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Supervision Study Program FAQs

  1. What is The Psychotherapy Institute (TPI)?
  2. What is unique about the Supervision Study Program?
  3. What is the theoretical orientation of the Supervision Study Program?
  4. Who should apply to the Supervision Study Program?
  5. What qualifications do I need in order to apply?
  6. Will I be supervising throughout the two-year program?
  7. How many therapists do I need to supervise?
  8. What kind of supervision or consultation will I receive?
  9. What is the time commitment? What are the other ingredients of the program?
  10. When does the program start?
  11. Where does the training take place? When are meetings with consultants, groups, and seminars scheduled?
  12. How will participation the SSP affect my private practice or outside job while in the program?
  13. Will I get CE units for my time in the program?
  14. What are the graduation requirements?
  15. What happens after graduation?
  16. How much does the training program cost?
  17. Will I be paid for the supervision I do while in the program?
  18. Why might I want to become a TPI member?

1. What is The Psychotherapy Institute (TPI)?

The Psychotherapy Institute is a nonprofit organization of mental health professionals that was founded in 1972. Members come from many disciplines: marriage, family,  and child therapy, social work, psychology, psychiatry, and nursing. We’re united by dedication to psychodynamic approaches to therapy and interest in professional development and growth. The Institute is governed by committees of volunteer Institute members. Our education program provides continuing education to the professional community. Through our training programs and moderate-fee state-licensed clinic, we provide high-quality, affordable psychotherapy to residents of the East Bay.

We believe that The Psychotherapy Institute is unique in providing a setting for clinicians from many disciplines and orientations to find common ground and a professional home.

2. What is unique about the Supervision Study Program?

Since 1984, The Psychotherapy Institute has offered a two-year program in the theory and practice of supervision. One of the oldest such programs in the nation, it is the only one of its kind in the Bay Area. The program combines readings and didactic instruction with a program that includes weekly individual and small-group consultation.

The mission of the program is to help participants develop a sense of personal authority as teachers within the profession. Supervision is presented as a separate, intimate, and complex process, distinct from psychotherapy and requiring special attention and study.

3. What is the theoretical orientation of the Supervision Study Program?

The Supervision Study Program utilizes a relational approach to learning and teaching, that focuses on developing understanding of the relationship dynamics in the consultant/supervisor, supervisor/therapist and therapist/client relationships and the parallels that may exist. Exploring transference and countertransference is an essential vehicle for helping your supervisees to deepen their clinical work.

A partial list of covered topics:

  • Styles of teaching and learning
  • Differences between supervision and psychotherapy
  • Phases of supervision
  • Establishing a supervisory relationship
  • Utilizing parallel process, transference, and countertransference
  • Timing and content of supervisory interventions
  • Assessing supervisees’ learning and dealing with learning difficulties
  • Working with differences in the supervisory & therapy relationships

4. Who should apply to the Supervision Study Program?

  • Therapists who wish to learn about supervision, sharpen their teaching skills, or develop a better understanding of the process of teaching psychotherapy
  • Therapists interested in making the passage to a more advanced level of practice as supervisors, mentors and tachers
  • Therapists in positions of authority who want to become more effective in a leadership role

5. What qualifications do I need in order to apply?

Applicants must:

  • be licensed in California to practice independently in a mental health field (for example, psychiatry, social work, psychology, marriage/family therapy) and have a minimum of two years of post-license clinical experience.
  • have the capacity for introspection and self-awareness.

6. Will I be supervising throughout the two-year program?

Applicants will be supervising or consulting when or shortly after they enter the program (beginning of October). The Selection Committee can suggest supervisory opportunities for program participants who are not already providing supervision or consultation.

Participants enrolled in the program may provide supervision to staff therapists in TPI’s post graduate training program, as well as to licensed therapists in the community through the Institute’s professional consultation service

7. How many therapists do I need to supervise?

This can vary according to your practice or work situation, but for maximum learning, we recommend that you supervise three or more clinicians.

8. What kind of supervision or consultation will I receive?

Participants in training receive individual consultation from senior clinicians who have closely studied and applied the supervision process. Participants also work in a small group with a group consultant, studying the literature and sharing supervisory experiences, to better understand the complex relationships between consultant and supervisor, supervisor and supervisee, and supervisee and patient.

9. What is the time commitment? What are the other ingredients of the program?

You should estimate 5-8 hours per week for group & individual consultation, reading and supervision that you do. Nine times per year, on Saturday mornings, there will be a 2.5-hour seminar.

10. When does the program start?

The training program begins the first week in October and runs for two full years. There is usually an orientation meeting held before the start of the program.

11. Where does the training take place? When are meetings with consultants, groups, and seminars scheduled?

The weekly consultation group is scheduled in advance and meets at the group consultant’s office. For 2013-2015 the weekly consultation group  will be held on Tuesday mornings from 10:30 to 11:50am.  You and your individual consultant will agree upon a time for your weekly meetings at the consultant’s office. The seminars are held monthly on Saturday mornings, normally the third Saturday of the month and may take place at TPI or at the teacher’s office.

12. How will participation the SSP affect my private practice or outside job while in the program?

In terms of time, you may need to adjust your work schedule for the individual and group consultation, and for your supervision of therapists if you are not already supervising. In terms of work quality, participants find that the learning process clarifies and deepens their other clinical work and professional identities.

13. Will I get CE units for my time in the program?

Yes, TPI is an approved CE provider and CE units are given for attendance at the Saturday Seminars.

14. What are the graduation requirements?

  • Attendance and participation in all required meetings;
  • Supervising, presenting your supervisory work in both individual & group consultation.

15. What happens after graduation?

Some training cohorts have maintained contact after graduation, forming the nucleus of a professional supervisors network. Supervisors who maintain their TPI membership find that TPI provides a vibrant professional community.

Activities such as committee work, case conferences, and our monthly Making Connections Forum are just a few of the possible ways of getting involved in TPI.

16. How much does the training program cost?

A $50 (US) application fee must accompany the application.

The fee for the two-year program is $250/month.

Participants in the Supervision Study Program must also become members of The Psychotherapy Institute; membership fees are waived while students are enrolled in the program.

17. Will I be paid for the supervision I do while in the program?

Participants set their own fees for their private practice consultees and collect those fees themselves. There are additional opportunities to supervise trainees in TPI’s two-year post-graduate training program and through TPI’s Consultation Service, available to licensed therapists in the professional community at large. Fees collected through the Consultation Service accrue to TPI while you are in the Supervision Study Program.

18. Do I need to be a TPI member to apply to the Supervision Study Program?

No. SSP students receive TPI membership as part of their tuition while they are enrolled in the program, but applicants do not need to be current members in order to apply.