Core Components of a 40 Hour Supervisor Training

Texas supervisor training program, speaking, consulting
40 hour supervisor training, consultation
Dr. Kate Walker Ph.D., LPC/LMFT Supervisor and Dr. Christopher Taylor Ph.D., LPC-S

40 hour supervisor training, consultationOn May 19 2018 Dr. Chris Taylor and I traveled to El Paso and delivered a train the trainer course to twenty licensed professional counselors. Why? Because there is a massive shortage of licensed mental health providers in the El Paso and surrounding areas and the domino effect is devastating. Where there are few licensed providers there are few approved supervisors and where there are few approved supervisors there are few interns. Bottom line: we can’t attract new professionals into rural communities unless we establish a pipeline of licensed professionals willing to become approved supervisors.

Thanks to Dr. Paul Carrola, The University of Texas El Paso, and the Paso del Norte Center for Mental and Emotional Well Being we were able to deliver a FREE six hour training to licensed professional counselors interested in providing the 40 hour supervisor training. Using the content from the Kate Walker Training 40 Hour LPC/LMFT supervisor course, we were able to give participants a solid foundation to provide their own 40 hour course. We chose to focus on four key elements:

  1. Become a CE Provider
  2. Create legal/compliant content
  3. Create practical/effective content
  4. Create content that safeguards the public and your license

40 hour supervisor training, consultationBecome a CE Provider

First, fill out the form, write your check to the state, and become a CE provider. As of the date of this published blog, in Texas both LPC and LMFT rules require that you must become an approved CE provider before you can sell seats to your own 40 hour training. LPC rules go on to stipulate that 40 hour teachers must also be approved supervisors and approved 40 hour training providers.

Compliant Content

Next, you must have content that is compliant with the rules for the training you wish to teach. This includes not only checking out LPC and LMFT rules for the content you must include, you must also make sure you cover recent rule changes, trending complaints, and policies the board may have adopted but not published yet. Creating compliant content means as a trainer you must attend board meetings so you will be familiar not only with the rules but with the latest board actions and policies.

40 hour supervisor training, consultationPractical Content

In addition to compliant content, you must deliver practical tools. As a wise man once told me, “I’ve never heard a complaint against someone because they didn’t know their theories.” Most board complaints against supervisors are administrative in nature. The supervisor didn’t keep accurate records; the supervisor wasn’t aware of the number of supervision hours needed each month; or the supervisor didn’t provide enough documentation. When you teach a supervision course you must provide practical tools so new supervisors are successful.

Content that Safeguards the Public

Finally, you must provide content to help new supervisors safeguard the public, their license, and your license. How do you teach a new intern to assess suicidal and homicidal ideation? Assess and report abuse? Stay safe with violent clients or dicey work settings? These are things your participants may KNOW because they are seasoned practitioners. As the instructor you must teach your participants how to ‘teach that skill’ to level 1 interns who may think they already know it all. At Kate Walker Training we devote time to helping our participants go beyond a supervision contract so they are able to confidently teach new interns these skills before they ever start seeing clients.40 hour training, consultation

We need more supervisors! We also know that designing and delivering an effective supervisor training can be hard. If you are interested in becoming a trainer, stay tuned. We’ll have more info coming the end of August.

 

Texas Mental Health Crisis: Intern Supervision and Underserved Areas

Texas supervisor training program, speaking, consulting

Texas We Have a Problem

Here’s the thing. In light of recent events I want to speak to all of the problems Texas has when it comes to providing excellent, accessible, and affordable mental health care. I want to outline solutions, propose law changes, and rally the troops. Texas seems to enjoy competing for 49th or 50th place when it comes to quality mental health care in America and this little blog post probably won’t change that. So, as a counselor supervisor, counselor educator, and practicing clinician, I will talk about what I know. This post is about counselor intern supervision and supervisor training.

For those readers who aren’t familiar with Texas rules governing licensed professional counselors:

  • Every Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Texas must spend 3000 hours as a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern under the supervision of a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPC-S).
  • There are places in Texas where there are no licensed professional counselors or supervisors (see the white areas in the map below).
  • There are strict limits on the number of supervision hours interns can accrue using technology.

Training more supervisors in rural areas and lifting the restrictions on webcam supervision would be easy first steps to helping Texans gain access to quality mental health care.

