Supervision Or Consultation?


New therapists often use the terms “supervision” and “consultation” interchangeably.  The problem is that they refer to very different relationships and obligations.  Do you know the difference between supervision and consultation?

Supervision is hierarchical. It often occurs

Hierarchy by brka  / Kristijan Brkic

"Hierarchy" by brka / Kristijan Brkic

within the context of your schooling, employment or post-graduation when you are attempting to satisfy client contact hours for licensure in your state.  If you are under supervision, then you are required to comply with any directives given to you by your supervisor.

Consultation occurs between colleagues or peers and is often used as a way to expand a therapist’s ideas for working with a client.  Consultation is also considered a risk management tool but obligates you to take no specific action other than that based on your own professional judgment.

Related Posts

10 Questions You Must Ask Your Potential Supervisor

9 Steps You Can Take to Insure a Great Supervisory Experience

4 Things to Consider if Your Supervision is Less Than Ideal

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  1. Tamara,

    I wanted to mention to you that CeDar has lunch’n learn trainings at their facility at the “old” Fitzsimmons.


    Maybe this community would like to know about these quarterly presentations.

    Kristene Elmore, LPC
    Treating Families & Individuals

  2. Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!


  1. […] consultation is increasingly considered the minimum standard of practice. Unless you are under clinical supervision (which is different than clinical consultation), every practicing mental health professional should […]

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