The Path To A Successful Internship, For The Next Generation of Counselors!
So you're looking for a supervisor, are you?
Finding one can feel like, "looking for a needle in a haystack", can't it? Right now, you don't know what to ask, you don't know if the supervisor-candidate(s) really have your best interests at heart, and you don't know what you don't know!
What you do know, is that you must find a Supervisor first, before you can get a job and begin acquiring the 3000 hours needed in order to become fully licensed. This is overwhelming for some, worrisome for most, and you are not alone.
A few years ago Phillip Crum and I started PracticeMentors.us to address some educational shortcomings we saw in the counseling profession. We've recognized the need for a screening process for supervisors for quite some time. Recently we've added, "The Academy", to our list of offerings on that website. The Academy educates supervisors in all facets of running a private practice (in whatever form that might take!) so that they become better mentors for you! "Guiding the Next Generation".
I'm always interviewing potential associates so perhaps we should talk. But first I want you to carefully read every word on this page. Don't skim it, don't click off the page, read every single word because I wrote them all, just for you!
Before we go on you need to know this...
There are two groups of Supervisors that you'll encounter:
Those that are primarily in it to give back and mentor
the next generations' professional aspirations, and...
Those that are in it for the money.
If your plans include finding the cheapest possible mentor (supervisor) that will let you skate by on minimums then you'll need to stop right now and look elsewhere, because I belong firmly in that first group, as does anyone I might recommend to you.
Finding Supervisors To Interview
The bad news is that there is no public list of outstanding Supervisors to be had. You can't even download a list of Supervisors from the State website anymore. The good news is that I am here to help you in ways that no one else in the Great State of Texas can. (See PracticeMentors.us after you finish reading this page!)
Your immediate job is to find a Supervisor who "gets" you, and a JOB that fits you! You need a handful of top supervisor candidates that are accepting new associates, in your area, OR will know other top-tier supervisor candidates that are. That's an almost impossible list to come by but in just a minute I'm going to give it to you as my gift to you and your future, whether you end up working with me or not. But first, I want you to really think about something...
Don't Settle for the First Supervisor You Talk to!!
You spent 4 or more years getting your under-grad degree and likely incurred some school debt (kudos to you if you finished debt-free!). Then you spent a few more years and another small fortune (more debt?) obtaining your graduate degree(s), and you did it because you have a heart to help other people; you want to help as many as possible with the gifts that God has blessed you with.
Do you really think this is a good time to look for a mentor that delivers
only minimums at the cheapest possible rates you can find?
My colleagues and I are here to tell you that your education has just begun.
Interview with several, recommended supervisor-candidates, pick the one that offers the best curriculum for your future, one that you can feel comfortable working with and pay him/her their fee. Now is not the time to pinch pennies; we're talking about your career and your financial earning power for the rest of your life! This is a huge decision.
If I may be a bit blunt, these supervisors don't need you and we're not obligated to do what we do. We could easily make more money seeing clients in the hours we spend working with our associates. We choose to do this for the next generation because we want to and we sacrifice a lot of things and put ourselves at risk to do so.
You're going to have to learn how to interview with these supervisors. If you think you can, "wing it", and you'll be ok, you're wrong. This is far more important than an interview at McDonalds.
How To Interview With These Supervisor-Candidates
You need to understand that these are two-way interviews. You're looking to see if they would make a good mentor for you on both professional and personal levels, and they're looking for "the consummate student". So let's set up some expectations for both parties. For example, if we choose to work together, here is some of what you would learn with me:
What It Means To Be A Counselor
[ ] Basics of Internship-A Proper Framework
[ ] The Fundamentals of Professionalism
[ ] Overcoming Stigmas About Our Profession
[ ] Clinical Training/Supervision
Finding A Job
[ ] How To Construct Your Story
[ ] How To Properly Market Yourself
[ ] How To Find A Job
[ ] The Art of The Interview
Opening A Practice
[ ] Business Plans/Models
[ ] Malpractice/Liability Insurance Coverages
[ ] Websites and Content Development
[ ] Inbound Marketing
Federal Law and Compliance
[ ] HIPPA Compliance
State Law and Compliance
[ ] BHEC and Your State Boards
[ ] The Texas LPC/LMFT/SW Rules: Interpret & Understand
[ ] Chapter 611: Release of Records
[ ] The Complaint Process
[ ] Family Law Issues
[ ] PCI Compliance
Interview Your Supervisor Candidates With This Checklist
Don't you think it might be a good idea to find out what your supervisor-mentor is planning to teach you during your time together rather than just, "hope it all works out"? Wouldn't it be smarter to work from a check-list of specifics that you're looking for in a "like-minded Supervisor"? I suggest that you hop on over to PracticeMentors.us, subscribe, then download and use the list we've put together for you as your personal interview check-list when interviewing your Supervisor-Candidates.
