Bowden McElroy and Associates, LLC
Need an Oklahoma LPC Supervisor? You’ve worked hard through grad school and now you have a firm grip on your diploma and are thinking “I’ve made it. I’m ready to go out and help others as a professional counselor”. Nope. Not yet. Grad school was simply your entry ticket to the profession. Now the real work begins.
Experience and observation tell me there are two types of LPC Supervisors in Oklahoma: those who do just enough to satisfy the Oklahoma Board of Behavioral Health Licensure (BBHL) and those who work hard to help you become the kind of therapist you want to be. I’m the latter.
I view supervision as a developmental process. The process moves from highly structured to less structured, from formal to informal. My goal is that by the end of supervision we will have moved from teacher-student to colleagues.
Why choose me as your Oklahoma LPC Supervisor?
I’ve been in the field since 1983. (That’s over 34 years of experience.) I’ve worked in a variety of settings: community mental health, inpatient, day-treatment/partial hospitalization, church-based, and private practice. In 3 ½ decades, there isn’t much I haven’t seen. Additionally, I have been an adjunct professor who has taught counseling techniques, ethics, and supervision classes at the graduate level.
I don’t try to make a living off of being an Oklahoma LPC supervisor. I charge half of my therapy rate for an individual 90 minute supervision session. (Group supervision cost half of that.) Supervision with me will cost you $60 per week (assuming you are working full time and need the full 90 minutes and that you only do individual supervision).
Why pay for an outside supervisor?
Many agencies will provide in-house supervision that won’t cost you anything. They will tout this as a perk of working for them. It can be. It can also be a trap. Every supervisee I’ve had over the last decade has one thing in common: at some point their employer asked them to do something questionable if not unethical.
Sometimes supervisees were asked to do something in the murky grey area of ethics (I thought it was unethical but I could see how others might not.) At other times the problem was a clinical supervisor who was not a LPC. Each mental health profession has a slightly different set of ethics and what is acceptable in one profession may be unethical for LPC’s. And, some clinical supervisors appeared to just not care: the boss said to do it so we’re all going to do it even if it violates the Oklahoma LPC code of ethics.
(The most egregious example is when my supervisee was asked to run a “group” with 20 people in it and chart it as if multiple, smaller groups had occurred at different times in order to stay within the terms of their insurance contract. Not only was that unethical but insurance fraud is illegal.)
If your Oklahoma LPC supervisor is being paid by the same people asking you to do something unethical (or at least questionable) then who is in your corner? Who’s willing to intervene on your behalf? The answer is a supervisor whom you pay and who is looking out for your (and your clients) best interests.
A Family Systems Focus
I am a Clinical Fellow in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. I am at heart a marriage and family therapist. Becoming a LPC will allow you to practice marriage and family therapy. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. That one course you had in graduate school in marriage and family therapy isn’t enough to prepare you to do effective marriage counseling or family therapy. In fact, some researchers believe inadequately trained marriage counselors do more harm than good. Over the course of our time together I can put you on the right path to becoming an effective marriage and family counselor.
When I began graduate school in 1981 there were very few Christian Counseling programs. So I learned to integrate behavioral health and faith the old fashioned way: after grad school and a couple of years experience I started seminary and began working on a Masters of Divinity (M.Div.). I’ve watched the field grow and come into its own. If you went to a secular program at a state university, I can help you learn to integrate faith into your own counseling style.
Some supervisors only ever staff cases. Clearly, the clinical side of supervision is vital. But, there’s more to supervision. Or, there should be more. I staff cases, discuss ethics, help you prepare for the LPC Exam, talk about how to handle paperwork and administration, and look hard at counselor self-care.
In good supervision, like good therapy, goals are set collaboratively and feedback on reaching those goals is frequent. I want you to look back on your supervision as a time of professional growth not simply a hoop you had to jump through to become licensed. My goals for supervision include:
- To promote supervisee growth and professional development.
- To look out for the best interests of the clients.
- To mentor the supervisee into the profession.
- To help you achieve your goals for supervision.
- To promote life-long learning and self-care.
If you think you might want to choose me as your Oklahoma LPC Supervisor, then give me a call at 918.346.3665. I always start with an informal meeting over lunch (we’ll split the bill but you get to pick the restaurant). If, after lunch, we both agree that supervision with me would be a good fit, then we’ll move on to filling out BBHL paperwork, a supervision contract, and other administrative matters.
Executive Tower I (71st and Yale)
7136 S. Yale, Suite 300
Fax: 539.202.6455 (539 is a Tulsa area code)