So, What is Supervision?
Clinical supervision happens after graduating from your master's program and when you begin working with clients in the field. This is a normal process in mental health and you'll receive supervision (or at least you should be) on a weekly basis from a supervisor if you work in any sort of mental health agency. If you're lucky enough to work in an agency that has a qualified supervisor and allows you to gain supervision and hours towards licensure, YOU'VE HIT THE HOLY GRAIL of the supervision process. However, for everyone else we have to hire someone. *SHRUGS*
While you're under supervision, you acquire knowledge and skills for the profession in hopes of providing a bridge between the theory learned in school and actual practice. Supervision is a necessary step towards gaining licensure and aims to improve client care, develop the professionalism of clinical personnel, and maintain ethical standards in the field.
Quality clinical supervision is founded on a positive supervisor–supervisee relationship that promotes client welfare and the professional development of the supervisee. Supervisors are teachers, coaches, consultants, and mentors. While under supervision, your supervisor provides support, encouragement, and education to you while addressing an array of psychological, interpersonal, physical, and spiritual issues of clients. Ultimately, effective clinical supervision ensures that clients are competently served. Supervision ensures that you continue to increase your skills, which in turn increases treatment effectiveness, client retention, and satisfaction.
Tips for your first year of supervision:
- Visit the governing board for your state to see the requirements for supervision and licensure.
- Be super organized when keeping track of paperwork and hours.
- Be sure to sign a contract with your supervisor (Most good supervisors will already have this in place).
- Get your hours signed on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis (no exception).
- Pay for quality supervision, but stay within a reasonable budget. This is an investment, and good supervisors understand (and remember) that you may not have the means to pay hundreds of dollars every moth for supervision. But take it from me, cheaper does not always equate to better.