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 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!

Practice My Way

The title of this blog is inspired by the Jack Nicklaus classic “Golf My Way,” but that’s where the similarities end. As I’ve talked about in other blogs, running a mental health practice is not the same as developing muscle memory for a golf swing, increasing endurance for a triathlon, or any other sports-related skill for a sports-related activity. If it was, I’d be advising you to, “Get in the game before you’re ready!” and, “Get injured!”
Because in business you must:
1. Recognize mistakes are inevitable and stop being afraid of them.
2. Mitigate the fear of making a mistake by maintaining an emergency fund and/or paycheck-based day job, supportive partner income, or line of credit so those mistakes don’t take your business down.
3. Persist. Never quit. Don’t give up.

Like most of you I started my practice as a solo practitioner. Within five years I added a continuing education component (The 40 Hour Supervisor Training), a non-profit (Ann’s Place), and I had several therapists working with me and from whom I took a percentage of their profits (fee-splitting).
I made a LOT of money.
Unfortunately, taking a percentage of another therapist’s income, while one of the most profitable components of my practice, was also unethical.
When I recognized that fee-splitting was not the proper way to make money in private practice I dropped that component like D’Onta Foreman dropped the ball against Texas Tech in 2016 (see what I did there?).
That was a HUGE blow to my income (I talk about this more in the DVD “My Favorite Mistakes”).
If I hadn’t had an emergency fund I don’t think I would have survived and thrived.
Now, after ten years in practice, I am on the constant hunt for systems, software, gadgets, and hacks to streamline my practice, save time and money, and increase profit and life balance.

Now that I think about it, I do have a favorite sports metaphor. My dearly departed dad was kind of a super hero to me and he kept a sign above the family weight room (another story for another blog) that said, ‘No Pain – No Gain.’ In business if you aren’t willing to accept that there will be some pain (making mistakes, losing money, wasting time) you will never get to experience the gain. At Kate Walker Training we want to help you achieve your highest potential! If you would like free weekly tips, tricks, hacks, cheap resource ideas, and systems to make your that journey MUCH easier, sign up for our newsletter below!


New Leader Great Leader

Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward. – Victor Kiam

I’m writing from Austin at the Summer Leadership Training Institute for the Texas Counseling Association. The atmosphere is amazing and the rooms are full of new and seasoned leaders in the counseling field. Being here reminds me that getting your feet wet in leadership can feel a lot like trying yoga for the first time. We all know exercise is important to a healthy body but when we think about putting on yoga pants in order to contort in a crowded hot room, it’s tempting to just forget it and wear them to the grocery store instead.

As painful as the thought may be, leadership is an important part of personal growth, career development, family guidance, and civic duty. I asked a young woman at my table from San Angelo what it was like for her to be a newly elected leader. She replied that she was excited to get started and happy that her fear of making mistakes didn’t hold her back. After I complimented her on her decision to ‘lean in’ and embrace her new role, I decided to observe other leaders in the room to discover other characteristics that make a great leader.

  1. Don’t let your fear of making mistakes hold you back. Mistakes are part of the learning process. As my friend at the table noted, once you make them, you realize they weren’t as bad as you thought.
  2. Great leaders change how people feel by being useful, entertaining, and inspiring. Each person I met at this conference changed me in some way. The combination of passion and knowledge was contagious.
  3. Your organization helps its clients/employees/members be better versions of themselves every day, so leaders should do that also. A good leader builds trust and connects members.
  4. A good leader is an extension of the organization. He/she helps people understand more about who we are and what our organization stands for.

Do something that scares you today – go lead!