“God, please guide me with supervision, or, rather, the direction to become a licensed social worker. Give me the strength and guidance to deal with the red tape and bullshit to prevail to do your work.”
I am sure this is one of many prayers I penned during the race to obtain my clinical supervisions hours. When I first learned of the requirement of 120 hours of supervision, I freaked the!@#$% out. No one ever told me what to expect from a clinical supervisor (like paying $100 per every three hours, and this was a friend with a discount rate!). I am not trying to get rich off the backs of students. Isn’t paying back our student loans enough!@#$ %? I made a personal pledge for each year it took me to get licensed I would give that year back by offering supervision at the minimum wage per supervision hour. Also, no one told me the supervisors would be all wonderful white women from varied disciplinary backgrounds. I did not pick them based on skin tone or gender- that was just how things worked out. Though I will say, walking into supervision blind I got to discover it for myself and set my own rules.
More universities must offer more electives and educational labs on professional careers after college. Until they do, I will give you some real life advice. Interview your clinical supervisor. You’ll want a clinical supervisor who doesn’t flinch, judge, or shy away from helping you develop skills to deal with issues of race, sexual orientation, or transference. I find the best way to start a clinical supervision relationship is by asking the following questions:
- What are your credentials? If s/he says s/he is licensed, verify it and request an updated resume.
- What is your academic and professional background?
- What can I expect from supervision under you, and what therapeutic skills will you teach me? This should be discussed and spelled out in a written contract of supervision.
- Do you consider your supervision style to be that of a teacher, consultant, counselor, or evaluator?
- How will you monitor my client’s welfare?
What questions do you ask?