How to Choose a Good Clinical Supervisor

Choosing a supervisor can be difficult. There are many supervisors
available in the New York/New Jersey area with a wide range of skills
and experience.

Here are some questions to ask as you search for a good clinical
supervisor:

  • How many years have you been supervising?
             Although you may find a good supervisor who has little  
    experience, a supervisor with a minimum of 4 years
    supervisory experience will probably be able to serve you
    better.
  • How many years have you been practicing
    psychotherapy since you received your license?
            A supervisor with less than 7 years seeing
    patients/clients will have fewer skills and less experience to
    draw on in supervision.
  • What level supervisee do you supervise?
            Try to find a supervisor who has supervised more
    experienced clinicians, not just beginners.
  • What kind of post-graduate training do you have?
             Post graduate training provides additional skills to
    supervisors. Supervisors who seek out professional training
    beyond required CEU’s also show a commitment to the field.
    Find out if the supervisor has post-graduate training working
    with more than individuals. A well rounded  supervisor should
    have post-graduate training in couples, familes, and groups.  
    If they do not, you are selling yourself short!
  • Do you continue to receive supervision?
            Supervision and training should be a life-long quest for
    anyone doing psychotherapy.  (I have been practicing
    psychotherapy for 20 years and supervising for 17 years and
    continue to receive supervision and training on a weekly
    basis.)

Here are some other issues to address:
  • Do they have approval from the state board of
    examiners?
            Approved supervisors will be able to provide you a letter
    stating that they are approved by the state.  A “graduate” of
    SIFI is not qualified to  provide supervision to anyone except
    graduate school interns.
            Just because someone is approved by the state does
    not mean that they are a competent supervisor. It only means
    that they have a certain number of years experience and
    have completed a 30 hour course.
             You will need to provide the supervisor with a copy of
    your license*  If you are seeking off-site clinical supervision
    you must have a letter from your employer giving you
    permission to have supervision with the off-site supervisor.
  • Supervisors must provide supervisees with a copy of their
    license. After supervision begins, supervisors must provide
    supervisees with a written evaluation every 3 months until the
    appropriate number of clinical hours have been accrued.  
    This differs for social workers, counselors, and marriage and
    family therapists who are not yet LMFT’s.

*If you are an LCSW, LMFT or LPC, supervision is voluntary and
you do not have to document anything regarding supervision.
Tips on Choosing a Good Clinical Supervisor

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