Texas supervisor training program, speaking, consulting

 

Counselors and Webcams

Increasing allowable intern supervision hours via technology is a no-brainer. The Telemedicine Wellness, Intervention, Triage, and Referral Project at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is pioneering the use of technology to screen junior high and high school students, identify those most at risk for committing violence in schools, and intervene before anything happens. Data are already showing that the screenings have helped avert violent incidents and provide students the help they need. Why can’t interns attend supervision using the same technology? Counseling graduates on the fence about where to practice might choose underserved areas if they did not have to travel long distances to receive face to face supervision. Arguments against using technology in mental health are archaic and have become a roadblock to care.

Counselor Supervision Training

Changing the rules about technology and supervision is only a start. Long story short, we need seasoned counselors and counselor supervisors in underserved areas. One LPC Supervisor Course attended by five participants who agree to take on just two interns can impact hundreds of people in need of quality mental health care. Recently I, along with Dr. Christopher Taylor offered a six hour course to twenty participants in El Paso interested in offering their own 40 hour training. How exciting is that? Twenty seasoned licensed professional counselor supervisors near one of the most underserved areas in the state are now trained and willing to provide their own courses. Their impact alone could be a game-changer for interns who feel called to work in underserved areas.

Texas supervisor training, speaking, consulting

Lifting limits on technology and increasing the number of supervisors won’t solve everything but it’s a start. We still need to give interns the ability to bill Medicaid. We still need to convince the military and Tricare to hire licensed professional counselors. And we need to help Medicare understand that refusing to allow counselors to be credentialed under their plans makes them part of the problem. Texas, we need counselors and supervisors more than ever before. And we need them now.

Edu-Preneur: Create Your Own Supervisor Training Course

Supervisor training, speaking, consultation

“What is holding you back from creating your own 40-hour supervisor training?”

This question was part of the presentation I was giving with Dr. Paul Carrola and Dr. Amy Wilson at the Texas Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Mid-Winter conference. I was speaking to a room of about fifteen people curious about how to pull off a forty-hour supervisor training in their community. The most common barrier? Time. Participants worried about the time they would need to divert from their practices to create content and manage participants. In my article “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Creating a Counselor Supervisor Course,” I described some key components to help potential course designers. After my TACES presentation, however, I realized I need to talk about content, systems, and tools.

Supervisor Training Content

Supervisor training course content is prescribed by state licensing boards, accrediting bodies, and universities. In many states this is spelled out explicitly. The Texas LPC code, for example, defines the topics that must be covered in a supervisor training course. Unfortunately, since most potential supervisor trainers are not professional educators they don’t have easy access to powerpoints and textbooks. In those instances the content must be generated the old fashioned way, outsourced to content developers for a fee, or borrowed from public domain sources.

Participant Management Systems

Potential supervisor training participants will go through three stages: pre-purchasers, participants, and course graduates. Supervisor trainers must be able to manage expectations at each stage. Good participant management systems, organizational systems, and financial systems can help. Pre-purchasers need information about eligibility and law. They need quick responses to email and phone queries.  Most will also need to know your refund policy before they decide to follow through with their purchase. Participants have assignments to complete and deadlines to meet. If your supervisor training course requires online or outside assignments, then you must have a system to keep track of successful completion. Course graduates will need support and access to replacement certificates. Remember graduation from your course doesn’t mean the course graduate is automatically granted supervisor status. There may be a waiting period to gather more experience.  In Texas the course is only good for two years and Texas LPCs only have ninety days to complete it. You must have a system to track and be able to prove when the course graduates officially began and successfully (or unsuccessfully) completed your course.

Practical Tools

Course graduates appreciate helpful tools to help them begin integrating supervision into their private practice. It’s great if you can offer them supervisor toolkits, helpful software ideas, and economical apps. Remember your course graduates are your best source of good reviews and new referrals so help them leave your course feeling fully equipped! Follow up with them through emails and social media and help them stay connected with state organizations and other course graduates.

Content, systems, and tools are just a few things that will really make your supervisor training stand out and benefit your participants. Keep checking this blog for more great ideas!

 

Online Course Field Guide

Online courses tend to be the muddy work boot on the very bottom rung on the ladder of continuing education. Why? Because for an online course (defined for our purposes as a course created in the past, accessible only via the internet, that does not allow interaction by the participant), quality can make or break the learning experience.

Let’s divide them into three categories:

  • Homemade
  • Public domain
  • Hybrid (a little public domain, a little homemade)

 

A strictly homemade course is made up of content synthesized by the author or authors and presented in a creative way. This can be wonderful if you, the participant, are tired of reading old or outdated public domain PDFs (think NIMH pamphlets on Anxiety) and want something that hits a little higher on Piaget’s hierarchy of cognitive development. A homemade course may offer interviews with therapists and doctors who treat patients with anxiety or You Tube videos with fabulous case studies and explanations.

