Am I really any good at this? This feels like a lot of influence to have over what my clients are doing with their lives?
Wait, my clients… they really are my clients now aren’t they? I’m responsible.
Will I remember everything I need to know when I’m not actively involved in coursework? Can I really identify process over content? Sometimes I’m still lost in the details. That couple yesterday was looking at me like the entire future of their marriage depended desperately on what I was going to say next.
This licensing exam sounds like a nightmare and how am I ever going to accrue that many hours?
I remember well the wall that I hit as I neared the end of my Master’s program and how I wanted to rush with urgency to the finish line, but yet I felt leaden because the time stretched out slowly before me in those final months. At long last when comps were done and hours were all signed off on, then panic set in. Am I just an imposter at this whole therapy thing? I’m not sure I can deliver an artfully crafted strategic intervention convincingly without direction. Do I want to be a strategic therapist anyway? I might be much more suited to post-modern approaches.
Let me assure you that it’s just fine and even quite typical not to have all the answers with your Master’s degree finally in hand. It’s also a sign that you likely are in the right line of work if you’re contemplating the enormity of what it means for clients to trust you with their stories, their lives, their vulnerabilities. Let me also assure you that you are intended to continue to learn and to grow as a therapist and as an individual and as a result, what you bring to therapy changes. We are dynamic, not static after all. All systems, all entities within the system, all moving and always with new opportunities for flexibility and creativity.
Perhaps you are a few years in and you’re so busy between piecing together agency work and trying to cobble together private practice clientele that you’ve forgone supervision and while you feel reasonably confident in what you are doing, you still sometimes worry that you may be doing clients a disservice by not getting another perspective when you’ve had the same sessions for a number of weeks or months. And you miss the feeling that comes with putting your head together with another therapist and unlocking the underlying factors that keep this sameness at play. You miss the renewed vigor that comes with seeing that you can sift through your own stuckness and reengage with your best therapist self.
You might be the seasoned pro, the therapist that has developed a successful private practice over many years, who loves her/his work, who designs her/his own schedule and even has time for regular exercise and daily (well, maybe nearly daily) meditation. But sometimes you still feel isolated. Sometimes, not necessarily clients but the motions of private practice feel lonely and less fulfilling. You go into your homey office, help clients to take care of their needs, write notes, return calls and emails and, if you accept insurance, you manage the dreaded administrative tasks associated with billing and insurance follow up, and then return home likely long after night has fallen. Rinse, repeat.
I have a passion for supervision that others recognized in me before I even recognized it in myself. I am excited by being presented with the stuckness of a client, client family, or therapist and diligently working the knots loose until you have the materials to offer a solution, a direction, a hypothesis to explore. I am energized by looking at the larger context of what it is like to be a helping professional in our current world and what innovative ideas are brewing beneath the surface that might make that endeavor a more soul satisfying experience. So whether you are cautiously just emerging into the world of post Master’s or even post agency life, whether you are looking to reconnect with supervision and make the leap in your career to spearhead something professionally that you have been contemplating for some time, or whether you simply want to share your wealth of knowledge while also being inspired by a co-author of the therapy narrative, consider supervision avenues with Virginia Williamson, LMFT and Collaborative Counseling Group. Laura Petiford, PMHNP, LMFT also offers collaboration in supervision specifically regarding education about medication and how medication may be impacting or could be helpful in effecting change with our clients. Reach out at any time to firstname.lastname@example.org.