Adult Supervision: What Candidates Should Consider When Choosing a Licensing Supervisor
Pictured above: A therapist holds a notebook and sits listening to a candidate.
As newly minted clinicians, recent graduates pursuing LPC candidacy are tasked with the responsibility of securing a licensing supervisor. Being that candidacy is an important opportunity for professional development, there are many important factors to take into consideration when choosing a supervisor, including:
While in LPC candidacy, clinicians are required to practice under a licensed supervisor and must attend supervision each week they work as a therapist. Though many agencies and employers offer supervision onsite, some may find it to be too much of a conflict of interest if their licensing supervisor also oversees their work productivity. Clinicians may find a supervisor by asking colleagues or employers for recommendations, by searching the supervisor database on the Board of Behavioral Health website, or by searching the membership database on the Oklahoma Counseling Institute site.
When seeking out a supervisor, LPC candidates should keep in mind theoretical orientation, experience, and personality when choosing. For example, a candidate who is wanting to develop skills relating to a cognitive behavioral therapy treatment orientation may not want to choose a supervisor who primarily employs a primarily psychodynamic perspective. At any point in candidacy, a candidate may change their supervisor by completing and submitting a new supervision agreement. Candidates should also have a backup supervisor, with whom they can schedule supervision if their primary supervisor is out of the office. However, if a candidate is on vacation and does not see clients or log indirect hours, they do not need to attend supervision that week.
When choosing a supervisor, it is important to clarify how payment will be made before signing a supervision agreement. Often, LPC candidates are required to compensate their supervisors by paying a weekly fee. In Oklahoma, this fee usually ranges between $75 and $150 per 90 minute supervision. If the licensing supervisor is provided by the clinician’s employer, this fee is often taken from their paycheck until candidacy is complete.
The Supervision Agreement
Before starting LPC candidacy, it is important to have a conversation with one’s supervisor regarding fees, scheduling, and both parties’ expectations for supervision. Often supervisors will outline these expectations in a written contract that will be signed by the candidate prior to beginning candidacy. Candidates should also express to supervisors what they hope to learn from supervision.
Licensing vs Onsite Supervisor
Along with securing an LPC licensing supervisor, LPC candidates must also have an onsite supervisor. Though a LPC candidate’s licensing supervisor must be licensed as an LPC and as an LPC supervisor, the only requirement for the onsite supervisor is to be a licensed behavioral health clinician. For example, one's onsite supervisor may be a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), or a psychologist. In some instances, a candidate’s clinical supervisor and onsite supervisor is the same person. If not, the onsite supervisor must consult with the candidate’s clinical supervisor at least once every 6 months.
Choosing the right supervisor is an important part of candidacy. For more information on thriving as an LPC candidate in Oklahoma, download the free e-book, "Putting the CAN in Candidacy: A Practical Guide for Oklahoma LPC Candidates."