Are you considering becoming a clinical supervisor but don’t know where to start? 

Becoming a clinical supervisor can be a rewarding full-time career or side gig for therapists wanting to share their experience and expertise with others. In this article, you’ll learn 7 steps for how to become a clinical supervisor in psychotherapy. 

Step 1: Determine Eligibility with Regulatory Bodies

Whether you want to provide clinical supervision within your own profession or within another, the first step is to determine the eligibility criteria to become a clinical supervisor. 

Clinical practice is regulated by profession and jurisdiction with each regulatory body having its own rules and regulations for credentialing clinical supervisors. Some regulatory bodies take a more autonomous approach allowing prospective clinical supervisors to self-assess their scope of practice for providing clinical supervisor. Whereas, other regulatory bodies require specific criteria to be met prior to giving a therapist clinical supervisor status. To ensure that you’re in compliance, review your regulatory body’s standards of practice or code of ethics for becoming a clinical supervisor.

Although all regulatory bodies have their own criteria, possible requirements may include holding a specific level of education such as a master’s degree; having up-to-date registration and licensure and be in good standing with their regulatory body; having a certain number of years of experience in clinical practice; having completed a specific number of practice hours; taken a clinical supervision training, passing an examination and/or conducting a self-assessment on one’s skills and scope of practice.

In addition, if you practice with supervisees in another jurisdiction or psychotherapy profession, their regulatory body may have different criteria than your own. Prior to conducting cross-jurisdiction or cross-profession clinical supervision, ensure that you’ve met the criteria for clinical supervisor credentialling for your supervisees’ regulatory body. 

Step 2: Apply for Clinical Supervision Status

If your regulatory body or that of your supervisees has an application process for becoming a clinical supervisor, this is the time apply so that you have clinical supervision privileges when you’re ready to advertise your services. Sometimes the wait for an approval can take weeks or months so applying early can help move the process along. 

When you’re ready to apply: first, ensure that you have all the necessary requirements completed and ready for submission. Once you’re ready, complete the application process. And then the waiting game for approval begins. Note: if you’re required to take a clinical supervision training before applying, complete Step 3 before this step.

Step 3: Take a Clinical Supervision Training

Some regulatory bodies require that prospective supervisors take a clinical supervision training prior to becoming a clinical supervisor, while others do not. Even if you’re not required to take a clinical supervision training, you may benefit from taking one as it may help build your confidence with the supervisory process. There are lots of clinical supervision trainings to choose from online. However, if you’re looking for an affordable yet informative option, PESI offers a clinical supervision training that can help you build your supervisory foundation and learn clinical supervision best practices. To learn more, check out Clinical Supervision Success: A Complete Course for More Effective, Ethical, and Inspiring Supervision.

Step 4: Decide on Your Clinical Supervision Fee and Format(s)

Next, determine your clinical supervision fee and format. Clinical supervision can be provided in either one-to-one, dyadic (two therapists per session), or group format (College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, n.d.). So, deciding on which format(s) work best for you and your supervisees will help you gain clarity about your services. Depending on which format(s) feel right for you, you could offer one or all at the same time.

With respect to fee-setting, unless your regulatory body says otherwise, you can essentially charge whatever price you like – that’s the beauty of providing for-fee services. However, there are some considerations when setting your clinical supervision fee:

  • First and foremost, your fee should be set at a rate that not only covers your direct clinical supervision costs but also other business expenses you incur. For example, if you rent an office space for your practice and you use that space to provide clinical supervision, you can include your rent into the formula for determining your clinical supervision fee.
  • Secondly, your clinical supervision sessions take you away from other areas of your practice so you should be benefiting financially by providing your services where you make a profit.
  • Finally, the clinical supervision format(s) you choose also impact your cost per session. For example, group supervision usually costs less per person, per session than dyadic supervision. And dyadic supervision usually costs less per person, per session than one-to-one. Clinical supervisors typically charge less for group clinical supervision because supervisees pay for your time and your attention and the more supervisees means less individualized attention.

And the best part of providing group clinical supervision is that you can actually make more per session than providing one-to-one sessions.

Think of it this way:

Let’s say you have the capacity to provide 4 hours of supervision per week and you charge $150 per session for one-to-one supervision; $100 per person, per session for dyadic supervision; and $80 per person, per session for group supervision. 

  • If you provide four 1-hour one-to-one sessions, you can make $600 per week.
  • If you provide four 1-hour dyadic sessions, you can make $800 per week.
  • And if you provide four 1-hour group sessions with 5 people in each group, you can make $1600 per week.

In addition, new therapists may have difficulty paying for one-to-one clinical supervision when just starting out due to the higher cost. By providing group clinical supervision, you make clinical supervision more affordable but you won’t sacrifice your time (or income). #winwin

Step 5: Prepare Your Clinical Supervision Paperwork

Just like you would with a therapy client, you’ll need to gain consent from supervisees before conducting clinical supervision. Providing informed consent and signing a clinical supervision agreement can help supervisees understand your role within the clinical supervision process and protect your practice legally. Many clinical supervisors have a legal professional draft their paperwork to ensure that all necessary clauses are covered and that their practice is protected.

Step 7: Determine Your Supervisory Caseload

Next, determine the number of supervisees you can realistically add to your supervisory caseload. Many clinical supervisors provide clinical supervision on a part-time basis and have a finite number of spaces to work with therapists in a supervisory role. With this in mind, based on the number of hours you intend to provide clinical supervision and your clinical supervision format(s), determine how many supervisees you can realistically work with at any given time.

Step 7: Advertise Your Services

Now you’re ready to advertise your services. As a clinical supervisor, you could market your services: on your private practice website; your social media accounts; with regulatory bodies and associations; through webinars or workshops; being a guest on relevant therapist podcasts, like the Designer Practice Podcast; and by building referral relationships.

As you build your supervisory caseload you may notice an increase in word-of-mouth referrals. Although, word-of-mouth referrals are a powerful marketing tool, it isn’t something that you have control over, other than providing informative, ethical and supportive clinical supervision. When supervisees value your work together and they will want to share it with others. But as a new clinical supervisor, building word-of-mouth referrals can take time.

Conclusion

It’s never been a better time to become a clinical supervisor. With these 7 steps how to become a clinical supervisor in psychotherapy, you’ll (finally) move towards your new role. You’ll be supporting other therapists to build their skills, support their clients and grow as practitioners – and best of all, you’ll be making money doing it!

And if you’re searching for an affordable clinical supervision training then PESI’s Clinical Supervision Success: A Complete Course for More Effective, Ethical, and Inspiring Supervision course is a great way to build your confidence and grow your clinical supervision skills.

Want the answers to the most frequently asked questions about becoming a clinical supervisor?

Check out this article, Why Become a Clinical Supervisor.


Disclaimer 1

Any links, referrals or promotional codes listed in this article may be affiliate links where Evaspare Inc. may receive monetary compensation, at no extra cost you, when you click or use links or promotional codes.


Disclaimer 2

Please be advised that this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be professional advice.


References

College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.(n.d.). Standard 4.1 Providing Clinical Supervision. Retrieved from https://www.crpo.ca/standard-4-1-providing-clinical-supervision/

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