ITALA

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I am having hard time figuring out what happens after graduation and during the 2,000 hours of supervised work. The academic adviser I saw at MHC program suggested that the best thing to do is work for an "agency" and get all your hours in right away. I calculated 2,000 hours to be 50 weeks, so only a year long. Is this correct?

What sorts of jobs are out there to do this work?

Also I once saw a therapist who was working in her own private practice, but officially under the supervision of another established therapist, and was paying him $250 an hour for this supervision. Does anyone know what this was all about?

And one final question, does anyone know if PhD/PsyD students also have to put in a certain number of hours (how many?) under supervision before they apply for the license?

Thank you very much in advance for your help.
 

WannaBeDrMe

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Ok, well, this is where it gets complicated. Depending on where you live, the 2000 might have a time frame constraint. Until recently, where I live, I needed 2000 hours over no FEWER than 2 years.

This leads into the next concern, the 2000 hrs must be direct clinical work. You are technically not supposed to count paperwork, trainings, etc... just one to one patient care. At least, in my state, for my license.

Whether it takes you a year or 5 years, the type of work you do must be direct work with clients, not administrative. So, if you are at an agency where you can work as a counselor/case manager and see clients, you can use those hours toward your license.

However, working at an agency and doing administrative work should not technically count... at least not in my state. Though, some people do lie and exaggerate their job description to reflect more clinical hours.

They might have suggested an agency b/c a well established agency would likely provide your supervision and continuing ed credits for free. Also, you will not be able to bill in the beginning so private practice is not an option. You will only be able to bill provisionally and usually that is only a few codes...

As for doctoral programs, they also have a supervised period before you can apply for full license including the internship but I do not know the specifics.

The supervision will be required for you immediately out of school regardless of your degree until you earn your license. You will pay the supervisor's typical hourly rate that they charge clients unless you can negotiate a lower rate or your agency/employer pays for you.

If you earn your masters psych/counseling, you will have to pay for supervision for the rest of your career as a masters level practitioner. You can work at an agency where there is a doctoral level practitioner built-in and you probably wouldn't have to pay b/c the agency would negotiate clinical supervision into his responsibilities but I believe that your license board still requires some independent supervision. I guess it depends on your state.

With your MSW, once you have your license, you would no longer have to pay someone to supervise you. The NASW Code of Ethics does state that you are responsible for staffing your cases with peers as a form of supervision and always bringing up concerns if they arise... but you do not formally have to report to anyone IF you work in your own practice. If you work at an agency where you have a clinical director, you may have informal supervision with that person but it would not be something that you have to pay for at any time b/c it's just a built-in part of that agency's hierarchy.

EDIT: Paid supervision for license is not hour for hour for the MSW. You need an average of one hour of supervision per 30 hours of clinical work. So many hours of that supervision can be group hours too... so that can help with the cost if you share a supervisor with another therapist.
 

ITALA

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Ok, well, this is where it gets complicated...
Thank you so very much for your help and taking the time to answer at such length. This really helps. I am still undecided at this point as far as which program to take MSW/MHC or PHD/PsyD, but your answers really help! :)
 
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ITALA

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EDIT: Paid supervision for license is not hour for hour for the MSW. You need an average of one hour of supervision per 30 hours of clinical work. So many hours of that supervision can be group hours too... so that can help with the cost if you share a supervisor with another therapist.

Ouch, this really hurts. If the requirement is 2,000 hours and the rate is from $75 to $150 an hour for every 30 hours of clinical work, than it comes to anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 for supervision. If the starting salary (as I was informed in my state) is $28,000, then you end up with a really sad looking annual income (not to mention student loans debt you will accumulate in two years in school)... :(
 

WannaBeDrMe

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Ouch, this really hurts. If the requirement is 2,000 hours and the rate is from $75 to $150 an hour for every 30 hours of clinical work, than it comes to anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 for supervision. If the starting salary (as I was informed in my state) is $28,000, then you end up with a really sad looking annual income (not to mention student loans debt you will accumulate in two years in school)... :(

The financial situation is a crisis facing social workers pretty hard. I can remember reading at least a dozen articles on it over the last 5 years.

However, some agencies will provide free supervision. My first agency did, right out of college, and we didn't even have an LCSW on staff. They paid an outside agency to do supervision for me at a rate of about $80/hr.

Other places have contracts, where if you work for them for the full 2 years plus an additional year, they will cover all costs associated with your license. This includes continuing education credits, application to provisional license, one training course for the exam, the cost of the exam, and then your supervision fees.

In my opinion, definitely worth it if LCSW is your goal. My goal, however, has changed... or rather, regressed back to its original form. I don't like individual therapy. I don't want to do individual therapy. I want to be as marketable and flexible as I can be and I need testing/assessment to become a major part of my skill set.

For the record, out of 19 of us in my cohort (5 times as many people applied, was surprisingly selective), only 2 of us have decided to pursue alternate careers. So, while social workers might bounce from agency to agency... they seem to be overall happy with the flexibility of their degree... in my limited first hand experiences.

