Clinical Supervisor (Revised April 10, 2014)
Prior to proclamation, a clinical supervisor is a practitioner who has extensive clinical experience, generally five years or more, in the practice of psychotherapy.
In the first three years following proclamation, a clinical supervisor is a regulated practitioner in psychotherapy in good standing with her or his College*, who has extensive clinical experience, generally five years or more, in the practice of psychotherapy and who is competent in providing clinical supervision. Upon proclamation of the Psychotherapy Act, practitioners who are receiving supervision from an unregulated practitioner will have a grace period of one year to transition their supervision to a regulated practitioner who meets the above requirements.
Three years after proclamation, a clinical supervisor must be a regulated practitioner in psychotherapy in good standing with her or his College, who has extensive clinical experience, generally five years or more, in the practice of psychotherapy, and who has demonstrated competence in providing clinical supervision.
Outside Ontario, a clinical supervisor is an experienced practitioner of psychotherapy qualified to provide clinical supervision in her or his jurisdiction.
*Includes College of Nurses of Ontario, College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, College of Psychologists of Ontario, Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
In the course of engaging in the practice of psychotherapy, a member is authorized, subject to the terms, conditions and limitations imposed on his or her certificate of registration, to treat, by means of psychotherapy technique delivered through a therapeutic relationship, an individual’s serious disorder of thought, cognition, mood, emotional regulation, perception or memory that may seriously impair the individual’s judgement, insight, behaviour, communication or social functioning. See Psychotherapy Act, 2007, section 4.
- direct client work
- recordkeeping and preparation in relation to direct client work
- professional development in psychotherapy
- engaging in clinical supervision as a supervisee
- conducting research or writing in the field of psychotherapy
- other professional activities that impact the practice of psychotherapy.
Direct Client Contact (DCC)
Direct Client Contact is any activity in which the client and the therapist are directly and formally engaged in the psychotherapeutic process. Ordinarily, this process occurs face-to-face, but other forms of direct contact, for example, using telephone, Skype, video-link, or even email (with appropriate considerations for privacy and confidentiality) are relevant. The client may be an individual, couple, family or group.
Also included in direct client contact are:
- interviewing for intake, as long as this activity is clinical in nature and then used to determine the nature and course of the therapy
- interviewing, administering a test or conducting a formal assessment as part of a clinical interaction with the client
- facilitating or actively co-facilitating therapeutic sessions.
The following are not considered direct client contact:
- observing therapy without actively participating or providing follow-up to the client immediately after the observed session
- administrative activities, including report-writing
- conducting a psychometric assessment that primarily involves administering, scoring and report-writing, with little or no clinical interaction with the client
- providing or receiving clinical or other forms of supervision.
Note: a standard 45 or 50 minute session qualifies as one hour of DCC.
‘Grandparenting’ is a time-limited, alternate route to registration for established practitioners in Canada. The grandparenting option will be available for two years following proclamation of the Psychotherapy Act, 2007, and is designed for experienced practitioners whose competence will be assessed using a different set of criteria than regular applicants.
HPRAC Distinction between Psychotherapy & Counselling
“The practice of psychotherapy is distinct from both counselling, where the focus is on the provision of information, advice-giving, encouragement and instruction, and spiritual counselling, which is counselling related to religion or faith-based beliefs.” HPRAC: New Directions, 2006; Chapter 7, Regulation of Psychotherapy, p. 208. The College is not regulating counsellors or counselling. However, psychotherapy and counselling can be highly interrelated.
“In Canada” is defined to include work done by Canadians stationed abroad with the Canadian Forces, a Canadian government agency, or a non-governmental organization (NGO) engaged in international development or humanitarian work, where psychotherapy services are provided to Canadians.
Safe and Effective Use of Self (SEUS)
One of the defining competencies of psychotherapy practice, Safe and Effective Use of Self refers to the therapist’s learned capacity to understand his or her own subjective context and patterns of interaction as they inform his or her participation in the therapeutic relationship with the client. It also speaks to the therapist’s self-reflective use of his or her personality, insights, perceptions, and judgments in order to optimize interactions with clients in the therapeutic process.
Psychotherapeutic traditions and practices related to the development of a psychotherapist’s safe and effective use of self in the therapeutic relationship are diverse. Some applicants will have developed this competency while engaging in their own personal psychotherapy. Others will have taken courses that address use of self; these may include, for example, personal family history and dynamics, anti-oppression and diversity, power dynamics, relational boundaries, experiential practice as client, or interpersonal relationship development. Others may have engaged in a guided and reflective Indigenous practice, such as the four directional way. For some practitioners, this competency may also addressed in a particular form of clinical supervision.
Scope of Practice
The practice of psychotherapy is the assessment and treatment of cognitive, emotional or behavioural disturbances by psychotherapeutic means, delivered through a therapeutic relationship based primarily on verbal or non-verbal communication. See Psychotherapy Act, 2007, section 3.
- promote the professional growth of the supervisee
- enhance the supervisee’s safe and effective use of self in the therapeutic relationship
- discuss the direction of therapy, or
- safeguard the well-being of the client.
Clinical Supervision can be individual, dyadic or group. Group supervision may include Structured Peer Group Supervision if the latter:
- is formal and structured; and
- includes at least one group member who meets the College’s definition of a Clinical Supervisor (prior to proclamation, this is a practitioner who has extensive clinical experience, generally five years or more, in the practice of psychotherapy).
Structured Peer Group Supervision differs from Group Clinical Supervision, in that the latter is led by a Clinical Supervisor, whereas the former includes at least one member who would qualify as a Clinical Supervisor but is an equal participant (not the leader). Structured Peer Group Supervision often occurs in an institutional setting but may be formalized outside such settings.
Informal “peer supervision” i.e. unstructured discussion of clients with colleagues, is not considered an acceptable form of supervision for registration purposes.
Other Allowable Forms of Supervision (for grandparenting applicants only)
Facilitated team meetings or case conferences to discuss client clinical issues are considered Other Allowable Forms of Supervision and can be used only by applicants using the grandparenting route to registration.