/>In this episode Gordon talks with Dr. Amy Fortney Parks about the new supervision directory she started, clinicalsupervisiondirectory.com some of her motivation around starting this new directory. Amy and Gordon delve into how supervision can help you grow your practice plus help in “paying it forward” in our professions as counselors, therapists and social workers. Amy and Gordon talk about some of the struggles of licensure portability and how we can be better advocates of our professions as counselors and therapists. They also discuss how providing internships in your practice can solve the problem of therapist shortages and give new graduates and opportunity to grow and build their careers. Supervision not only help new counselors and therapists reach their goal of licensure, but it also helps build our professions and give clinicians multiple ways to grow their careers.
Meet Dr. Amy Fortney Parks
Dr. Amy Fortney Parks describes herself as a lifelong educator, a passionate psychologist, and an often stressed-out but mostly happy mom of four! She is the Executive Director of WISE Mind Solutions, LLC, a Northern Virginia-based group psychotherapy practice focused on children, teens, and families. She is also the owner of The Wise Family – a comprehensive brand for kids and parents designed to inspire, educate and energize families! She is the founder of the Clinical Supervision Directory.
Dr. Amy Fortney Parks brings with her over 30 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and families as both an educator and psychologist. She is a passionate “BRAIN – trainer” and strives to help everyone she works with understand how their own unique brain works!
Dr. Amy holds a Doctorate in Educational Psychology and specializes in individual counseling for kids, tweens, and teens, parent coaching, and educational consulting. She also provides consulting services to families, parent groups, local independent schools, and public systems.
Dr. Amy has served as a speaker for conference groups, including the Virginia Counseling Association, the Virginia Psychological Association, MARFY, She Rocks the World, The Center for Adoption Services and Education, and many, many more. More information and how to chat directly with her about your family are on her website, www.thewisefamily.com, or connect SOCIALLY @wisefamilies!
Amy has over 30 years of experience through her work in Northern Virginia schools, adoption agencies throughout the US, and private practice with countless families. Her most valuable experience, however, is the day-to-day parenting of her own four children, three dogs, and husband.
The Problem of Finding Supervisors
With all of our professions, as counselors, therapists and social workers, we are required to get thousands of clinical hours with supervision in order to meet licensure requirements. And one of the problems that Amy kept hearing about from her students was not being able to find the right people to do their supervision. “Because my students were complaining about how tough it was. I knew a lot of people were struggling. I knew that I have had trouble finding a supervisor. And a lot of people get lucky with finding a supervisor at their place of business or where they get hired for work, but that doesn’t always happen. And, what I was discovering was, as many people were telling me, the story that they found their supervisor, you know, through a friend of a friend or a colleague. And that’s really how you find a good restaurant. That’s not how you find the person who’s gonna guide your professional career development.”
The other issue is that most states do not mandate any sort of directory of people who are qualified to provide supervision. Graduates are left on their own to find the right people for what the state licensure requires. Then there is the problem of finding someone who is available for supervision and taking new supervisees.
Licensure Is Not Always The Same
As we all know, licensure requirements vary from state to state and from licensure to licensure. In fact Amy discovered through her research that are 22 different initials and acronyms for the various mental health providers throughout the 50 states and DC. Amy said, “How is the community supposed to understand all that? Not to mention the people that are coming into our professions find it so complicated. I mean, licensure portability is just a really massive problem. And then not to mention how frequently, I can’t tell you, probably on a daily basis, someone will, will reach out to us and say, how do I become a supervisor in this state?”
The Clinical Supervision Directory
As Amy recognized the difficulty of these issues, she was motivated to try and solve this problem of helping students and recent graduates find appropriate supervisors. So she invested her own money to start the Clinical Supervision Directory. She calls it “the Tinder of Supervisors”. The directory helps match people with the various licensure types plus the various specialties and niches of the broad mental health field. The service helps connect supervisors and clinicians in a very practical way.
Building The Profession
As we are all experiencing shortage of clinicians, In particular fully licensed clinicians. The opportunity with a directory like it helps match recent graduates with practices searching for employees. In short, it can help private practice owners find clinicians to fill the shortage of mental health providers. And with this, there is the opportunity to train and raise-up people for your practice and develop the kinds of clinicians you desire in your practice.
There is a wonderful opportunity to not only to “pay it forward” by training new clinicians, it also provides the opportunity to have a career path into private practice. It gives an easier path into our professions by having supervisors that can be mentors. The Clinical Supervision Directory helps connect supervisors with clinicians needing supervision. It is a way to help fill the shortage of mental health providers we are all experiencing plus train excellent clinicians.
All right. So I'm Dr. Amy Forney Parks, and I am happy to be back on the Practice of Therapy Podcast. Thank you so much for having me today, Gordon.
Well, hello folks, and welcome again to the podcast, and I'm so glad to have back with me, Dr. Amy Parks, walk of Amy.