Good luck!
 

ITALA

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The financial situation is a crisis facing social workers ...
Good luck!
Again, thank you so much for such a detailed answer. I heard that there was no money in helping people, but I guess I am just now starting to figure out how little money there actually is.

You are saying that you are no longer satisfied with individual therapy. Does this mean you are going back to school for something else? May I ask for what sort of degree?

Thanks. :)
 

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ITALA, please check your state's requirements- call the licensing board if needed. I'm a qualified licensure supervisor in my state, and we require 3,000 hours. That's consistent for my neighboring states and several others I've looked at when considering transferring my license. Typical time restrictions are no less than 24 and no more than 48 months from the time supervision is started. This is to allow for part-time work and gaps in employment (ie FMLA, job loss). You're correct that doing full-time work will put you at about 2000 hrs/year, but there is no escaping the 24 month minimum so most people wind up with more than 3000.

My state is more flexible about supervised hours- certainly the majority are to be clinical, however paperwork, meetings, and trainings are all part of the job. Our LCSW does not have the restriction of face-to-face work but our LPC does. Supervision is to be completed at least 4 hours/month, at least once a month, and supervision sessions can be no longer than 4 hours at a time. Group supervision is OK, but there is a restriction on % group vs individual. LCSWs and LPCs are both licenses to practice independently after they are obtained, with no absolute requirement for ongoing supervision. (Ethics, of course, dictating that you seek it if you need it and that you be able to recognize when you need it.)

State licensure boards keep lists of qualified supervisors- many are moving toward requiring potential supervisors to take a class and get a certificate. Since a new grad will likely be working at an agency that is used to having new grads, they can often find supervision at their job. I think I have an old post about that which I'll try to dig up. Mine was free through my first job, so I gave back and supervised someone for free (at my private office) with the promise from her that she will do the same one day. I know others who do the same. The agency where I got mine moved toward a model of committing to 1 year of employment post-completion of licensure, and a $1000 pro-rated payback plan if you leave prior to the year. This was an effort to improve employee retention. Asking a prospective employer about availability of supervision is a definite in an interview.



Edit: Found that thread. Time to start using the search feature, guys!!!
 

sparkleflower

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If you earn your masters psych/counseling, you will have to pay for supervision for the rest of your career as a masters level practitioner. You can work at an agency where there is a doctoral level practitioner built-in and you probably wouldn't have to pay b/c the agency would negotiate clinical supervision into his responsibilities but I believe that your license board still requires some independent supervision. I guess it depends on your state.

With your MSW, once you have your license, you would no longer have to pay someone to supervise you.


Actually, I don't think this is true in any/most states. The *vast* majority of therapists I know of who are in private practice are licensed masters-level practitioners, and mostly not MSW. And this isn't just my state, but people I've met at a variety of national conferences.

I also recommend working at an agency for the first couple of years. As far as I know, most offer free supervision--and with an average starting salary of 28-35k, you'll need all the free stuff you can get, lol.

And there are more options for future careers than you might think. I'm also not crazy about individual therapy, but I love me some crisis work. I think I'd go insane if I had to sit there week after week and listen to the same person talk about the same stuff--but crisis is completely different. It's fast, intense, and it's always new. I learn something every single day. It's awesome. And I get free supervision ;-)
 

ITALA

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ITALA, please check your state's requirements-

Thanks for the threat. I will check it out.

The reason I have not called the state yet is because I am undecided as of yet if I am going to stay in the state I am in it right now. Thus - so many general questions.

Thank you again for your help. :)
 

WannaBeDrMe

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That's really cool about the LPC not needing supervision. Maybe the only ones I knew were still doing licensing or something?? Here I thought the MSW was special b/c we were the only ones who could be independent when licensed... ha.

I love crisis work too, but in my state, the competition is so fierce that the "meaty" jobs go to the more experienced. As they should... I mean, it's only fair. They have definitely paid their dues over the years and deserve all the action they can handle.

I haven't worked an 80 hour week since February and I think I'm finally starting to un-burn out. Is that possible?

I'm applying to case management jobs again, but this time, I'm standing my ground. No more than 50 hrs week, min $40/with benefits, no more than 30 clients, and supervising no more than 15 staff at a time. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries.... I'm getting them!!!

i've considered looking into license opportunities in other states and heading that way but I really need to be close to my parents right now until they are well enough to care for themselves fully...

Mental health is good times.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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And one final question, does anyone know if PhD/PsyD students also have to put in a certain number of hours (how many?) under supervision before they apply for the license?

Typically 2,000 hours during internship (1 year), and the post-doc (1 year). They have 2 year post-docs for things like neuropsychology, though I think people can sit for licensure after they fulfill their post-doc hour requirements....YMMV as that isn't my area.
 

ITALA

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Typically 2,000 hours during internship (1 year), and the post-doc (1 year). They have 2 year post-docs for things like neuropsychology, though I think people can sit for licensure after they fulfill their post-doc hour requirements....YMMV as that isn't my area.

Thanks!
 
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