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Supervision and Consultation

While commonly used synonymously, supervision and consultation services are distinctly different.  Supervision can be understood as a service provided to an individual who is still training in provision of clinical services in general or in a particular area.  During supervision, the supervisee provides the supervisor with comprehensive information regarding the client and the clinical service as it is provided, throughout the duration of supervision, and the client is aware the supervisee is being supervised and by whom.  When providing supervision, the supervisor is responsible (legally and ethically) for the services being provided.* 

On the other hand, consultation can be understood as the provision of guidance on a clinical question.  During consultation, the consultee provides the consultant with the information believed to be pertinent to the question, which is generally much less comprehensive than that provided in supervision.  The consultant then provides an opinion regarding the clinical question, which the consultee may act upon or not.  In consultation, the consultee is ultimately responsible (legally and ethically) for the clinical services being provided, not the consultant. 


When deciding on which service is appropriate, one must consider their level of training, knowledge, skill, and experience, as well as the clinical need.  Even those who have graduated from a master’s or doctoral program and are fully licensed will require supervision at varying times during their careers (i.e. when learning a new clinical skill, working with an unfamiliar population or presenting issue, etc.). 

Contact us today at 949-706-4889 to discuss your specific needs.

*Please note, supervision of Psychological Associates is not offered as a paid service.  California law prohibits a Licensed Psychologist from charging Psychological Associates a fee for supervision and requires supervisors and supervisees work for the same institution. For more information, visit the California Board of Psychology website.

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