPC, you have been issued a license to practice psychotherapy. You are ultimately responsible for that license. Be teachable, be willing to learn. If you are willing to be mentored, your supervisor should serve as a mentor. Decisions by the Georgia composite licensing board are often predicated on unremorseful actions versus well intentioned efforts. Whereas therapist ethics is not simple, approaching ethics in supervision from this simple framework allows both parties to focus on what is most important: producing a competent therapist who is not a risk to the public or liability to the profession.
From the Composite Board Rules, definition of Supervision: “The purpose of supervision is to promote the development of the practitioner’s clinical skills. Supervision may include, without being limited to, the review of case presentations, audiotapes, videotapes, and direct observation of the practitioner’s clinical skills. Supervision does not require the supervisor to be present at the work site with the supervisee.”
From Composite Board rules, “The practice of professional counseling means practice in that specialty which utilizes counseling and psychotherapy to evaluate and treat emotional and mental problems and conditions, whether cognitive, behavioral, or affective.” As a supervisee, since you are under directed experience (are under direction from a boss at a site that is your formal licensing work site.) it is your responsibility to work towards learning and being teachable and open to honest input.
I believe that with my guidance you have the ability to be a great therapist. Supervision should be enjoyable and rewarding. Counseling is hazardous and stressful–your supervision shouldn’t be. I employ a moderately structured approach that will allow you to grow, take risks, make mistakes yet also have the safety net I will provide as an experienced and authoritative therapist. A Good LPC supervisor should guide you with confidence and assist with making the difficult decisions that every new therapist faces.
Three personal factors to consider when determining how to find a clinical supervisor
Ironically, the greatest hazards for therapists are connected with our urge to help others. Insufficient self-care, excessive empathy leading to boundary crossings. When the lines between help and rescue become blurred. Of all of the perceived hazards of doing this work, these are the greatest of them. It can blind-side even experienced therapists. When a therapist whose top priority is maintaining public trust connects with a supervisor who understands these hazards, you have a winning combination for creating a good therapist.
There are also external factors that impede the process of becoming a good therapist. Many new therapists are working in public settings. Working for mental health companies that are contracted by state entities. Or working for large healthcare companies. All are operating on tight budgets (I have worked in all of these settings prior to private practice). You may need help finding a job as a counselor.
This can result in:
Those are less than ideal circumstances for learning. An employer-appointed supervisor has responsibilities that can interfere with therapist development. When a supervisor attempts to referee or manipulate supervisee/employer or human resource issues, they place even themselves in a precarious position.
When trying to locate a clinical supervisor, you may encounter negative perceptions of other therapists. For example, the perception there are many unethical therapists working in the profession. Most Georgia therapists practice ethically. But these inaccuracies can make the prospect of becoming a therapist discouraged and frightened when interviewing with a particular supervisor.
Making mistakes is part of learning. Those of us experienced as mental health practitioners had to start somewhere. We all had to encounter our first client with schizophrenia. Our first seductive client. As long as you are capable of following the therapist oath: ‘first, do no harm’, your relationship with your supervisor should be one of mutual trust.
My Model of Supervision
Balancing Low Structure and High Structure in Supervision
There are many models of supervision. A key concept is high versus low structure. Each has their advantages. The advantages of high structure in supervision is that by erring on the side of caution, the supervisor has greater day to day control of the therapist’s activities.This pie chart describes the role of structure in my supervision. Whereas there is a structure in evaluation and feedback, planned interventions and gatekeeping has a minor role. The struggle of most new therapists is problem solving and self confidence and moderate structure promotes development in those areas.
The Synthesis of Authority and Mentoring
My supervision is a primarily a hybrid of mentoring and authority. Authority doesn’t refer to claiming to know everything. In fact, expect that you will have knowledge in areas I do not. It is referred to as sapiential authority and involves asserting conviction in helping you because I am experienced in clinical aspects of psychotherapy and ethics. Through experience, I can often provide clarity on clinical and ethical dilemmas efficiently. And quickly. I have managed many high risk clients and can make this much less overwhelming for you. I combine this with a mentoring and coaching approach. Directed experience under supervision needn’t be anxiety provoking.
All of us have “blind spots”. Whether in our personal lives or as professionals. Sometimes we struggle to find a solution to an ethical dilemma or a clinical intervention with a client. Often we learn it is because we have a blind spot. This partly owes to countertransference. As therapists, we are mindful of countertransference as an obstacle- or facilitator- of change with our clients. In a supervisory relationship, we apply the same principles to promote professional growth within our supervisees. Psychotherapeutic techniques therefore are an important role in therapist’ development. Not psychotherapy per se, but applying the principles of it.
The manner of evaluation I employ is as much critique as a tool in itself for helping you become a better and more confident therapist. I will provide you both formal written and real-time verbal evaluation.
How much can I expect to pay for LPC supervision? How much does a private clinical supervisor cost for LPC in Georgia.
Or simply, how much is clinical supervision to get my LPC license. Fees for private individual supervision in the Atlanta area range from $100- $150 per supervision session. Some may charge more, some less but these are good approximations. My fees range from $100-$120. I also provide telesupervision or distance supervision but only if you live far from metro Atlanta. About 50 percent of my work with peers involves consultation with fully licensed clinicians who are facing difficult ethical dilemmas. The fee for that is higher.
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I have described my perspective on ethics and supervision and my approach to training and developing licensees. It is similar to how I work with clients: you have the capacity to develop professionally and solve problems with my assistance. Obtaining an independent private supervisor lays the groundwork for the trust that is necessary when learning to become a good therapist. If you wish, you can view my available openings and schedule a free interview for Georgia LPC clinical supervision or contact me by phone.