Family Psychological Services (FPS) is a Training FacilityWhat does it mean if my therapist is in training?
In Kansas, all psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors are licensed at two levels of practice experience. Anyone with the following initials after their name has completed at least a masters degree and all the requirements for clinical licensure including hundreds of hours of direct contact with clients and at least 100 hours of supervision from an experienced clinician in their field of study:
Licensed Psychologist (always a PhD or PsyD)
LCP (not LPC)
Anyone who has the following initials after their name has been granted a masters degree but has NOT completed supervision or taken the test for clinical licensure:
Senior staff and associates at FPS are all on the first list. All junior staff are all on the second list. Family Psychological Services is a training facility in which senior staff mentor junior staff who serve as apprentices while providing mental health service to the community. This is the model that has been used for decades in America, and which is unfortunately no longer the standard of practice in Kansas. However, at FPS it remains a mark of excellence that we work closely with our junior staff to build and enhance their careers and insurance quality service to our clients.Are there providers in our community at the same level of practice as the FPS junior staff who are practicing without supervision?
Yes. Absolutely. In an unexpected move in 2020, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas changed their credentialling rules to allow sub-clinically licensed providers (those on the second list) to provide the same services as the providers on the first list. They made no requirement that junior providers have any supervision at all, meaning that someone can finish school on Thursday, get their license in a few weeks, and shortly thereafter, get on the BCBS panel to provide services without any further training or supervision. The Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (BSRB) does not require anyone to become clinically licensed, but until this change in policy at BCBS, there was a big incentive to do so. While this is certiainly concerning in general practice, before you become concerned that your assigned FPS therapist is "just" a junior staff at our office, please take a look at the providers in the community who are also on that second list and be aware that they may or may not receive any supervision at all while seeing you or your child and they may or may not be interested at all in full clinical licensure. At FPS, all staff are required to pursue clinical licensure to continue working here. We take training and supervision seriously and it is an integral part of our work.How are junior staff trained and supervised?
In a word, "intensively." All staff receive weekly team supervision of up to four hours as well as instructional time. Additionally,junior staff meet at least once per week with their primary clinical supervisor. They also meet regularly with the practice owner, Licensed Psychologist Wes Crenshaw, PhD. All staff, but especially junior staff receive something called "live supervision."
How does live supervision work?
At our new Peterson Office, beginning in November 2022, we'll be using a camera based system. The supervisor(s) are able to watch and listen to the conversations from another room. The therapist wears an earpiece, kind of like an air pod, that is connected to a headset worn by the supervisor. This allows the supervisor to speak to the therapist in real time while they are working with the client. At one point this was considered the best and most reliable way to teach and supervise students, and it was extensively used at the Menninger facilities for many years. As the quality of supervision and training has deteriorated over the last twenty years, this technique is less common now.
Why would I want to be in live supervision with my therapist?
The main purpose of live supervision is very simple -- to help the therapist become a better therapist. However, this may well impact your case in a positive way as you get new insights and suggestions that your therapist had not yet considered. Clients typically appreciate having this level of input and quality assurance.
Will I know if I'm being observed?
Yes. Always. Even if the cameras are in the room (they're hidden in decorative boxes) they cannot be turned on without your knowledge and permission. The goal is not to spy on anyone!
Can we refuse?
Yes. It is your right to refuse. However, we'd like you to think it through before doing so. There are many pros and no discernible cons. Most people quickly forget about the observers and focus on the therapist and the session. We have used this technique to hire new staff for many years and everyone who has gone through it as a client has benefited from the experience.
Some people find it strange that the observer is in a different room. It is an unusual situation. But it is far more awkward if someone you don't know sits in the corner and watches you. Historically, we've found that when we try to do that, the client pays more attention to the strange observer than the actual therapist. Using cameras, the observer is forgotten quickly and the focus of the session remains on the client and therapist.Will I be recorded?
ONLY with your consent. We have the capacity to record sessions in the live supervision room. If you do agree to be recorded, the session will only be shown within FPS for the purposes of training and supervision. This is not unusual. In many training sites, therapists are required to video clients and share that with the supervisor. Live supervision is a substitute for that approach and a much better method of supervision. You will always know if you are on camera and you will always know if you are being recorded.
If we're asked to do live supervision, does it mean that my therapist is stuck or the supervisor thinks they are doing something wrong?
No. Not at all. One valid use of live supervision is to help "stuck" cases get back on track -- which everyone should appreciate. However, the main goal is always to train the therapist and improve their practice. We like to have an wide array of cases for live supervision, some that are going well and some that need more direction and support. Ideally, we'd randomly select most cases, but from a practical standpoint time doesn't allow for that. So, the therapists are asked to look for interesting cases that they'd like to get more input on. In some rare cases, a therapist may feel they cannot continue with a client unless they get live supervision. While it remains your choice to participate, in these rare cases the therapist may decide they won't continue the case and refer you out.
Do senior staff do live supervision?
Yes. However, those cases do tend to be the ones the therapist is having more difficulty with. Yet, the goal remains the same. Even senior staff recognize the need for additional guidance and support to make your treatment and their practice as a whole, the best it can be. The chance to do live supervision is something to be embraced. Whether you realize it or not, it is likely to help your case along and to give your therapist additional direction for working with you and your family. If that were not so, we wouldn't spend the time and money necessary to make it happen. Speaking of which...
Are there additional charges for this service?
No. The extra cost of the supervision is born by FPS as a contribution to building a better, more capable staff.