On Being Interviewed
This relationship has to be good for the Supervisor, too. They're looking for certain character traits that make a good student. Here are three things I look for and require in/from my interns:
Accountability-Able to make self-corrections along the way.
Ambition-Must be self-motivated & a go-getter.
Resourcefulness-Willing to learn about the real world of the counseling profession.
This relationship has to be a win-win for both parties. In addition to the character attributes listed above, when being interviewed it is always best to present yourself as having already thoughtfully considered the important questions about your interests and your future. After all, you have had 6+ years to do that! Download the list of questions below, craft your responses to them and vocalize them out loud several times so they sound natural to your ear. Do NOT try and memorize them.
It should go without saying that you need to display good appointment etiquette; clean up and look professional, show up a few minutes early, bring something to write with and something to write on, display a good, firm handshake and always make good eye contact. Decline food and drink if offered.
(This checklist coming very soon!)
What Separates You From the Other Interns?
Absolutely nothing, unless you know how to professionally tell your story to others. This is where you will begin to separate yourself from the rest of the pack. It’s called being vulnerable with your story so you can get a paying gig right away. Many associates struggle because they do not have the vision or guidance to begin to tell their story of why they do what they do.
We are going to begin the process of crafting your story as it pertains to why you have chosen to be a counselor. People don’t care what you do, rather, they want to know what makes you tick… your story. Every upcoming counselor has a story and it's time to share it with those employers and future clients of yours.
Listen to podcast Episode #28 we did with Jordan Dunn as he outlines what he did in preparation for his 3000 hour journey, and see if the questions he poses to me are some that you might be wrestling with as well. Today, I am happy to report he is now fully licensed and he did this in an 18-20 month period. He did what he needed to do, and that was work from the bottom to get to the top. It works, every time.
On Working With Me
Should we end up working together, our immediate task will be to prepare you to find a JOB, so you can succeed…now, not after you get fully credentialed. I am going to hands-on help you do that. From there we will further prepare you for your career through the extensive list of training topics noted above that you are only likely to get from me or one of the supervisors I recommend.
You will receive a PracticeMentors Associate Research Binder, designed to help you keep everything you learn during our time together, organized and ready for future reference.
"Kathleen is an extremely empowering supervisor. She not only
encourages you, but she equips you with the skills and knowledge
necessary to be a great clinician.
--Katie Joray, LPC Intern, Supervised by Kathleen Mills, LPC S, CEAP
"Thank you so much! I feel a bit more prepared to take on
the world after graduation (after reading this page). I had a
couple of friends in the master's program drop out because the thought
of all the work that happens after graduating was not their cup of tea.
I'm so sad they didn't get to read what you wrote, but I will refer my
classmates to read it and hopefully, they feel the same kind of peace
and calm that I do now."
--Alessandra Montes, Recent Graduate
Spend some time with these three thoughts before you begin your search for that perfect Supervisor.
What Do I Want to Accomplish? (Be Specific)
What Does it Look Like? (Be Specific)
What Am I Willing to Do to Get to Where I Say I Want to Go? (Be Honest)
Give me a call if you have any questions at: 972.234.6634 ext 104. NO emails, please. I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Plan Smart. Be Safe. Serve Others.
Oh, scroll down just a little bit further for that supervisor list I promised you.
Kathleen Mills LPC S, CEAP
Here's The List of Supervisors I Recommend
If you'll click the logo to the left, or this link, you'll be shown a list of supervisors that have completed various levels of education with us. There's more detail on that page but each supervisor represented has a link directly to a page on their website specifically addressed to you! If you encounter any issues or have any questions please feel free to shoot Phillip an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and he will respond. Good luck!