What Is The Role Of An LMFT Supervisor In Counseling?

In the field of counseling, a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) takes on specific work that aims to help couples and families overcome the issues that affect them. However, LMFT counselors don't operate in a vacuum. Just like other types of licensed professional counselors (LPCs), LMFTs should have someone in a supervisory role to help them. An LPC supervisor, or an LMFT supervisor, in the case of marriage and family therapists, fulfills a role of critical importance in professional counseling. Read on to learn more about what they do.

Clinical Supervision

Firstly, an LMFT supervisor should provide direct clinical supervision to therapists who are not yet licensed. Monitoring and overseeing the quality of counseling provided by therapists under their wing is a vital part of this supervisory role. In addition, supervisors will be expected to guide new therapists as they apply the theoretical knowledge they have learned in their studies within real-world counseling scenarios. Regular reviews of case notes are often the starting point for such clinical supervision, but this part of the role can involve observing counseling sessions in person, as well.


Supervision in the field of LMFT counseling also involves acting as a mentor. Offering expertise in tricky situations, advice concerning different clinical approaches to take, and support when new therapists are unsure how to proceed falls under the mentorship role that LMFT supervisors are expected to undertake. The basic idea is to impart critical skills to supervisees so that they can gain insights into their counseling. Conceptualization, intervention selection, and ethical decision-making are all common areas where such feedback from another counseling professional can be beneficial. Additionally, help with managing transference and countertransference issues can also fall under a supervisor's remit, as can assistance with maintaining professional boundaries or mentorship with coping under emotional strain.

Continuing Professional Development

Another key responsibility of an LMFT supervisor is to promote professional development. Newly qualified but as-yet unlicensed therapists tend to need some guidance when it comes to their ongoing professional development. Supervisors often aid them by pointing out the requirements for licensure as well as discussing areas of professional strengths and weaknesses where professional growth may be most beneficial. A supervisor should also support continuing education, especially with respect to emerging research and innovative counseling techniques.

Counseling Standards Adherence

Finally, anyone in an LMFT supervisory role should confirm that all of the relevant ethical guidelines and standards of practice are properly adhered to. 

Contact a company like Nancis Boice Counseling for more information.