If you are a LPC Supervisor Taking on a New LPC Associate then you are in the right place. Do you know the new rules? Can you provide all the necessary resources? Of course you can; and I'm going to help. Read more to find out what you need to know to be a successful clinical supervisor.
Texas LPC Supervisors taking on a new LPC Associate, you are one of a kind.
Not only did you complete a master’s degree, an internship, and become fully licensed, you BLEW through the date that most of us quit this profession and took it to a whole new level. You decided to be a mentor for someone in the beginning stages if their career.
And you know this profession is not all “Kumbaya” and hugs.
There are devastating losses and terrifying decisions mixed in with the beautiful successes and unconditional positive regard. Yet here you are, about to start mentoring a newbie.
What are the new LPC Associate rules?
Here's what you need to know:
- Your LPC Associate cannot be independent
- They CAN be self-employed
- The IRS and TWC have the final word on how you classify your own LPC Associates that you also hire.
First, let’s define independent.
Why start here? Funny story. This little bombshell word lives in our counseling vocabulary and we didn't even realize it did not have an ‘official’ definition until 2022. I’m talking about TSBEPC (LPC Board) definitions (rule 681.2) which include everything from Art Therapy to an Indirect Hour.
When the fight over whether to allow LPC Associates to be self-employed came to a head in 2021, this omission became glaringly obvious. Why couldn't associates take money from clients? Because it might appear they are in independent practice. Why can’t interns list their name without their supervisors’ name in the same type size and font? Because it might appear as if they are an independent practitioner.
Can LPC Associates have a private practice in Texas?
Drum roll please….Yes they can!
The change finally came out in February 2022. According to the BHEC and LPC board meetings, independent practice is defined as counseling without a supervisor. Since supervisees MUST practice under the supervision of a clinical supervisor it goes without saying (or maybe I’m saying it here), LPC Associates cannot practice independently.
They are, however, permitted to operate their own practice as self-employed Texans.
What does this mean for LPC Supervisors?
LPC Associates are able to take cash from clients and put it directly in their bank account.
No more ‘client pays LPC Associate, LPC Associate pays owner, owner takes deductions for running the office, owner pays LPC Associate, then LPC Associate turns around and pays owner again for supervision.’ Well, I guess a LPC Associate can still agree to that if they don’t recognize the inherent financial three-ring circus that causes, but in 2022 they officially, do not have to.
LPC Associates are able to hang a shingle and have their own practice as one of their sites if the supervisor allows.
In 2017 the number of sites a LPC Associate could have became the LPC Supervisor’s decision. If your supervisor said you could only have two sites, then you were limited to two. If they said you could have twenty sites, then knock yourself out.
Bottom line, the LPC Supervisor will continue to have the final say on LPC Associate sites. To make that abundantly clear, clinical supervisors should add a section about type and number of sites in their clinical supervision contract that both they and their supervisees sign before commencing supervision.
Hiring is still the realm of the IRS and Texas Workforce Commission.
Yes LPC (and LMFT) Supervisors, the TWC still views hiring your supervisee as hiring someone you directly supervise and that meets w-2 criteria, not 1099 criteria. See the IRS website for more details.
Kudos to you if you hire your supervisees! Just remember according to the board rules, clinical supervisors must remediate before they terminate (unless the supervisee did something egregious). An administrative supervisor uses a progressive discipline plan. You must know the difference between a remediation plan and a progressive discipline plan.
We need you LPC Supervisors!
In addition to the supervision topics specified in the board rules, an excellent LPC Supervisor training will teach the following:
- LPC Associates cannot be independent
- They CAN be self-employed
- LPC Supervisors must check existing federal law if they plan to hire their own. This is a niche for excellent LPC Supervisors advertising their services.
- Quick resources (books, assessments, plans) for new associates so they can hit the ground running
- The OER Triad – Orientation, Evaluation, Remediation
Texas NEEDS mental health providers and LPC Associates are willing to hang a shingle and fill the gap! Will these new professionals see past the disillusionment and through the losses and heartache? Will they arrive at the place where they can be successful business owners?
Go do great things and become a LPC Supervisor in Texas! Mentor these ambitions supervisees into amazing mental health practitioners and do your part to fill the gaps in access to affordable mental health services in underserved and rural Texas.
Blog post by Kate Walker Ph.D., LPC/LMFT Supervisor
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