Providing LPC Distance Telesupervision
There is hardly a rural LAPC, SW or MFT who hasn't lamented the shortage of local counseling supervision and difficulty finding a distance counseling supervisor. The same applies for distance counseling supervision in Georgia. The core problems are
• Often there are simply no CPCS supervisors locally.
• Supervisors sometimes engage in damaging dual relationships. You both live in a small community and they sometimes don't properly manage boundaries. Your supervisor refuses to sign the supervision verification form E. Up to three years of license eligible experience down the tubes. No bueno.
On September 11th 2015, the Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists voted to adopt a rule allowing distance counseling supervision in Georgia.
It is formally named "Telemental Health Supervision". Read the actual board meeting minutes adopting the rule chapter 135-11-.01.
My Unique Approach to Telemental Health/ Distance LPC Supervision
My goal as a counselor distance supervisor is to help you become licensed as an LPC. Navigating the licensing process is difficult. It was a challenge even for me.
A Customized Interview
I receive many requests for supervision. I screen thoroughly and often decline applicants.
Every licensee situation is different so yours is also unique! Your supervision will be custom designed just for you. You will complete my form fillable PDF application for supervision. We will talk briefly on the phone to identify issues that may disqualify either of us.
When we agree to meet, I require a comprehensive face-to-face interview. I will also ask that you bring transcripts, your license application, past/current jobs and supervisors, contract affidavit and so on. We will discuss your role and my role in your clinical supervision training for LPC. If you pass the interview, we will determine together if we are a good match.
I supervise decisively, confidently and with conviction. You will quickly discover yourself building self-confidence.
A Licensing Review
As a former composite board member, I processed over 7000 APC/LPC applications. I will apply the same meticulous process to a review of your unique licensing situation. If you decide you are not interested in my supervision or decide not to proceed with telemental health supervision, you will still leave the interview with a clear understanding of what you need to obtain your license.
You will find this licensing review invaluable because you can bring it to any supervisor you choose and ask they make it part of their supervision plan. Further, if we proceed with supervision I will apply the interview as a 1-hour supervision session.
Details of My Distance Supervision
We will meet face to face a minimum of every five supervision sessions. These sessions will usually be in my Atlanta office and two hours in duration. If travel takes me to your part of the state, it is sometimes possible to meet in your area. Note: This policy may differ for local metro Atlanta residents.
The face to face meetings ensure other functions of supervision are met such as countertransference, boundary management and other confidential therapist development issues. The in-person sessions are also necessary as I need to review paperwork, samples of your clinical notes and to help keep you on track with meeting LPC licensing requirements.
The remainder of the sessions can be distance/remote supervision. I have strict parameters for online supervision. When we meet, I will explain what business can and cannot be conducted via electronic or synchronous communication and how we will protect patient information. Online supervision sessions are limited to one hour.
Termination The Way You Like It
When supervision is complete or either of us decide to not continue working together, we will wrap up all paperwork and I will provide you the completed Form E, "Supervision" in a signed sealed envelope. This minimizes future problems with what you need to submit to the board. The aim is an ideal scenario:
1) We successfully complete our supervisor/supervisee relationship.
2) You know in advance I have recommended you to the board to be issued a license.
3) If the board asks you to furnish contemporaneous records of supervision you will have what they need.
4) Your stress and worry is minimized.
Prefer to do all of your supervision face-to-face? You enjoy all of the above benefits as well.
My Cost and Fees for Supervision
My fees are determined on a case-by-case basis. They range from $80-$120 per hour and this is largely dependent upon your practice activities, directed experience setting, and potential for boundary issues at your site. The initial interview and licensing review is $150.
What is Telemental Health Supervision
Telemental health supervision in GA is defined as, "...the delivery of supervision via technology-assisted media by a supervisor at one site while the supervisee is located at a distant site".
In short, distance counseling supervision is a mode of delivering clinical supervision that is not face-to-face. Forms of telemental health supervision include but are not limited to telephone and video and chat.
For example, you live in Macon and your LPC clinical supervisor is in Atlanta GA. You meet via phone or video to meet the required 35 supervision hours per year. Your responsibilities as supervisee and supervisor are still subject to all other board rules. That's it in a nutshell.
Training Requirements for Telemental Health Supervisors
In order to deliver telemental health supervision, Georgia Composite board rules require 6 (six) telemental health continuing education hours plus 3 (three) hours of supervising telemental health therapy approved by an eligible professional association such as lpcaga or nbcc.
The hours are required one time. You do not need to obtain the hours prior to expiration of each biennial license renewal period.
Advantages of Telemental Health Supervision
Besides convenience, there are additional advantages to remote telemental health supervision:
1) Choices, choices, choices. For distance supervision, your choices are probably greatest with a supervisor in metro Atlanta since it has the highest concentration of eligible supervisors.
You can find an LPC supervisor experienced in your clinical specialty or population you work with. For example, if you work with spectrum disorder children, you can find a supervisor experienced in that. If you work with alzheimers and the elderly, you can find that.
2) Information on rules and licensing often reaches rural areas later than urban areas of Georgia. You will have better access to the pipeline of breaking news on Composite Board law and rules and other information you need to know as a counseling professional.
Differences Between Telemental Supervision and Telemental Health
They are actually completely different.
Telemental Health in the treatment of patients provided by psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists (and several others professional and non-professional) is privileged under GA Code § 24-5-501, "Evidence".
It provides for limitations on admissibility of certain communications as evidence in civil and other legal proceedings. I won't elaborate on the law other than it is the same privilege as face to face psychotherapy.
Clinical Supervision Not Legally Confidential
In Georgia, the only information that is legally confidential between supervisor and supervisee is patient information (attorneys who specialize in administrative law can tell you more about this). In other words, what a supervisee discloses about themselves could be used as evidence. Some supervisors can- and do- disclose supervision information to employers and the licensing board and even use it against supervisees.
Fundamental Differences in the Relationship
With Telemental Health, you are practicing psychotherapy. With Telemental Health Supervision, you are providing services to a peer.
Disadvantages of Telemental Health Supervision
This article on safely providing telemental health and confirming identity is also applicable to telemental health supervision. With telemental health supervision it can be difficult to know well your supervisee's work situation, level of employer oversight, licensing history and other important factors.
You would be wise to require a supervision schedule which requires a face to face interview and regular periodic face to face supervision sessions.