My therapy approach integrates constructivist, person-centered, reality, and cognitive theories. I believe humans are intrinsically motivated active learners. They just need the right environment and guide to create the opportunity to reflect, acquire information, and experience. Thoughts, affect, and behavior are strongly influenced by the interaction of environmental/societal factors. As technology exponentially improves, more biologically individual explanations for psychological challenges and differences are being identified. Previous learning and development cannot be separated from the social or biological context, however we can make active choices in the present to improve how we accept or view this context and what we do in response. There is no absolute truth, but multiple realities that shift depending on one’s lived experience, biology, and perspectives.
Clients are the expert in their lives and lived experiences. My therapy is rooted in helping others explore and define their experience and reality in a way that gives them purpose, acceptance, relief, and deep meaning. This is delivered through integrated models including acceptance and commitment, solution focused, cognitive behavioral, and somatic psychotherapies.
My theoretical orientation parallels to my supervisory practice
I am a neurodiversity affirming clinician and supervisor who adheres to the Neurodiversity Affirmative Model and Neurodiversity Movement, which is a civil rights movement for the rights of neurominorities, particularly in mental health treatment. This movement views those with neurodivergence as simply having a neurodifference, rather than being deficient or having deficits according to dominant neurotypical standard norms. The challenges arise secondary to the social trauma of being labeled as deficient and pressure to mask/camouflage/conform. Treatment (as well as supervision guidance) is trauma-informed and based in the social model of disability with the goal of helping clients accept their true-selves and recognize/advocate for needs accommodations.
Supervision Style and Beliefs
The purpose of supervising clinical social workers training for licensure is both to provide less experienced clinical social workers development of clinical skills, professional credibility, self-confidence, as well as to ensure ethical practice and protect the public.
Clinical social workers aspire to “start where the client is”. As a clinical social work supervisor, I resolve to “start where the supervisee is”. The relationship is centered on the needs of the supervisee, with clear goals and objectives that are frequently collaboratively reassessed.
Developing a collaborative working alliance is a crucial element in my clinical supervision practice. This becomes a safe place for the supervisee to increase empathy with their clients through parallel process. Frequently the dynamics between supervisor and supervisee are parallel to those in the relationships between the supervisee and their clients. This is a lens through which my supervisory practice focuses.
Supervision should happen in an environment that feels safe enough for the supervisee to fully explore and be open about their difficulties, concerns, and perspectives without fear of judgment or negative criticism from the supervisor. Establishing a comfortable space for the supervisee to openly explore struggles and thoughts is my priority.
Learning occurs when we are challenged, therefore supervision should provide challenges to the supervisee. Through role play, case discussions, readings and training, I will stretch the supervisee to master new skills, develop new knowledge and perspectives, and to become reflective about themselves in their clinical practice.
A supervisee should also feel safe enough to challenge my perspectives, beliefs, or feedback with the expectation that this will stimulate robust exploration and growth. How I respond to being challenged models crucial skills and processes to the supervisee that are paralleled to their clients. I resolve to supportively respond with consistent feedback to all the supervisee’s verbal or written concerns, questions, challenges, feedback, and presentation of new knowledge. Even the most seasoned clinician or supervisor can learn from their students, while modeling growth as a didactic dynamic.
Issues of Diversity and Power
Addressing issues regarding power and diversity in a sensitive and open manner must be explored in clinical supervision. I recognize that power relations are a part of every conversation. That values and world views of clients and therapists that go unexamined are likely to impact on what is happening in the process of therapy. Therefore, I will often probe and explore how these dynamics transpire between supervisees and their clients.
In clinical supervision, as in therapy, I attend closely to the nonverbal emotional responses, and check for feedback about the supervisee’s experience of the supervision process. I remain open to multiple perspectives and to learning from the supervisee’s expertise and lived experiences.
I will also explore the supervisee’s power dynamics concerning race, culture, language, country/region of origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, physical and mental abilities, and neurocognition in relation to typical societal standards and how this impacts their worldview.
As a coach, I assist with direct case consultation.
As a teacher, I present material and resources for broad knowledge of clinical social work.
As a mentor, I focus on professional and personal development of the supervisee.
As a facilitator,I plan, guide, and manage topics in supervision sessions.
As an administrator, I focus on professional, ethical, legal, and other standards that guide the practice of social work.
The standards that guide the Social Work Profession is the NASW Code of Ethics. Every goal and objective in my supervision process is grounded in the Code of Ethics and the Core Values. I advocate and guide supervisees to advocate for vulnerable populations, as it is the base of our profession from which we cannot lose touch.
- Social Justice
- Dignity and Worth of the Person
- Importance of Human Relationships
*Rate for clinical supervision based on ability to pay