LCPC Supervision in Chicago

Getting the Most from Supervision

Clinical Supervision is provided to professionals working towards obtaining their LCPC, and to other professional therapists seeking supervision and support in their clinical practices.

Appointments can be scheduled by contacting Aaron directly.
888-726-7170 ext 556

Supervision is essential to ensure high standards of professional practice. Ongoing supervision helps practitioners to monitor and review the quality of their work as well as their client’s progress.

Counseling supervision is especially important for trainees. Counseling skills can appear deceptively simple to learn with few technical details or technical language. Supervision has a special role in helping trainees move beyond basic forms of counseling skills to develop a more sophisticated and sensitive form of counseling expertise. Equally, counseling placements need careful management and structured support. The trainee experience should be encouraging and empowering rather than negatively demanding. Supervision provides a solid base to help trainees make sense of their learning experiences and to facilitate their professionalism.

My Goals as a Supervisor are:

1. To help supervisees have a better (more integrated) sense of the therapeutic process.

Therapeutic process is common to all different forms of counseling and therapy. It concerns the therapist’s capacity to be self-aware; of thoughts and feelings, of possibilities and limitations in psychological counseling, and of personal and professional boundaries. It takes place in the interchange between therapist and client and is manifested in the style, pacing and art of therapy. The clinical gaze thus turns inwards during process considerations. Brems (1999) offers a useful framework for understanding process in psychotherapy and counseling. He argues it is best thought of as three separate but intervening circular processes:

  1. processing the relationship
  2. processing treatment challenges
  3. understanding phases of change

2. To help supervisees develop principles of best professional practice.

Good professional practice is founded on a sound understanding of ethical principles. In turn this means therapists fine tuning their awareness of process considerations and their decision making in the course of negotiating therapeutic change.

Carl Rogers “core conditions” are concerned with the ethics of good counseling practice as much as they are with therapeutic methods. Rogers (1961) reframes the nature of psychotherapeutic work from the question of how to treat the client to how to establish a relationship with the client. His emphasis is on experiential aspects of therapy rather than technical procedures. As he explains:

“Self-awareness, a recognition of process, an understanding of developmental needs and stages, and the emphatic attunement to the clients reality and phenomenology of the self are crucial aspects of the therapy and carry their tremendous responsibility and opportunity.” (Rogers 1961:235)

Good practice also means maximizing counselor’s effectiveness. By making the counselors thinking explicit it becomes open to revision. That is, it functions as a form of learning through feedback, allowing the counselor to learn from mistakes and to consolidate progress. Supervision also focuses, therefore, on the intentions and impact of therapeutic work and the general management of casework.

3. To help supervisees develop professional confidence and an enhanced ability to act autonomously in their working context.

Effective supervision also includes the need to understand the working context of therapy, not just the clients presenting problem. In my experience, practitioners need support to help cope with their practice setting as much as they do with client issues.

4. To help supervisees explore alternative means of understanding and intervening with particular client issues.

Supervision can also help the counselor to develop in-depth understanding of the client and facilitate appropriate goal setting. Counselors may also acquire new skills and knowledge to improve their functioning through goal directed work.  I find that having specific goals to work towards can help counselors work more effectively and efficiently as well as facilitating commitment.

It is also a common experience among practitioners that they occasionally become “stuck” with a particular client problem (i.e. there is no evident progress and the client appears to disengage). Counselors too, may even privately feel the same way. Client resistance or reluctance may stem from clients need for self-protection but often leads to therapeutic breakthroughs. Successful processing of being stuck relies, though, on the counselor’s continued acceptance of the client and communication that the therapeutic environment is a safe place to allow such explorations. Supervision can play an especially important role in helping practitioners to address moments of “stuckness”. Good supervision can help the practitioner reframe the problem and reaffirm the basis of their therapeutic alliance.

5. To help supervisees explore past and present experiences of therapeutic work and to find ways to develop their own unique therapeutic style.

I utilize an integrative approach – utilizing a variety of approaches which best meet the needs of each individual and clinical issue. It is my belief that the supervisory process is one in which both parties are actively involved in a helpful relationship. I have a strong belief in cognitive approaches using the power of self-talk, which promotes journaling and affirmations. Also there is a touch of psychodynamic in me that applies teaching tales and metaphors to address symbolic issues, which can be seen as a form of narrative therapy. I take bits from Carl Rodgers, Milton Erickson, Virginia Satir, Albert Ellis and Alfred Adler.

I try to avoid imposing my own style but encourage supervisees to discover their own. I am  interested in helping supervisees recognize and develop their own unique style. Supervision can facilitate the reflective process by which therapists assess their own standpoint and their style of practice.

2003 – Master of Arts – Clinical Professional Psychology; Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois
2003 – Advanced Certificate in Stress Management; Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois
1999 – Bachelor of Arts – Psychology; State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York
1999 – Bachelor of Arts – Sociology; State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York

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