Over the years I have found that people have very different ideas of what clinical supervision looks like – and what it is “supposed to” look like. If you decide to work with me, I want you to have a good idea of how I see clinical supervision. I hope that will help you in your decision-making process as well as in being prepared to participate in supervision whether it is with me or another clinician.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
Thinking back to grad school, I can tally that I have had at least 9 different clinical supervisors. As it happens, 6 of these were embedded within the Community Mental Health agencies. Of those 6, I’d only describe one as “stellar”, though even he had his limitations.
The Good of Clinical Supervision
Not surprisingly, the best overall supervisor I ever had was completely disconnected from my agency work. Why isn’t this surprising, you ask? Well, because she wasn’t accountable to anyone other than herself. And, her commitment to me as her supervisee. No time requirements/limits, no documentation fixes. On my side of the equation, there was no worrying that what I say would get back to someone else in the office. No concern that we were going to get interrupted by someone knocking on the door (she had a home office). There was no chance of being bogged down with a documentation error or question. Also, no need to set aside part of our supervision time for ANYTHING other than what I WANTED to discuss. Sure she had her own framework. But, she was flexible and always met me where I was at (just like we are always told to do with our clients – funny how that works! #parallelprocess). I paid $195/hr for this supervision. And, you bet I came prepared each and every time to make sure I got my money’s worth!
The Bad of Clinical Supervision
“Bad” isn’t necessarily fair here. But, let’s just say there were some hiccups. I had a few supervisors who were really excellent, but they were also on a bit of a choke chain with the agency. Plenty of times they wanted to support me with a situation but the “red tape” was a barrier to them doing so to the fullest. Both literally and figuratively. Some were great at being encouraging and supportive. But, had a hard time answering a direct question with a client who was in crisis (as in, my first actively suicidal client and I’m like “TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!!!” and still, no step-by-step answer, which is really what I needed at that moment).
The Ugly of Clinical Supervision
Regularly canceling and not rescheduling our weekly supervision. Taking phone calls/checking text messages regularly during our time. Spending 75+% of supervision meetings on documentation without ever making up the difference to ensure clinical cases got the attention they deserved. Often not following up with answers to questions that required looking into. Essentially, there were many periods of time when I felt going to supervision was a “waste of time”.
Clinical Supervision should NEVER feel like a waste of time! You should LOOK FORWARD TO SUPERVISION! This should be a time when you:
- Really get answers to your questions
- Figure out who you love working with, and why
- Figure out who you do NOT love working with, and why
- Explore and test out new ways of working with clients whether that is regarding theoretical orientation, trying walk and talk therapy, or anything else you’ve contemplated and want some guidance around
Cost of Supervision
I charge the same rate for supervision as I do for my therapy sessions, *$180/hr. (see below for 2 exceptions)
Why SO MUCH?!?!
Well, several reasons, but here are a few:
- As your clinical supervisor of record, I bear some responsibility for the actual work you do with your clients, including the mistakes you’ll make (this is not a dig – we ALL make mistakes sometimes!). This is not a small thing. To a degree, my license is on the line with every client you take on. And, every session you have. Since I don’t have control over who you choose to see nor what you do in a session, this is a risk.
- Though we will have a scheduled weekly or biweekly time to meet, I am available to you for urgent situations 7 days/week, with few exceptions. Though I’m not likely to answer a call at 3 am, I certainly will be there for you if you have a crisis with your 7 pm client at 7:45 pm even though my work day is technically over at 5 pm.
- I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “You get what you pay for”. Though this isn’t true 100% of the time, is your clinical supervision really where you want to get the “best bargain”? I hope not. You are more likely to take care of a $180 pair of sunglasses than a $12 pair. You’re also more likely to be prepared for/make the best use of $180/hr supervision that you REALLY want to get your money’s worth from, than the $50/hr supervision that you’re getting because it is required to get your license.
*Exceptions to my $180/hr fee include:
- If you work for an agency and receive supervision there, but want additional supervision because it is *that* important to you
- If you are a full-time student but dabbling in private practice on the side (just a few clients) or want input from someone who isn’t giving you a grade
Consultation – Clinical and/or Private Practice Business Start-Up
Sometimes even the most seasoned clinicians want to run things by another professional.
If you are a licensed clinician who wants to have someone to regularly or as-needed discuss some more challenging cases, I’d love to support you if my background and expertise fits your needs.
If you’ve been unhappy in your current position and are thinking about starting a private practice but feel lost of how to go about it, I’d love to support you in this endeavor! Check out my approach to professional consulting to learn more!
Begin Consultation and/or Clinical Supervision in Lakewood, CO
Whether it’s clinical supervision or consultation for a budding practice, I can help! When you’re ready to start working with me, follow these steps:
Other Counseling Services Provided in Colorado
I offer many services through Hot Mess Counseling. I used to see clients in my Denver, CO counseling clinic. Now, I have transitioned to online therapy in Colorado. I love to work with women dealing with different situations in their life. In addition, I work with millennials. In addition, I am trained in EMDR therapy. I also really enjoy working with Hot Mess moms. I can’t wait to meet you!