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Are you a therapist or therapist in training trying to find clinical supervision opportunities? For psychologists, social workers, and counselors in most areas, clinical supervision is a requirement for earning a professional license. Mental health professionals often seek clinical supervision or consultation opportunities for a variety of other reasons, such as:
Though some people may use the terms “supervision” and “consultation” interchangeably, there are distinct differences between the relationships and obligations in each setting. For instance, in many states clinical supervisors are required to complete continuing education credits in order to meet professional standards.
Clinical supervision for therapists is hierarchic. You work with a supervisor who provides you with feedback and instruction and helps resolve issues as they arise. In this setting, you are expected to comply with your supervisor’s directives to satisfy your client hours or other requirements for licensure.
In a consultation setting, you interact with colleagues or peers to increase your effectiveness as a therapist. You are also not obligated to take any specific action or follow the suggestions you receive during consultation.
While there are numerous ways to offer clinical supervision in psychotherapy, there are a few fundamental tenets. For example, it is quite common for supervisors to motivate you to think outside the box, highlight a specific aspect of clinical practice in ways you never considered before, challenge you to learn new skills, and offer constructive feedback.
For clinical supervision to be effective, it should be consistent, regular, easy to access, and provided by supervisors who have the knowledge, experience, clinical skills, and teaching skills to instruct fellow professionals.