So you’ve been promoted to Clinical Supervisor. You received some training and passed the certification test. You've been a counselor/therapist for years. However, you've never held a Clinical Supervision meeting. So now what? How do you conduct these meetings? How often should you meet with your counselors for supervision?
Depending on how many counselors you supervise and the number of direct client contact hours your counselors average, you may want to meet for a couple hours each week or twice monthly. In Wisconsin, I believe that the standard is, for every 40 client contact hours, you should have one hour of clinical supervision.
During these meetings, ask each therapist to present you with the client’s file while updating the team on each client’s progress. As your counselors present their new and active cases, ask them whether their clients are meeting their goals. Help your therapists evaluate their patient’s progress and revise treatment plans if they aren’t progressing adequately. To do this, I use my own Clinical Supervision Record containing a handy checklist. It ensures that I address the following critical areas as it pertains to each case presented:
___ Primary reason(s) for seeking treatment
___ Brief overview of bio-psycho-social history/demographics
___ Assessment results (for new clients, unless active clients undergo
psychological/psychiatric evaluations later in the course of treatment)
___ Substance abuse concerns
___ Clinical mental health concerns
___ Crises, including suicidal ideation/threats
___ Attendance issues
___ Urinalysis/Blood Analysis results
___ Suggested behavioral interventions/additional resources/referrals (in cases with unmet
___ Documents needing attention
___ Discussion of client’s change/lack thereof in target behavior(s)
___ Changes in treatment plans indicated by:
___ Achievement of a goal
___ Failure to make progress toward a goal
___ Evidence that a goal is inappropriate/unreasonable
If you are interested in templates or checklists to help you organize and manage your time in your role as Clinical Supervisor at your organization, feel free to email me at AdvantEdgeGB@yahoo.com. I have taught over 16 different courses over the past six years and served as a Clinical Supervisor in three agencies the past three years. I’d love to share my experience with you. To those of you who are experienced Clinical Supervisors, please share your comments and any tools new supervisors might find useful.
Barbara Jordan is a counselor, counselor educator, author, trainer, and leadership coach. For more information go to www.AdvantEdgeSuccessCoaching.com.