Thank you so much, Gordon. I'm really excited to be at the Practice of Therapy podcast today. It's great to see
You. Yes, yes. And it was really, it's really good to, uh, reconnect with Amy. Uh, we kinda go back ways, I'm not sure exactly. I know we, uh, we connected through different, um, you know, consulting kinda channels with different people that we all kind of crosspollinate with, but, um,
Yeah, we got some OG history, Gordon. Yes,
We do. We do, we do. So well, uh, Amy, as I start with everyone, why don't you tell folks a little bit about yourself and how you've landed, where you've landed, and, uh, then we're gonna just kinda launch into this exciting thing you're working on.
Yeah, absolutely. So, um, I am live in Virginia, so I'm on the East Coast like you are. Mm-hmm.
And, um, I sort of make a joke about this, but I, I guess I was maybe either bored or, I don't know, like a lot of people, maybe I drank too much or did something really wacky during the pandemic, but, you know, started to really realize that, um, you know, uh, we were really struggling. All of us were struggling with boots on the ground, you know, getting clinicians trained quickly and efficiently and well mm-hmm.
Because my students were complaining about how tough it was. I knew a lot of people were struggling. I knew that I had had trouble finding a supervisor. And a lot of people get, you know, some people get lucky with finding a supervisor at their place of business, um, or where they get hired for for work, but that doesn't always happen. And, um, what I was discovering was many, many people were telling me the story that they found their supervisor, you know, through a friend of a friend of a friend or a colleague or asking somebody. And that's really how you find a good restaurant. That's not how you find the person who's gonna guide your professional career development mm-hmm.
But states throughout the country are not mandated to provide a list of the supervision supervisors, they credential mm-hmm.
How do they find supervision there? You know, how complicated is that? And every state has different requirements as we well know mm-hmm. In counseling and social work. Right. And other disciplines l MFTs. And so I decided to mortgage my house and I, um, had a directory built that's called the Clinical Supervision Directory. And it is a connection superhigh, a national connection for supervision seekers and supervisors that is essentially, um, jokingly we say the Tinder of supervision without the dating, cuz you know, of course mm-hmm.
Or works in, uh, particularly say they're a Christian based supervisor mm-hmm.
Right. Right. Yeah. It's, uh, as I was, uh, Amy and I were talking about before we started recording, I've had the same conversation with, uh, one of our, um, the, I guess she do does something similar that you do at your, at the university level from East Tennessee State University, Dr. Cassandra Pary. Um, and just the struggle they find have in helping students find supervisors after they graduate. And then Yeah. And too, the other thing too is just with the different niches and the, uh, different, you know, tracks that people can take, um, it could, some sometimes be difficult. I know for me, I'm an A A M F T approved supervisor, uh, and unfortunately in my state in Tennessee, there's very few of us that, with that, with that credential and so Right. They have to go to the A A M F T website and like, you know, the information there may or may not be correct. Right. All of that sort of thing.
And they have to know to do that. So. Absolutely. So we need you in the directory, Gordon, and, and here's the key. You don't even have to be looking for supervision seekers. You don't even have to be looking for supervisees mm-hmm.
Um, and one supervisee that pays you for supervision or works in on your team, even if you don't, they don't pay. You can pay back your listing. But the goal is even if you're not looking for someone, you have expertise in getting licensed and credentialing that the average person or even a clinician that you know, isn't up to date on the regulations, doesn't necessarily have, because you are keeping up with that information mm-hmm.
Yeah. And so what a, what an amazing opportunity for us to help people get connected. I need that East state, Tennessee state University person's name because I could get every single one of those people a job uhhuh. And every one of those employers, uh, need to be connected with us as well.
Right, right. Yeah. And I think that's a, you know, one of the things that, um, you know, I think there's, there's a lot of things, and we can go a lot of directions with this one. Something you, um, you mentioned is just the fact that our licensure portability problem is, is just a terrible problem. Yes. Course within the United States. I mean, it's just, it's ridiculous that we have so many different rules and, and all of that sort of thing. And, um, you know, and then the other problem not to get on my soapbox is just, uh, state boards that are just broken. I mean, just Yeah. I mean's,
Well, and that's a big challenge. I mean, in counseling a, you know, mft, you know, A A M F T is a bit less complex. Um, N A S W is a bit less complex, but ACA and the board of counseling is extraordinarily complex. Mm-hmm.
How do I become a supervisor in this state? And our, on our site, we try to connect you with the information on how to do that, but it's, it varies per state. Some states in the country just require you to show up and say, I wanna be a supervisor. Some states, like Illinois for example, everyone can be a supervisor after the first year of licensure as a clinician. Everyone is credentialed as a supervisor, everyone. Wow. Um, and then in, in Virginia, for example, you have to take 20 CE hours to become a supervisor. But not everyone has to do that, or not everyone does that. So it's extraordinarily variable. Yeah. Yeah. So why is that? Yeah. Why is that? Like, that doesn't make sense either, so.
Right, right. Yeah. And it's, it's, yeah. It's, uh, and then, then too, I think with, uh, different, um, depending on the area of the country you're in, you've got different concentrations of the different licensure and so then you've gotta match somebody with
Absolutely. Especially with the lmf. Yes. Mm-hmm.
