It can seem like a long journey from securing a graduate level counseling license (LGPC or LGSW) to becoming an independent licensed practitioner (LCPC or LCSW-C). Besides obtaining clinical contact hours, a graduate level practitioner needs to obtain 100 hours of supervision under a clinical supervisor who is approved and certified by the relevant licensing board.
For licensed graduate professional counselors (LGPCs) in Maryland this means locating a clinical supervisor who: a) has an LCPC license; b) is an approved clinical supervisor (ACS) with a certificate from the Board of Professional Counselors & Therapists; c) has a scope of clinical practice congruent with the LGPC’s client population; d) is available for face-to-face supervision (on site, off site, or via video call); and, e) offers mutually agreeable fees and financial arrangements.
In addition to these basic factors, LGPCs also hope to benefit from finding a clinical supervisor with whom they can form and develop an effective alliance based on therapeutic orientation, clinical experience, teaching/mentoring style and overall good chemistry to facilitate trust and professional growth.
As with any search or “shopping” process, finding the right match can be aided by knowing the range of options before making a selection, whether that be finding the right pair of shoes, a new car or home, a professional trainer, or a clinical supervisor.
The Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors of Maryland (LCPCM) offers a membership benefit, the Professional Counselor Supervision Network (PCSN), to help LGPCs find the clinical supervisor who best fits their needs. It also helps LCPCs who are approved clinical supervisors (ACS) describe their scope of practice and availability to provide supervision.
With membership in the LCPCM, as an LCPC Approved Clinical Supervisor you can use the PCSN and its searchable directory to post your office location, scheduling factors, scope of practice, and fees. If you are an LGPC you can survey the PCSN directory to find an Approved Clinical Supervisor who meets your parameters and then make direct contact via phone or email.
Even if you are not an LGPC or LCPC, you can help cultivate the overall quality of counseling services in Maryland by making LGPCs aware of resources such as the PCSN to aid their professional growth towards full licensure. I serve on the LCPCM Board of Directors, as a Member-at-large, and assist with administration of the PCSN. The LCPCM welcomes feedback and suggestions regarding the PCSN directory and other ways to enhance the counseling profession for the benefit of the communities we all strive to serve.