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Standards of Practice: Section III
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III. Faculty and Supervisor Standards 

A. Faculty Standards
Faculty with primary responsibility for clinical mental health counseling programs should have an earned doctorate in a field related to clinical mental health counseling and identify with the field of clinical mental health counseling. While AMHCA recognizes that clinical mental health counseling programs have the need for diverse non-­primary faculty who may not meet all of the following criteria, the following knowledge and skills are required for faculty with primary responsibility for clinical mental health counseling programs.

1. Knowledge

a. Demonstrate expertise in the content areas in which they teach and have a thorough understanding of client populations served.

b. Involved in clinical supervision either as instructors or in the field have a working knowledge of current supervision models and apply them to the supervisory process.

c. Understand that clinical mental health counselors are asked to provide a range of services including counseling clients about problems of living, promoting optimal mental health, and treatment of mental and emotional disorders across the lifespan.

d. Demonstrate training in the following:

  • Evidence-­based practices
  • Differential diagnosis and treatment planning
  • Co-­occurring disorders and trauma
  • Biological bases of behavior including psychopharmacology
  • Social and cultural foundations of behavior
  • Individual family and group counseling
  • Clinical assessment and testing
  • Professional orientation and ethics
  • Advocacy and leadership
  • Consultation and supervision

e. Possess knowledge about professional boundaries as well as professional behavior in all interactions with students and colleagues.

2. Skills

a. Demonstrate clinical mental health skills by completing licensure requirements including successful completion of coursework, fieldwork requirements, licensure exams, and licensure renewal requirements.

b. Demonstrate identification with the field of clinical mental health counseling by their academic credentials, scholarship and professional affiliations including their participation in organizations which promote clinical mental health counseling including AMHCA, ACA and ACES. Faculty who provide clinical supervision in the program or on site are able to lead supervision seminars which promote case discussion, small group process and critical thinking.

c. Complete the equivalent of 15 semester hours of coursework at the doctoral level in the clinical mental health specialty area or a comparable amount of scholarship in this area.

d. Possess expertise in working with diverse client populations in areas they teach including clients across the spectrum of social class, ethnic/racial groups, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities.

e. Demonstrate and model the ability to develop and maintain clear role boundaries within the teaching relationship.

f. Demonstrate the ability to analyze and evaluate skills and performance of students.

B. Supervisor Standards

AMHCA recommends at least 24 continuing education hours or equivalent graduate credit hours of training in the theory and practice of clinical supervision for those clinical mental health counselors who provide pre-­ or post-degree clinical supervision to CMHC students or trainees. AMHCA recommends that clinical supervisors obtain, on the average, at least 3 continuing education hours in supervision per year as part of their overall program of continuing education. Clinical supervisors should meet the following knowledge and skills criteria.

1. Knowledge

a. Possess a strong working knowledge of evidence based clinical theory and interventions and application to the clinical process.

b. Understand the client population and the practice setting of the supervisee.

c. Understand and have a working knowledge of current supervision models and their application to the supervisory process. Maintain a working knowledge of the most current methods and techniques in clinical supervision knowledge of group supervision methodology including the appropriate use and limits.

d. Identify and understand the roles, functions and responsibilities of clinical supervisors including liability in the supervisory process. Communicates expectations and nature and extent of the supervision relationship.

e. Maintain a working knowledge of appropriate professional development activities for supervisees. These activities should be focused on empirically based scientific knowledge.

f. Show a strong understanding of the supervisory relationship and related issues.

g. Identify and define the cultural issues that arise in clinical supervision and be able to incorporate the cultural aspect into the supervisory process.

h. Understand and define the legal and ethical issues in clinical supervision including:

  • applicable laws, licensure rules and the AMHCA Code of Ethics specifically as they relate to supervision;
  • supervisory liability and fiduciary responsibility; and
  • risk management models and processes as they relate to the clinical process and to supervision.

i. Possess a working understanding of the evaluation process in clinical supervision including evaluating supervisee competence and remediation of supervisee skill development. This includes initial, formative and summative assessment of supervisee knowledge, skills and self-­awareness. Supervision includes both formal and informal feedback mechanisms.

j. Maintain a working knowledge of industry recognized financial management processes and required recordkeeping practices including electronic records and transmission of records

2. Skills

a. Possess a thorough understanding and experience in working with the supervisees’ client populations. Be able to demonstrate and explain the counselor role and appropriate clinical interventions within the cultural and clinical context.

b. Develop, maintain and explain the supervision contract to manage supervisee relationships with clear expectations including:

  • frequency, location, length and duration of supervision meetings;
  • supervision models and expectations;
  • liability and fiduciary responsibility of the supervisor;
  • the evaluation process, instruments used and frequency of evaluation; and
  • emergency and critical incident procedures.

c. Demonstrate and model the ability to develop and maintain clear role boundaries and an appropriate balance between consultation and training within the supervisory relationship.

d. Demonstrate the ability to analyze and evaluate skills and performance of supervisees including the ability to confront and correct unsuitable actions and interventions on the part of the supervisees. Provide timely substantive and formative feedback to supervisees.

e. Present strong problem-solving and dilemma resolution skills and practice skills with supervisees.

f. Develop and demonstrate the ability to implement risk management strategies.

g. Practice and model self-assessment. Seek consultation as needed.

h. Conceptualize cultural differences in therapy and in supervision. Incorporate this understanding into the supervisory process.

i. Possess an understanding of group supervision techniques and the role of group supervision in the supervision process.

j. Comply with applicable federal and local law. Take responsibility for supervisees’ actions, which include an understanding of recordkeeping and financial management rules and practice.

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