Helping Professional Counselors Find & Provide Clinical Supervision
It can seem like a long journey from securing a graduate level counseling license to becoming an independent licensed practitioner. Besides obtaining clinical contact hours, a graduate level professional counselor (LGPC) needs to obtain 100 hours of supervision under a clinical supervisor who is approved and certified by the relevant licensing board. At least 50 of these supervision hours must be received from a LCPC, while no more than 50 hours can be received from a non-LCPC supervisor, such as a LCSW-C who has been approved by Maryland Board of Professional Counselors & Therapists (BOPCT).
For licensed graduate professional counselors (LGPCs) in Maryland this means locating a clinical supervisor who: a) is an independent licensed practitioner (LCPC, LCSW-C, or holds another approved license for clinical counseling); b) is a Board-Approved Supervisor with a certificate from the BOPCT; 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 scheduling availability.
In addition to these basic factors, LGPCs also seek 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 an overall good rapport that facilitates 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 Board-Approved Supervisors describe their scope of practice and availability to provide supervision.
With membership in the LCPCM, as an LGPC you can survey the PCSN directory to find a Board-Approved Supervisor who meets your parameters and then make direct contact via phone or email. As an LCPC Board-Approved Supervisor you can use the PCSN and its searchable directory to post your office location, scheduling factors, scope of practice, and fees.
Regardless of involvement in the supervision process, all licensed clinicians 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 and assist with resources to support LGPCs in their journey from graduate school to full licensure. This includes the PCSN and a soon to be released E-book, Becoming a Professional Counselor In Maryland: A Comprehensive Guide to Licensure. By visiting our website, www.LCPCM.org , you can learn more about these and other resources that support the counseling profession for the benefit of the communities we all strive to serve.