The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Creating a Counselor Supervisor Training Course

I was at the Texas LPC Board meeting for Applications and Supervision Issues Committees Meeting June 15, and it was an interesting day. The cases that disturbed me the most were the ones involving forty-hour supervisor training courses that were not following the rules. Issues included:

·       Supervisor training instructors allowing their continuing education provider status lapse and teaching the course anyway

·       Supervisor training offered to LPCs by non-LPCs

·       Supervisor training courses that did not offer enough ethics CEs to meet the Texas LPC requirements

·       Supervisor courses that were listed on the LPC Board’s list of approved providers who do not currently meet the LPC board requirements

Anyone can make a mistake. Offering a forty-hour training is hard work and there is a lot to keep up with. Mistakes in the 40-hour training arena are compounded, however, because of the number of people involved. When the mistake is discovered, any action by the board will affect several new supervisors, dozens of counseling interns, and who-knows-how-many clients on the interns’ rosters. Anyone creating a supervisor training course must be aware of this domino effect.

I co-created the Kate Walker Training 40-Hour Supervisor Training course alongside my mentor Dr. Judy DeTrude in 2007 (when we were achievebalance.org). I had NO idea what I was doing and without her knowledge and guidance the course would have fizzled early on. Now in 2017 we are about to begin Cohort 30 and our curriculum is stronger than ever.

When people ask me how to create their own 40 hour training course, here is what I tell them:

1.     Don’t do it alone. Working with a co-creator, involving other LPC instructors, having colleagues I can consult with at any time means that although my name is on the certificate, I am not making decisions in a vacuum.

2.     Read the rules. A lot. I know this sounds obvious, but you are creating a train-the-trainer course so you must know the rules better than anyone who will be taking your course. This means going to disciplinary hearings as well.

3.     Develop an adult-learning-model teaching style. No one wants death by PowerPoint. If you have never taught or managed grown-ups before then get some practice. Offer to teach some local community college courses or substitute teach at a local high school,

4.     Assess, assess, assess. The only way you will know if you are teaching what you think you are teaching is to ask your participants if they understand. The KWT Training Course instructors conduct an assessment after each learning module so we know if we are teaching the material effectively.

5.     Have fun! A forty-hour training can be pretty intense. Break it up, show You Tube Videos, do group work, and play with marshmallows and spaghetti. The people who take this course are your colleagues and friends. Welcome them to the supervisor community!

There is a good, bad, and ugly side of creating and delivering an effective counselor supervisor training course. If you would like more information about starting your own course, give us a call. We’d love to help you out!

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