Do I have to have supervision if I am pre-licensed in California (or in other states)?

[image: Inline image 2] I have spoken to clinicians (MFTInterns, Associate Clinical Social Workers, LPCC Interns etc.) who believe that supervision is simply there to *allow you to count your hours of experience.* While sometimes it is the case that pre-licensed therapists are working in a spot where supervision is a luxury and not a necessity-* those situations are few and far between*.

I like to use the example of a driver's license. If you wear glasses, you know that upon receiving or renewing your driver's license, an eye exam is performed to determine if you qualify for an unrestricted license. If you aren't able to pass the vision test, you receive a restricted license.

As an MFT Intern, MFT Trainee, Associate Clinical Social Worker, or LPCC Intern you have a restricted license. That means anytime you are doing psychotherapy work you have to work within the confines of that restricted license.

If you get pulled over in a car and are not wearing your glasses or contacts, you are breaking the law. If you something goes wrong and you get in an accident while not wearing glasses- you are open to *more liability. * * * So how does this relate to your restricted (provisional, pre-licensed) status? The restriction places on your license is that you must receive supervision at a specific ratio, and on a specific schedule (at least once a week when you are seeing clients in most cases). While the BBS in California is clear to share if you don't meet those requirements you can't "count hours" *it is also important to know that you in a sense driving without glasses on a restricted license! *

And guess what, if something goes wrong, and there is an accident, *even if it isn't your fault*, you are exposing yourself (and your license) to *more liability! Remember lawyers are taught to look for ways to blame you for what happened. * * * Yikes!

This is not meant to scare you, but to give you some information so you can better protect yourself and your career that you have worked so hard to pursue. You are a professional today, you follow the law, and you need to know the laws so you can better assert your needs.

What can you do today if there is an issue?

- Call your professional organization for consultation and to run through options. - Very politely express your new found knowledge and partner with your employer to find a solution. - Network with other professionals to see how they are managing this issue.

Hope this finds you well!

p.s. Currently I am not taking any new supervision or coaching clients through / You may post questions you would like featured on the blog- but I will not be providng distance support at this time. I am working hard on some cool projects over at http://zynnyme.com to help therapists create the practice they envision. I do have some fun things planned for http://mftguide.com but not until early 2014- so make sure you register for the newsletter so you can keep "in the know."