My Clinical Supervision Journey: From Supervisee to Supervisor


As an LCSW now for over ten years, I understand that as a newly graduated therapist or social worker, you may leave graduate school with internal conflict. Yes, your passion can fill the rushing spring water of Clear Creek, but your self-doubt can flood canyons. You leave school with only the basic knowledge of how to provide therapy.


And when you are actually face to face with a client for the first time, you wonder what if any theoretical orientation you are using, how can you help this person when you perhaps feel broken yourself, and go through the “what the f@@k am I doing” phase. You also experience the “where did all my money go phase” (just student loan humor, probably too soon, huh?).


My Clinical Supervision Journey

In my supervisor journey, I had some wonderful teachers that understood work/life balance and were able to provide a barrier from the top-down management stressors. These supervisors didn’t push back your supervision meeting every week or show up late or frazzled.

My most helpful supervisors treated me like an individual and could directly provide feedback that was supportive and honest. They used motivational interviewing to put the solution in my hands and not rush in to “fix.” They worked with my strengths and growth areas to build my confidence, so that in turn, confidence in my client’s ability to heal increased.


As I reflect back, several of my clinical supervisors hold a special place in my heart. I hear their words guide me, give me permission to treat myself with grace; they tell me that mistakes are part of the process and help us grow in ways only understood in reflection afterward.


Why I Provide Clinical Supervision

Now, all these years later these memories often spark my passion for providing clinical supervision; they help shape my intention with the various roles a supervisor plays in the development of emerging therapists.


I will admit that my early days of providing supervision look much different than they do after attending hours of supervision accreditation training. I now understand that providing supervision is more than case consultation and the opening session of “what you got for me today?”.



Your Supervision Journey

During clinical supervision, each therapists’ past experiences can surface, not only in sessions with clients but also in the supervisory relationship. Confidence is built with a trusting relationship between the supervisor and supervisee. Our supervisory relationship lasts at least two years, the minimum time it takes to become fully licensed in Colorado.


In those years, your hope is to find someone to explore the many layers involved in the longevity and continued passion for therapy. Supervision should be a comprehensive approach that isn’t rushed or forced to fit one mold when the river wants to wind and search. I am moved by the quote “He who reaches his goal has missed all the rest.” The journey in reaching your goals in supervision is as important as the journey itself. What will your clinical supervision journey look like?


INTERESTED IN CLINICAL SUPERVISION?


If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about our Clinical Supervision and Clinical Consultation services with Catalyss Counseling, including our group and individual options, contact us at 303-578-6318.


We help therapists throughout Colorado further their professional growth and connect with others who are as passionate about this work as you are.


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Author Biography

Kristen Dammer is an LCSW specializing in women's issues and postpartum depression.

Kristen Dammer believes in addressing the whole health needs of you as a person, and her dedication, creativity, and flexibility as a therapist are her greatest strengths. Her holistic approach to anxiety, grief and trauma helps you feel in control and creates a welcoming environment for you to share your vulnerabilities, fears, and experiences. She is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and uses it to treat anxiety and trauma. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.


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