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. Good LPC supervision should guide you with confidence and assist with making the difficult decisions that every new therapist faces.
How to Find a Clinical Supervisor in Georgia: Eric Groh LPC CPCS ACS
Combined with my article, ” 10 Tips: Choosing an LPC Supervisor “ this article will provide most of the information you will need to make an informed decision on a qualified and skilled supervisor. these articles are intended to educate but also convey the rationale for my approaches as a clinical supervisor. They also reflect having processed over 7000 LPC license applications as a GA Comp Board appointee. If what you learn from this article is consistent with your needs, please contact me. I interview all potential license candidates. The interview is free of charge. First, download and complete the Application for Supervision. Then you can schedule the interview.
Most new therapists are eager to learn. Kindness and understanding is at the top of their agenda. There are exceptions, but few of us choose this work for selfish reasons, to seek opportunity for exploitation–and certainly not to get wealthy. Most of us genuinely want to help.
“You don’t have to be the best, but you have to be good.”–B.B. King
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).
This can result in:
1) Lack of employer support for therapist training.
2) The LPC supervision is often assigned to an individual- usually a boss- in addition to their other tasks.
3) The supervisor must report on their subordinates’ job performance.
4) Good job performance is subjective.
Those are less than ideal circumstances for learning. An employer-appointed supervisor has gatekeeper functions 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.
Other External Hazards
When searching for a clinical supervisor in Georgia, 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 discouraging and even frightening.
Therapist Supervisors Legal and Ethical Liabilities
Too often, 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. In addition, in some settings medical record keeping not only has to satisfy a standard of care, but it must meet additional criteria that detracts from therapy such as grant and other funding requirements. Many are reluctant to providing licensure supervision for the above reasons. LPC supervision goals should be mutual.
Ethics: Where the Rubber Meets the Road
I practice in Atlanta. Partly because it is a large and diverse city, being an Atlanta CPCS Supervisor has exposed me to many clinical, legal, and ethics issues related to practicing psychotherapy. 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. Handling board complaints is a complex process that also requires Secretary of State staff, law enforcement agents and the GA Attorney General office’ involvement. Georgia Ethics for LPC LMFT LCSW, Chapter 135-7-.01.
“I must first do no harm.”
This is the therapist’s oath. Most therapists are committed to it. As it happens, most of the disciplinary actions are therefore upon therapists who stray from that oath. Decisions about complaints 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.
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. Examine the pie chart below as it describes the role of structure in my supervision. Whereas there is a structure in evaluation and feedback, planned interventions and gatekeeping is kept to a minimum. The Achilles’ heel of new therapists is problem solving and self confidence and moderate structure promotes development in those areas.
The Synthesis of Authority and Mentoring
You will notice in the pie chart, my supervision is a primarily a hybrid of mentoring and authority. Authority doesn’t refer to being the boss or pulling rank! It is simply 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.
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.