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.

 

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!

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

Supervisor training consulting speaking
Interesting Day at the LPC Board Meeting

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

The Domino Effect

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.

Speaking to Future Supervisor Trainers

When I am speaking at events or consulting one-on-one with mental health professional, I find most want to know how to grow in their career and give back to their community. Many want to know 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 or LMFT 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!

Online Courses Are Great, Right?

 

The scene:

You are having lunch with a counselor supervisor friend and she casually mentions, “Whew! I finally got my six hours of supervisor continuing education finished! Good thing too because my license renews this month.”

You feel a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach because you too, are renewing your license this month, and you completely forgot that you need six hours of supervisor-specific continuing education each renewal cycle. You finish the lunch and rush back to your office and enter search terms into Google like, “Fast LPC Supervisor CE,” and “Online LPC Supervisor Continuing Education.” The same courses come up again and again. One charges to access the material. Another takes precious minutes to load the exam and you notice several mistakes. Still another wants to charge you before you even pass the exam.

You absolutely HATE online courses but you bite the bullet and pay your money anyway, vowing that next time, you will get your CEs in person.

Has this ever happened to you?

As a rule, online courses tend to be the very bottom of the rung of the ladder of continuing education. Homemade courses may be poorly written and authors may charge you an access fee. Homemade online exams can be technically challenging, difficult to access, poorly written, and impossible to navigate. Worst case you are charged for a certificate that may take you a week to receive or download because customer service was either unavailable or no help.

You want your course material to be challenging, not your online course experience!

 

The best online courses will offer free access to excellent material and not charge you if you don’t pass their exam. At Kate Walker Training we will never charge you to read our course content or take our exams. You only pay when you decide you want to purchase the corresponding certificate. If we can verify that you passed with 80% or higher, then we will send you a certificate documenting your continuing education.

So, the next time you find yourself staring at a CE deadline and you decide that online is the way to go, we hope you choose Kate Walker Training. If you don’t, just remember to choose a course that offers:

 

1.     Free access the course content

 

2.     Free access to the exam

 

3.     Support at your fingertips ready to help with any technical glitches