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From Supervisee to Supervisor…the journey!
By: Tia M. Dale, LPC
As a beginning counselor, I remember feeling scared, overwhelmed and all alone. I had so many questions; everything was new uncharted territory. That all changed, but not until I began supervision through The Mentoring Institute, became involved with my state organization, MCA, and began to build a support network. It was an amazing transformation. I became more confident, tried new skills that I was afraid to try before, asked a lot of questions and really began to “settle in” during the two years of my limited license.
During those two years I remember thinking:
How do they (my supervisors) know so much?
Where did they learn that?
How will I ever learn all that I need to know to be successful?
Then as time passed I found myself again transforming…I began answering more questions of other group members, taking risks to challenge colleagues and offering alternative ways of looking at situations. I could really tell I was growing and began thinking about my own potential to be a supervisor someday.
Now that I am finished with supervision and fully licensed, I really feel the drive to pass on that knowledge, support and positive experience to others. It was with this in mind that I sought out a Supervision Training program and since I had such a positive experience with the Mentoring Institute as a supervisee, I began my search with them. I was delighted to find out that they had recently received their National Credential and would be offering Supervision Training. I immediately signed up!
Shortly after that, I received a packet of materials that I was to study before I attended my first day of official training. In the packet, was a short video explaining the laws surrounding supervision, including the recent changes to the process, a sheet outlining the process for obtaining the National Credential and a textbook containing various activities that I was to complete before, during and after the face to face training.
Then the training day arrived! The training was attended by several people and the day was spent processing what our supervisory style is, watching videos about various supervision dilemmas, discussing how we would handle certain aspects of supervision, role playing, dissecting the ethical code, reviewing licensure requirements and answering questions of all varieties. It was an amazing opportunity to stretch my professional skills from practitioner to guide and mentor.
While the new licensing requirement for supervision only requires that the person can prove that they have been trained in the act of supervision, I wanted more than that. I (actually the whole group) was then asked to come back to one of the Mentoring Institute’s supervision groups and serve as the Guest Supervisor for the day.
I spent hours preparing for my big day. I was nervous – but the day went smoothly and I had the opportunity to feel what it would really be like to lead professional discussions and to facilitate learning. It gave me the chance to decide how I would structure the day, what activities would I do to keep everyone involved, how would I keep the group focused and really to plan for all the possible scenarios that could happen in a four hour period. At the end of the day I was given feedback by the entire group (as well as the “real” Supervisors) about ways I could improve and things that I did well.
Now that I have completed the training, I’m still nervous just because I haven’t had my own supervisee, but I feel adequately prepared and ready to tackle the challenges that supervising will bring. One of the things I learned early on was that with a network of support I cannot go wrong. I am never afraid to call on other trusted professionals to help guide me in my decisions and that will be one practice I continue as I begin this new journey of being a Counseling Supervisor. I hope all of you who want to become a Supervisor have the same wonderful experience that I have had. I believe it has helped shape the type of services I will provide to those I mentor. Good Luck to all of you!