Clinical Supervision & Leadership Academy

It takes a lot of study, sacrifice, education, training, and experience to become a good therapist. When one’s talent and professional merit is recognized, and a therapist is promoted to a supervisory role, it quickly becomes clear that a different skillset is required. Being a good therapist and being a good supervisor are fundamentally different, and without additional training, learning to effectively oversee other therapists can be difficult.

Southwest Family Institute’s Clinical Supervision & Leadership Academy is a bridge connecting therapist and supervisor roles, filling in the educational and training gaps, and laying the foundation for a positive, professional, and ethical career. The academy holds two classes annually, limited to 12 participants in each class, takes 12 months to complete, and includes group and one-on-one training, homework, and evaluations. Successful completion qualifies for 50+ continuing education credits (CEUs). The curriculum is designed to meet the specialized training requirements for an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS), as currently required in 15 states. New Mexico does not currently require this certification. A secondary, long-term goal of the Academy is to provide New Mexico with a ready-made curriculum, and elevate supervisor credentialing to current professional standards.


1. Legal & Ethical Issues in Clinical Supervision
Ethics are the cornerstone of the counseling profession. They help us respond to challenging situations, in a pre-approved manner, helping to avoid risks, legal liabilities, and unprofessional dynamics. Fully understanding legal and ethical concerns enables the supervisor to best protect supervisees and their clients.

2. Roles & Functions of Clinical Supervision
Supervisors must be prepared to wear multiple hats for supervisees and stakeholders. This can include supporter, educator, administrator, advocate and all the subsets within these roles. It is important to have awareness of what role is needed in any given situation and additional awareness of what role you might be “slipping into.”

3. Models of Clinical Supervision
To guide supervisors and provide structure for supervisees, three types emerged; (1) developmental, (2) integrated, and (3) orientation-specific models. Determining the model used is at the discretion of the supervisor, based on the needs of the supervisee.

4. Mental Health-related Professional Development
People change, personally and professionally, throughout their career. Professional development is a crucial part of this process, as it can help steer a counselor in an organized manner. Supervisors are responsible for offering and suggesting professional development for the supervisee. This can look different for everyone, depending on needs and interests. The supervisor is also responsible for engaging in their own professional development to ensure professional competence.

5. Methods & Techniques in Clinical Supervision
Supervisors provide support, guidance and leadership. The many methods and techniques employed change based on the needs of the situation. This section provides multiple perspectives and tools available to the supervisor to ensure they are fully equipped to adapt to various circumstances.

6. Supervisory Relationship Issues
The supervisory relationship can experience issues with boundaries, unethical behavior, resistant supervisees, competence, and more. In this section, supervisors learn to avoid these issues if possible, and manage them, should they arise.

7. Managing Therapist Self-Care and Vicarious Trauma in Clinical Supervision
Both novice and experienced counselors are at risk for burn-out and vicarious trauma. Supervisors are responsible for helping their therapists maintain appropriate boundaries, engage in appropriate self-care, and promote in self-awareness to avoid setbacks.

8. Cultural Issues in Clinical Supervision
Counseling is a multi-faceted phenomenon that involves many variables. One of these variables is the cultural backgrounds of the therapists, clients, and supervisors. The supervisor is responsible for managing any cultural issues. With proper supervision, a therapist’s and clients potential cultural conflicts can be easily addressed within the first session.

9. Group Supervision
Group supervision helps therapists offer each other peer input with cases, discuss issues they may be having, and provides a space to feel supported. This type of supervision can be beneficial; it can also be difficult to manage. This section provides the supervisor with the skills to be able to effectively manage group supervision.

10. Evaluation of Supervisee Competence and the Supervision Process
A supervisor is responsible for the development of the supervisee, as well as providing support when needed. Evaluation informs development, and is a way to identify areas of concern, as well as areas of strength.

For more information or to request enrollment, please contact:

Leandrea Romero, PhD, LPCC, ACS  |  (505) 573 2595  |
C. Renée LaVail, LMFT, ACS  |  (505) 917-4479  |