Client termination, whether it is planned or unplanned, is difficult.
It can lead the clinician to having a multitude of emotions. After all, it is the ending of a relationship, which can be a challenging thing for any of us to go through.
To make it harder, most individuals are not taught appropriate techniques to end a relationship. How many of us plan on how we are going to conclude a relationship? We are social beings at heart and are not often focused on planning for the conclusion of a connection nor are we trained in healthy ways to process the ending of a relationship.
Despite these challenges, it is important for clinicians to always be focused on the possibility of termination in order to gain comfort and understanding of how it impacts both the client and clinician.
“What type of supervision will I receive at this training site?”
How many times have you asked this question during your interviews for practicum, pre-doctoral internship, or post-doctoral training sites? I recall my own apprehension about my clinical supervisors over the last few years.
I had the opportunity to experience wonderful clinical supervisors who provided excellent supervision. I attribute my professional and personal development as a clinical psychologist to the clinical supervisors I worked with during my graduate school training.
Planned client termination may be one of the hardest aspects of clinical work.
Although planned termination is often a great opportunity for both the client and therapist to gain additional insights, it can lead to a variety of thoughts and emotions that can be unpleasant for all involved.
Behavioral health students know how important it is to keep detailed records of their clinical hours during practicum and internship training, especially when those hours have to be signed off on by supervisors and submitted to their schools.
But what about after graduation?
All states and provinces require a certain number of supervised hours to be accrued in order to obtain a license for practice (along with other requirements). Each state and province has their own set of rules depending on the license you’re working toward.
Since licensure is the final step in your journey to becoming a licensed professional, it’s important that it go smoothly. Tracking hours is just one part of it, but it’s a very important part. Here are some tips, frequently asked questions, and instructions for tracking hours during this final step.
Imagine yourself in this scenario: You finally made it! After much hard work, you are now licensed and you recently accepted a job as a staff psychologist at a clinic in a great location. Your job description? You will provide therapy and assessment, maintain appropriate documentation, collaborate with other health providers, yada, yada, yada. That’s easy – you’ve done all this stuff before in your practica, internship, and fellowship – you’ve got this.
You will also have to supervise trainees. You had a small taste of that in your training. You fumble around a little as you figure it out, but you know enough about supervision to get by. After you get settled and feel like you have a good handle on things, you notice there are some other kinds of positions open to psychologists. These positions have additional responsibilities and they pay more money. They have titles like “Coordinator,“ “Director,” “Division Manager,” and “Chief Mental Health Officer.” You have heard these titles before and have known lots of people who have held them. Perhaps now you are ready to level up.
One of the final hurdles in obtaining your psychology license is prepping for and passing the EPPP.
This process is often extremely anxiety provoking – the last thing you want to do after completing the exhaustive undertaking of earning your doctorate degree is study for an all-inclusive exam of what you should have learned over the past several years of education, right?
The anxiety factor alone is enough for many people to put off preparing for the exam.
Imagine these scenarios:
1. You are a practicing licensed psychologist, presented with the opportunity of a lifetime across the country.
2. You live on the border between two states and want to expand your practice into another state.
3. You have to move to a different state for your partner’s new job – or you’re just looking for a change of scenery.
Each of these scenarios requires you to obtain a license in a new jurisdiction.
If you read my previous article about becoming licensed, you know that the process is detailed. I was initially licensed in Virginia, two months before learning that I would soon move to South Carolina. Luckily, I was prepared for this; I knew that this would only be the first of many moves.
Wanting to ensure that my license was mobile, I took steps to meet potential training requirements a state may have (like completing a postdoc) and gathering certain information and “banking” it in one place.
Imagine that you are in private practice. You are wrapping up your first session with a new client and he reaches out to shake your hand. What is your response?
Now imagine that you are doing clinical work in a correctional facility. Your client, a prisoner, reaches out to shake your hand at the end of a session. What is your response? Is there a difference between how you would respond in the first scenario versus this one?
Are there definitive right or wrong ways to respond to either scenario?
You’ve worked long and hard and put huge amounts of energy into your chosen profession, and now you’re entering your postgraduate year.
As you look for a great site that will utilize your skill-set, it’s also important to have a plan for making the most of this final year of training. In this article, I will share some of the things that I wish I had known prior to beginning my postgraduate year.
You completed internship, found a post-doc or job, graduated, and passed the dreaded EPPP.
Congratulations! You can now do what you have spent the past four to seven years preparing for: apply for a license as an independent psychologist. While, yes, this is another step in a long process and it will take away some time and cost you some of that hard earned money, applying for licensure is easy if you are prepared and know what to expect.