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Support for your Practice
Getting Started in Private Practice
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Support for your Practice

Support for your Practice

Author: Rob Eubanks

Recognize benefits of supervision

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More fun learning how to build your private practice. This lesson will address the need for, and benefits of, having a counseling supervisor and/or peer consultation group. We will specifically cover the following-- counseling supervision and peer consultation in private practice, counseling supervision benefits, how to find a counseling supervisor, peer consultation and its benefits, how to find a peer consultation group.

Counseling supervision and peer consultation helps prevent errors, increases insight and decision-making abilities, and helps to confirm or challenge what the counselor is already thinking. All of these are very good things.

Supervision can be defined as oversight of one's work by another person, ideally a more skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable individual in the same profession. So for beginning counselors, supervision is required, and for seasoned counselors, it's recommended. Ethical guidelines exist to guide the process of supervision. Here is the ACA Code of Ethics and the ACES Standards for Counseling Supervisors websites. Right here you can see them, and they're both hyperlinked. You can click on them as well.

No counselor is expected to be an expert in all client problems. Either license-imposed or elected supervision can help make a counselor better at his or her job through education and insight. Supervision is critical for client care as well. So what I mean by this is that supervision helps guide the counselor to provide best practices for the client. Supervision can also be a safeguard against counselor malpractice because it provides feedback in difficult situations and supports ethical decision-making.

Limited or provisionally licensed individuals must have supervision in order to practice in most states, and independently licensed individuals can elect to attend supervision. Now, remember, the cost of supervision is tax deductible as a business-related expense. Counseling supervision can occur as individual or group sessions.

So ready to find a supervisor? You can search Psychology Today, find a therapist, to look for a supervisor by ZIP code. Here's a link for that. You can also approach a specialty association and ask for a list of supervisors or ask local counselors for a recommendation. Another source is the ACES national or local website to search for a supervisor.

Peer consultation can be defined as an advice-seeking meeting between two or more professionals. Peer consultation with other counselors about client cases is helpful for case conceptualization, clinical ideas, and plans of action as well as ethical decision-making. Peer consultation with other counselors is also helpful for developing relationships and friendships in the counseling field.

It may also be a less expensive option compared to counseling supervision for independent counselors. Now, limited or provisionally licensed counselors can elect to participate in peer consultation, but are still required to complete a minimum number of hours of counseling supervision. Peer consultation can also increase clientele for counselors who are developing an expertise, as counselors without the expertise will have a referral source. So for example, I'm one of only a few male relationship counselors in my area, and this has led to many referrals by my peers. A peer consultation group doesn't have to be a conventional type of group. It can be created online, over the phone, or in person, allowing those involved a large degree of flexibility.

So the best way to find a peer consultation group is to simply create one and invite other counselors to attend. One way of finding peers for consultation is to attend local trainings and events. Another way to find peers for consultation is to become active in the local, state, and national ACA and/or its divisions in order to meet like-minded peers.

So here's what we covered in this lesson-- counseling supervision and peer consultation in private practice, counseling supervision benefits, how to find a counselor supervisor, peer consultation and its benefits, how to find a peer consultation group.


(00:00-:0054) Introduction

(00:55-01:34) Counseling supervision and peer consultation in private practice

(01:35-02:36) Counseling Supervision Benefits

(02:37-03:08) How to find a counseling supervisor

(03:09-04:34) Peer Consultation & its Benefits

(04:35-05:00) How to find a peer consultation group

(05:01-05:27) Summary