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What Does Supervision Mean?

Woman holding clipboard and observing an addiction professional

If you have read the Florida Certification Board standards for certification as an addiction professional, you’ve probably encountered the requirement to receive a certain number of hours of supervision. Many of our students ask what exactly this means.

Supervision is essential to the treatment process and critical to counselor self-care. In this case, supervision means that a certain number of your work hours (300 for CAP and CAC, for example) must be under the oversight of a licensed or certified professional or counselor. This means that the supervisor must be present as you work with your clients or patients and has signed off that you have adequate skills to eventually perform these services on your own. As such, while you are taking our courses or even considering advancing your career as a counselor, it is crucial to speak to your supervisor and ensure they can offer you the necessary supervision to get your certification. Having this lined up before applying to the certification board means faster approval and one less requirement to worry about.

What Is a Qualified Supervisor?

According to the Florida Certification Board, and depending on the certification in question, a qualified supervisor must be current and fall within one of the following designations:

  • A physician or physician’s assistant licensed under Chapters 458 or 459, Florida Statutes
  • A professional licensed under Chapters 490 or 491, Florida Statutes
  • An Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner licensed under Part 1 of Chapter 464, Florida Statutes
  • A Master’s Level Certified Addiction Professional (MCAP)
  • A Certified Addiction Professional (CAP)
  • A Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager Supervisor (CBHCMS) can perform supervisory duties for specific certifications.

Other important supervision-related considerations include:

  • No more than 50% of the supervision can be performed in a group setting – 50% must be completed one-on-one.
  • Supervision activities must have been completed within the past five years.
  • A certain number of hours may need to be allocated to particular domains.
  • About 3 hours of supervision per week is considered acceptable by FCB standards.

Don’t Confuse Supervision Requirements With the Class

A common point of confusion revolves around one of the required courses to receive a CAP or CAC being called supervision. This is a separate requirement for certification.

Why Is Supervision Essential?

As a budding professional, you will undoubtedly need a supervisor to guide you through encounters and experiences that haven’t been discussed in a textbook or class. Remember, you are working with people of varied backgrounds with various addiction and mental health concerns. Many of the patients you will work with or not may be willing to get help, and the process may be a struggle. Further, you may be put in a situation where you’re unsure of your legal or ethical standing. A supervisor with plenty of experience who understands the industry well can guide you in the right direction and help you overcome the hurdle while avoiding potential pitfalls.

Supervisors and Self-Care

Supervisors are also essential for self-care. Ben Brafman, the founder of the Academy, always says that those providing therapy should also be in therapy themselves, which is very important. However, just seeing a therapist is not all you need to do for proper self-care. A knowledgeable, willing, and empathetic supervisor is critical to any self-care program. Our mental health may depend on it.

So, there you have it, supervision is a requirement to get certified, but it is also a critically important part of learning your job as a future counselor or mental health professional. As always, we encourage you to take our courses online for all your addiction and professional training needs.