 

Unfortunately, not all homemade course authors are so creative. Material may be poorly written, difficult to navigate, or presented in a way that causes you to miss important material you will see on the exam. The worst? Those same authors may charge you an access fee just to watch/read/listen to their fabulous original material. By the time you decide you don’t like the course, your credit card has already been charged.

 

Public domain-based courses are what most online course authors offer to CE seekers. This is a good thing because course authors cannot charge a fee to access material in the public domain. Also, the material itself is usually very high quality and well written (albeit a bit dry). Because there is no charge, CE seekers can do a bit more shopping to find a course they enjoy in a format that is pleasing. They can even take several courses for fun without having to commit to an exam or purchase a CE certificate.

 

A hybrid course consists of some public domain content, some synthesized homemade content, and a homemade exam. Homemade online exams are only as good as the software. At Kate Walker Training we migrated all our exams to another software provider because of irk-some glitches and interruptions in service. Poor exam software makes exams technically challenging, difficult to access, and nearly impossible to navigate. Not OK.

 

The best online courses will offer free access to excellent public domain AND homemade material, they won’t charge you if you don’t like the material, and they won’t charge you to take the exam. So if you’re going to choose an online course for your continuing education, look for courses that offer:

  1. Free access the course content
  2. Free access to the exam
  3. Support at your fingertips ready to help with any technical glitches

 

For more information and amazing online courses check out Kate Walker Training!

Keep on Growing: Why an Excellent Supervisor Refresher Course Matters

Supervisor Refresher Training Course

Keep on Growing: Why an Excellent Supervisor Refresher Course Matters

 

Email 1 (counselor): Do counselor supervisors need continuing education?

Email 2 (me): Yep

Email 3 (counselor): Will your Supervisor Refresher Course count for supervisor continuing education?

Email 4 (me): Yep

Email 5 (counselor): Do I have to travel to take it?

Email 6 (me): Nope. You can actually attend our live class virtually.

Two email exchanges later and this counselor had signed up for an amazing LPC/LMFT Supervisor Refresher Course for his continuing education.

Most states require continuing education for mental health providers holding the supervisor designation. The problem? Good ones are hard to find. Face to face supervisor refresher courses are held infrequently and usually require travel. Online courses can be sketchy at best, or contain out of date information, errors, and broken links to malfunctioning exams.

An excellent Supervisor Refresher Course will help you:
  • Understand the most recent law changes and professional organizations’ codes of ethics
  • Develop a solid remediation plan for difficult supervisees that will enhance their development and protect your license
  • Implement supervision interventions through a theory driven model
  • Work with any supervisee regardless of his or her level of skill development.
  • Utilize interventions and relationship dynamics to help guide supervisees towards a goal.
  • Engage supervisees in their own learning, career development, and professional identify development.
  • Feel confident and have fun supervising!

At Kate Walker Training we offer our Supervisor Refresher Courses four times each year. Each course is divided into modules:

  • Module 1: Conceptualizing supervision, supervisor roles and responsibilities, supervision methods and techniques including group supervision
  • Module 2: Roles for supervision and standards of practice and organizing the supervision experience/executive and administrative tasks including plan, contract, time for supervision, record keeping, and reporting
  • Module 3: Authorized counseling methods and practice and experience requirements for internship: LPC and LMFT Codes/Ethics side by side
  • Module 4: Standards of practice managing critical incidents in supervision, ethical decision making model, ethical dilemmas and legal Issues
  • Module 5: Multicultural Competencies and Ethics, Evaluation in Supervision


The best part about our Supervision Refresher Courses?

They are packed full of information for non-supervisors too! Our Module 3 Side by Side is one of our most popular courses because we go over the most up-to-date information that all counselors need to know.

Signing up for a refresher course is easy

Step 1 – go to https://katewalkertraining.com/courses/counselor-supervisor-refresher-ceu/

Step 2 – Click the ‘Register’ button

Step 3 – Check the boxes for the modules you’d like to attend.
Whether you are a counselor supervisor or not, if you feel a calling to help even more people and you are ready to become an even greater asset to your profession and your community, then the Supervisor Refresher Course is for you. It’s intended to be fun and engaging but also stimulating and in-depth.

Come immerse yourself and invest in your future, your profession, and your world.