For Licensure Associates
Though I do not believe a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders."
- Henry David Thoreau
I have provided consultation and clinical supervision for
many years. I am an approved supervisor in the state of Washington and
meet the qualifications specified in WAC 246-809-234. Please contact
me at 206-352-0363 to learn more about my services or to schedule an
appointment. If you are interested in becoming an approved supervisor,
click the training link on the left to learn about my next supervision training. |
General Information for Licensure AssociatesIn Washington state, you must be directly supervised by an approved supervisor to become a licensed mental health counselor, social worker or marriage and family therapist. The Department of Health requires that the approved supervisor is the one who actually provides the service, and they audit a certain percentage of approved supervisors to make sure that they meet the requirements. If your supervisor is not approved, your clinical hours will NOT count unless you began working with the supervisor prior to September 29, 2006, the date the WAC went into effect. If you work in an agency, hospital or other institution, be sure to check that the person who is providing your clinical supervision is actually an approved supervisor. Be cautious if your supervisor is not familiar with this, or claims that their supervisor is approved and will sign off on your hours.
You must complete thirty-six hours of continuing education (CE) credits before submitting your licensure packet to the Department of Health in Washington state. The 36 hours must include 6 hours of continuing education in law and ethics. It is best to start accumulating these CE hours early rather than waiting to the last minute. You have worked hard to get this far. You do not want to postpone getting licensed simply because you don't have the requisite CE's. Check my training page to see my current CE offerings.
Finding a Clinical SupervisorIf you do not work in an agency, you are free to choose your own clinical supervisor. You can obtain lists of approved supervisors from the Washington Mental Health Counselors Association, the Washington Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, the Washington State Society for Clinical Social Workers, or NASW-WA. Look for an approved supervisor who will be supportive of your professional development, and interview carefully, since you may be meeting with them for several years. You want a supervisor who takes the responsibility of your training seriously and is available when needed, even after hours. They should be familiar with the ethics code of your profession, even if their professional training and license is different than yours. Remember, being a good supervisor is more than just being a good clinician.
I sometimes get calls from associates who are inquiring how their supervisor can become approved. As a supervisee, you have the right to a supervisor who already knows this information. It is the clinical supervisor's job to stay abreast of changes in the practice environment in the state of Washington. They should know the requirements to be an approved supervisor and already meet those requirements. They should be able to explain their philosophy of supervision, and be familiar with the attestation form that they will need to sign. A prospective supervisor should know about the code of ethics for clinical supervisors and have a contract and supervision agreement for you. A lack of familiarity with these topics suggests that they are not as prepared as one might hope. Remember, you want someone you can learn from, not someone you need to teach.