How to Choose a Good Clinical Supervisor

Choosing a supervisor can be difficult. There are many supervisors
available in the New York/New Jersey area with a wide range of skills
and experience.

Here are some questions to ask as you search for a good clinical

  • How many years have you been supervising?
    Although you may find a good supervisor who has little  
    experience, a supervisor with a minimum of 4 years
    supervisory experience will probably be able to serve you
  • How many years have you been practicing
    psychotherapy since you received your license?
    A supervisor with less than 7 years seeing patients/clients will
    have fewer skills and less experience to draw on in
  • What level supervisee do you supervise?
    Try to find a supervisor who has supervised more                    
    experienced clinicians, not just beginners.
  • What kind of post-graduate training do you have?
    Post graduate training provides additional skills to
    supervisors. Supervisors who seek out professional training
    beyond required CEU’s also show a commitment to the field.
    Find out if the supervisor has post-graduate training working
    with more than individuals. A well rounded  supervisor should
    have post-graduate training in couples, familes, and groups.  
    If they do not, you are selling yourself short!
  • Do you continue to receive training/supervision?
    Supervision/training should be a life-long quest for anyone
    doing psychotherapy.  (I have been practicing psychotherapy
    for 23 years and supervising for 20 years and continue to
    receive training on a weekly basis.)

Here are some other issues to address:
  • Do they have approval from the state board of
    Approved supervisors will be able to provide you a letter
    stating that they are approved by the state.  A “graduate” of
    SIFI is not qualified to  provide supervision to anyone except
    graduate school interns.

    Just because someone is approved by the state does not
    mean that they are a competent supervisor. It only means that
    they have a certain number of years experience and have
    completed a 30 hour course.

    You will need to provide the supervisor with a copy of your
    license*  If you are seeking off-site clinical supervision you
    must have a letter from your employer giving you permission
    to have supervision with the off-site supervisor.

  • Supervisors must provide supervisees with a copy of their
    license. After supervision begins, supervisors must provide
    supervisees with a written evaluation every 3 months until the
    appropriate number of clinical hours have been accrued.  
    This differs for social workers, counselors, and marriage and
    family therapists who are not yet LMFT’s.

*If you are an LCSW, LMFT or LPC, supervision is voluntary and
you do not have to document anything regarding supervision.
Tips on Choosing a Good Clinical Supervisor