Yeah. Right. Yeah. So that's, that's cool. So tell tell folks, you know, um, how they can maybe get in your directory and Yeah. All of that sort of thing.
Yeah. So it's super easy. What we've done is, and we have some exciting, some really exciting partnerships that we're, my team the other day said, um, it is exciting for me to say I have a team. But anyway, the team the other day said, is this the calm before the storm? And I said, yeah, totally
The other area that we have, um, sort of started to develop as well though, is an interesting one for people like us, Gordon mm-hmm.
In this mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Yeah. Yeah. I know. You know, another thing I was thinking about too, just to, in the, in the same vein as this, is that, um, if somebody were getting some sort of specific certification like EMDR or Right. Uh, certified, um, sex addiction therapist, that kind of thing, that there's a need there for finding supervisors to supervise you for your solidification.
Yes, absolutely. Mm-hmm.
So we need to use them as the mom.
Yeah. Right. Right. Yeah, I totally agree. I totally agree.
But you know, it's partly because no one, everyone just likes their fiefdoms, uhhuh. I mean, it just doesn't make sense why, why that has become necessary. I don't know mm-hmm.
Right. Everyone just wants their fiefdoms and, you know, it's unfortunately the consumer, and of course us, you know, as the practitioners, but the consumer is the one that ultimately suffers because, you know, it makes it that much more complicated for, for the practitioner to be able to function.
Right. Right, right. Yeah. And the the other thing too is just with the, with the shortage, with the shortage we have of mental health providers, anything we can do to kinda make the path easier. Absolutely. I mean, you know, you finding that balance between clinical integrity and being able to do sound efficacious work, we've gotta maintain that, but we don't have to make it overly complicated to, for people to learn stuff.
Well, and what we, what, here's the interesting thing. So I had a conversation with aca, um, the American Counselors Association, um, in people about, I don't know, maybe eight months ago. And they had said to me, you know, why is supervision, I mean, they didn't really say it like this, but they kind of implied like, why is supervision, you know, so important? And, um, and, and they weren't saying it wasn't, they were just asking for my response. And I said, mm-hmm.
Yes. So, I don't know. Yeah, I don't, that's just my, obviously my personal opinion. I don't think you like that answer, but
Yeah. Yeah. Well, I think, I, I think in general, and this is just, again, I'm gonna, not to get on a soapbox, but I think one of the things that, um, a lot of our professional organizations have done is, is they have kind of, I, I don't wanna go out on a limb and say they're irrelevant, but they've made, what they did in the past is maybe not as relevant as it is today. I mean, it's, um, and what I mean by that is, is that there was a bit of, you know, joining an association, there was something about a little bit of a prestige, that kind of thing. And I don't know that that pit that is so much important to people as much as it is just knowing that they're gonna help them in their career. And so mm-hmm.
Yeah. And I, it's hard to say, you know, what's gonna happen going forward and how, you know, I mean, I do feel like there are lots of opportunities for support through those organizations. Mm-hmm.
Like, is this a real thing? Like does it need to have like it's own, own, you know, like LLC and everything? And she said, um, yes it does. It needs to have mm-hmm.
An accidental niche,
Well, I, you know, one of the things that I've learned, um, you know, again, but talking about the, the kind of, the shortage of, of licensed clinicians is what seems to be be a better option for me as a group practice owner is that when I need more staff, I've maxed out right now, but when I need more staff, it is much more appealing to me to raise somebody up. Absolutely. I do the, do the supervision and, and kind of, you know, bring, bring them on board that way, rather than trying to scour and find license people with experience, all of that kind of stuff. Yeah, absolutely. I think it's a much, much more win-win kind of thing.
Absolutely. And yet, at the same time, part of what we need to be working on, being able to do too, is helping us as supervisors know how to, um, help those residents learn to stay, you know, stay too mm-hmm.
In the field. Yeah.
Yes. Absolutely. Well, Amy, I know we've gotta, I, I've gotta be respectful of your time, and I'm, uh, so glad we reconnected.
Uh, yes. So any parting thoughts? And also tell folks how they can get in touch with you and, and get started.
Yeah, absolutely. Well, they can find us at the, at the, it's called clinical supervision directory.com. It's www clinical supervision directory.com. They can find us on Instagram and Facebook and LinkedIn. Um, they can find us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, um, I'm all over, you know, kind of all over the place. Mm-hmm.
Oh, awesome. Awesome. And we'll have links in the show notes and the show ceremonies and all that kinda stuff. Thanks Gordon. Well, Amy, it's great to re reconnect and I'm, I'm sure we'll have you back here soon.
Absolutely. Thank you. And hugs to your wife as well. Okay. Thanks. All right. Thanks Gordon.
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Gordon is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast & Blog. He is also President and Founder of Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC. He is a therapist, consultant, business mentor, trainer, and writer. PLEASE Subscribe to The Practice of Therapy Podcast wherever you listen to it. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter @therapistlearn, and Pinterest, “Like” us on Facebook.