There is a lot on my mind this morning.
It’s about two and a half weeks until my licensing exam, which, while of course I’m incredibly excited by the prospect of being licensed, I’m also excited to think about how much more time I’ll have once that’s behind me. No more supervision meetings, and no more hours of studying. There are still several things that I feel behind on at work, and I think I am going to use my extra time not just to get that shit done, but to create a structure that allows me to be more thorough and organized for the rest of my career. Another thing to consider about being licensed is that, once I am, a lot more liability falls on my shoulders.
…which brings me to another point. In my whole associateship, I’ve never worked for someone who has really held me accountable. The only thing my better supervisors have checked for was that I had a note turned in for each session I conducted. But… they don’t actually read the notes. As long as something is turned in, they pay me. And that is a huge part of why I would say documentation is one of my weakest points. I’m sure I’m doing that shit wrong. Also, the only time I’ve ever had to write treatment plans was when I quit my last job and they made me go back and write every treatment plan for every client I ever worked with, well after our work was done. So pointless!
Someday, when I am a supervisor with my own associates, these are areas I want to improve upon.
I would like to hire a minimum of 3 associates at the same time and then to have them go through a new hire training together. Obviously, there are some factors that are outside of my control (eg. people could accept the job offer and then immediately quit, etc.), but this would be my ideal. The key would be the new hire training, though. I would cover with my associates everything that is relevant to them and nothing that isn’t. If they have questions about other roles of my private practice, then I’ll answer them, but I’m not going to ask them to know about shit that doesn’t pertain to them.
The documentation will be streamlined. Each of my associates can choose what therapeutic approach best fits them, and then create a list of commonly used treatment goals and interventions that align with that approach. They will then be asked to list what goals and interventions they are using on each note.
They will be expected to follow certain written guidelines during crises (when working with clients with suicidal ideation, medical issues, substance use issues, and when learning about child or elder abuse). The guidelines will cover what needs to happen in and out of the session, as in exactly what to document!
There will also be written guidelines on how to document what resources we are providing our clients, any time we have contact with the clients outside of session, and any changes that are made to the treatment plans. These are all things that were gone over with me verbally with zero follow up. So guess what happened to my overworked/underpaid ass? I didn’t do this shit! At least not well.
I would want to give my associates as fair of pay as possible. This means, not giving them the bare minimum so I can make the maximum profit off of them. Instead, it means giving them as much as I comfortably can so I can make minimum profit. There is a reason my current supervisor can afford to pay me $30/hour and my last supervisor could only pull off $21/hour, and it’s not because my former supervisor had more expenses…
I think part of the contract when hiring associates will be that they are to attend a minimum of one training every six months (or something like that). I will provide a list of appropriate trainings that are reasonably priced (eg. under $300). I would have loved to get more out-of-office training as an associate, but I could never justify paying for it / taking the time off work. I think if it had been required by my employer, that would have been all the incentive / encouragement I would have needed to go through with it. This combined with being asked to choose and work within a therapeutic approach (including documenting within said approach) would have made me a much stronger associate!
I’m also going to require my associates to get involved with their community. Again, they can choose an event to attend—something that resonates/appeals to them. And I will go with them! This can be an annual thing, at least to start out. There is actually a therapeutic approach called Adlerian that’s entire basis is that social connection is the key to mental health. Love it. This will also be a way of building networking skills. Eventually, I’d like to have a treatment team of professionals in adjacent fields (eg. nutritionist, psychiatrist, personal trainers, etc.).
Anyway, that is just a few of my ideas. I actually did not intend on writing that much about it, haha. I think I’ll post a separate entry on the other thing I wanted to write about today.
Until then <3
Last updated April 22, 2021