By: Jane Shersher, LSW and Founder of Counselors Autonomous, a program within Ava Today
Supervision is an awesome experience if you find the right person. It should be nurturing and engaging. I looked forward to my supervision meetings with hope that I will learn about myself as a provider and how to navigate the social work professional waters of the career.
Supervision happens once a week for an hour, and the maximum number of clinical hours that can be counted toward supervision is 40. I think the minimum for part time is 22, but do the research for your state to see if I’m right. You need 3,000 total supervised hours total in order to be able/eligible to sit for your LCSW exam.
If your place of work does not offer you supervision, you have to find it on your own and individual supervision costs on average $100/hour (AKA $100 a week). This can get super expensive quickly and therefore I highly suggest joining a supervision group and splitting the cost between a maximum of 5 people- that way supervision can cost about $35 each week. You can have about 1 telephonic meeting per month I think for supervision purposes.
If you require supervision, Counselors Autonomous organizes supervision groups for $35 each weekly with very strong clinical supervisors, so feel free to reach out if you would like this support.
The nature of your work must be predominantly clinical for it to count toward your supervision hours. You can’t be a teacher or an administrator for your hours to count.
Supervision consists of providing feedback and guidance for portions of your clinical practice that may raise questions or concerns as you work in the field, as well as an opportunity to reflect to see how your own biases and gaps in knowledge can impact the quality and direction of your clinical work. The experience is similar to merging having a private tutor and a therapist in one person for an hour- it’s pretty awesome and I highly recommend it for improving your clinical capacity as a professional.
You can’t just pick anyone for being a supervisor. The professional must have experience and maintain their LCSW, and they need to keep track of your meetings (dates), take notes, and help you to submit a two page document at the end of your work together in order to register for taking the LCSW exam. I often have my supervisors send in their forms to me every 3 months in order to have a hold of my progress- you don’t want to lose all of your supervision by someone going missing after month 12 kind of thing.
Good luck and let us know if you need a supervisor! We can arrange individual support or a group work for you!