“Qualified Supervisor” Continuing Education Courses in Florida

September 21, 2011

Great Seal of the State of  FloridaThe state of Florida requires that all mental health professional registered interns, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Mental Health Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists and  Psychologists must have several years of post-licensed practice and complete a 16-hour course on supervision in order to be determined a “Qualified Supervisor”.  The course as described in Florida State Chapter 491 is expected to be didactic, live and interactional, not a home-study or book and test based learning experience. In fact, there are very specific guidelines for the course one must take. Below, are the state’s basic requirements of content that must be included in supervision courses and my approach to these requirements to the course curriculum.

First, the course is expected to present information on major models of supervision. Interestingly, this trainer found little to no professional literature reviewing models of supervision to help the trainers to present a concise summary of supervisory theories has been found to date. So this trainer, with her colleague Mary Jo Klingel, LCSW has developed a method of helping the participants to use their knowledge of practice theories, values, performance expectations and other factors  to guide participants thoughts about supervisory interventions. As a result of the exploration of models of supervision, the participants of the training are able to develop their own personal model of supervision, another objective required by the state.

Another objective of the course is to help the participants explore the “co-evolving relationship dynamics between the therapist-client dyad, and the triad of supervisor-therapist-client relationships”. New therapists are helped to understand the dynamics of their relationship with their clients. This is often accomplished with the supervisor’s guidance and support while exploring the relationship between the supervisor and supervisee.

The training course also allows participants to explore distinctive issues that arise in supervision. Some examples of issues that our participants have explored include: strategies for resolving conflicts before they become complaints, documentation of supervisory sessions, contracting with the supervisee, transference and counter-transference.

The Qualified Supervisor’s courses incorporate either as a separate section or as thread weaving through the two days of study contextual variables such as culture, gender, ethnicity, power and economics. Potential Qualified Supervisors must also become familiar with ethical, legal and regulatory issues in supervision. We have explored at length the moral/ethical obligations related to “duty-to-warn” versus the absence of a legal obligation in Florida to make such a warning. Many discussions have revolved around potential liability as well as responsibility of the supervisor for the omission or commission of wrong acts by the supervisee.  While the Florida 491 Board has never disciplined a Qualified Supervisor as a result of vicarious liability, the possibility of that action does exist and should be

Finally, participants are helped to understand the role and necessity of evaluative practices during the time of supervision. The supervisory process is one step in the nurturing of new clinical professionals. Evaluation of performance and professionalism need not be harsh or overly critical. However, the supervisor has an obligation to his or her profession to ensure that individuals who become licensed are properly prepared and competent for the work they have chosen to do.

Supervision can be an exciting and mutually rewarding process when approached in the proper way. Keep in mind, that you are furthering your education for the betterment of you as a therapist and the betterment of the lives of your patients and colleagues. New theories and information are consistently becoming available, allowing these courses and your experience to remain fresh and stimulating.

If you are already a supervisor and feel like your work has become a bit stale or concerns about liability have arisen consider taking our Practice Friendly Supervision course as a refresher or attend one of our advanced supervision workshops.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Mitsou Handal, LCSW January 19, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Hello,

My name is Mitsou Handal and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of FL. I am looking for information on trainings offered so that I am become a qualified Supervisor.

I live in the Miami Shores area and work in Pembroke Pines.

Please let me know if you know of upcoming LCSW Supervisor trainings available in the area.

Thank you very much,

Mitsou

Reply

drcathywaltz January 21, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Hi, Mitsou, I see that you found the workshop list and have registered for the March Supervision course. I look forward to meeting you then. Dr. Waltz

Reply

Christi Lowe June 13, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Hi! I am an LCSW looking for a supervision class that would meet Florida’s requirements for supervision. I took a course in my Master’s program in 1997… So I need a new one!
I am the spouse of an active duty military member, and we currently reside in Germany. I will be “home” in Florida the month of November. Will you have any courses available November 2013?
Thank you,
Christi Lowe

Reply

drcathywaltz June 13, 2013 at 9:12 pm

Hi Christi,
Thanks for your comment and question. Yes, you are in luck. I will be having the Practice Friendly Supervision course on November 7 & 8 here in Fort Lauderdale. Please click http://drwaltz.corecommerce.com/Practice-Friendly-Supervision-p25.html. This will take you to the description of the Supervisor’s course and allow you to get all the details you need – and to register online if you choose. Also, you can use the link at the top of the home page to send me an email message directly to my email address for even quicker response. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Rhonda Bender LCSW July 7, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Hi..I am a LCSW in Florida. I moved from New York last November and held a LCSW-R in New York. The “R” status indicates that I can supervise LCSW, LCSW candidates, LCSW-R candidates, LSW and student interns. My question is this- must I still take a full 16 hour course in florida, or, will the DOH in Florida allow me to take a refresher course or give me the title of qualified supervisor with documentation I provide?

Reply

drcathywaltz July 7, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Hello Ronda,
Thanks for posting your question. You will need to contact the Florida Board directly with your question. If you have had a 16-hour (or greater) continuing education course on supervising, or a graduate course on supervision or a Graduate School provided supervision training course to become a supervisor for Practicum Students you MAY only need to provide proof of attendance. The final decision will be up to the board. I suggest that you send an email to Dee Ramer via the link at this page:
http://doh.state.fl.us/mqa/491/soc_general.html#down
then scroll down to Ms. Ramer’s name/link and send her a direct message. Best of Luck!

Reply

Jennie Poma-Jones April 24, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Hello,
I am studying to finally take my exam and have successfully completed all other requirements to become a LCSW. My question is, is there a specific amount of time that I have to be a LCSW before I can become a Qualified LCSW Supervisor? If so, how long?
Thank you,
Jennie

Reply

drcathywaltz May 12, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Jennie, thanks for posting your question. I have already answered you by email but thought others might have the same question. The bottom line is that one must be licensed as a Clinical Social Worker for 2 years to meet that part of the qualification. Marriage & Family Therapists and Mental Health Counselors must be licensed for 3 years. The law allows any licensed individual to take a 16-hour course (or a couple other options) any time after they are licensed…but the status as a Qualified Supervisor will not become effective until the time period has been met.

Reply

Natalia Conner LMHC June 19, 2014 at 3:24 pm

I am looking for classes that will qualify me to be a Qualified Supervisor. Was mailed one that takes place in Tampa and that is acceptable but wanted to know what else is out there, possibly closer to my area of Sebring, FL 33870.

Thanks for your attention in this matter.

Nat Conner LMHC

Reply

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