This article, Establishing a psychotherapy supervision group, was originally published in my blog for my Johns Hopkins graduate students
Dear Dr. Friedman,
You’ve recommended establishing a psychotherapy supervision group even prior to getting into private psychotherapy practice.  How would I set that up?  And, why? Thank you.

Establishing a psychotherapy supervision group

Here are my thoughts:

You’ve been telling EVERYONE that you work with/will work with people with commitment problems or marital problems or ADD or, “the blues”. And, you have set-up a study group on the topic. Because you initiated the study group, you have regular contact with each of the members as you hash out the schedule. So you are getting to know them.

You’ve noticed that some people are starting to tell you about people who are struggling with the issues in your area of expertise. You listen empathically – and, when you are asked for a referral you recommend one of the more skilled members of your study group. You offer to contact the clinician directly and streamline the referral, with their permission. In this way, you to have a chance to learn more about how your colleague works and to begin to establish an atmosphere of mutual professional respect. Also, they have an opportunity to get to know how you think. Thus, you are laying the groundwork to share referrals down the pike.

 

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