Consultations vs. Supervision

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Supervision is an integral part of most training programs and is required for psychotherapists new to the profession by most associations and regulating bodies. The College of Registered Psychotherapists if Ontario (CRPO) currently requires 150 hours of supervision (work done by the intern or psychotherapist directly with a supervisor) and 1000 hours of supervised practice (client contact hours done by the psychotherapist that are directly supervised by a supervisor) for a registration in independent practice.

Supervision is a frequent and structured process of reviewing and overseeing a client’s complete practice. There are many forms of supervision:

  • on-site (the supervisor is in the room with the trainee and his / her clients)
  • video recording (sessions of the trainee / intern are video recorded and analysed in the supervision session)
  • observation (sessions are observed through a one-way mirror)
  • audio recording (sessions of the trainee / intern are audio recorded and analysed in the supervision session)
  • report based (trainees / interns write detailed session reports that are analysed in the supervision session)
  • self-reporting (the intern / psychotherapist presents session details and topics for discussion based on her / his professional judgement)

Due to practical considerations I practice report based and self-reporting supervision, depending on the experience level of the supervisee and the reason for supervision. Occasionally I may request audio recordings of sessions to be done.

Supervision is available for…

  • therapists in training
  • those who have completed their training, are in the process of applying to the CRPO and require supervision beyond what the hours they have had in their practice to date
  • those who have been accepted into the qualifying category of the CRPO
  • those who have had Terms, Conditions or Limitations put onto their registration with the CRPO requiring them to practice under supervision

A supervision agreement or contract outlines the duration of the supervisory process, the frequency of supervision meetings, the general approach to supervision, and so forth. Details of the supervisory agreement will be negotiated individually for every supervisee as the needs and requirements will vary for everyone. Supervision will be available in individual session, dyads, and group (with some conditions; see here for more details)


Clinical Consultations

Clinical Consultations are meetings on an as-needed basis to discuss individual client cases, transference or counter-transference issues, professional development questions, business related questions, etc.

Clinical Consultations are

  • booked by the psychotherapist / counsellor on an as-needed basis
  • available in individual session and group (with some conditions for counsellor members; see here for more details)
  • not subject to a contractual duration (group meetings are six-month agreements)
  • self-reporting
  • sometimes related to personal work as projections and counter-transferrence issues may bring such issues to light

Clinical consultations will be available for

  • psychotherapists who have acquired full registration with the CRPO (Registered Psychotherapist) without Terms, Conditions or Limitations
  • counsellors who are not registered with the CRPO.
  • therapists in training or in other circumstances that require them to practice under full supervision may also book individual consultation sessions for business related questions only. These hours would not count as supervision hours.