Pre-Licensed Therapist Support Groups Improve Your Practice

As a pre-licensed therapist, you will experience what is likely to be the steepest learning curve of your professional life. Your clients will challenge and educate you, help you build your skills and tap into your intellect and creativity. During this phase of your coming into your own as a pre-licensed therapist, support groups consisting of your peers can be an important part of the growing process. Pre-licensed therapist support groups improve your practice.


It makes sense that, when helping others deal with personal difficulty and pain that therapists, particularly those newer to the field, find their own personal issues being triggered by those of their clients. It is essential for your growth as a human and as a professional, that your pre-licensed years are well supported both personally and professionally.

While adequate supervision fulfills the professional section of need, most pre-licensed clinicians find their personal needs being neglected. Financial constraints may be a limiting factor to seeking personal therapy and process groups, while more cost effective, can be difficult to access.


I find pre-licensed therapist support groups to be the most valuable tool for early stage clinicians. The opportunity to come together with your colleagues facing similar issues and stressors during this time is such an important support to your practice. We therapists often instruct our clients to build solid connections within their communities – we would do well to heed that advice ourselves.

If you are a pre-licensed clinician, find a support group. This should not be about supervision or case consult. Rather, it should provide a forum in which your personal reactions to your work can be fully and safely explored and where you can bring your considerable gifts to your colleagues who, after all, are on similar journeys to your own. Not only will you be able to have affordable and helpful therapy with your peers, you will build valuable group therapy experience and tremendous connections with other professionals.


A Balanced Approach offers pre-licensed process groups, meeting once a month from October to June. Size is strictly limited to assure a positive experience for all and members must commit to attending all meetings, including the final full day retreat. To apply for group, please call (805)541-4090.

Posted by Pamela Suraci in Pre-licensed Support

Pre-Licensed Therapists Most Important Years

Any good therapist will tell you, we all are in the “still learning” phase. . To my pre-licensed colleagues, and yes, you ARE colleagues, I say this: These are the most important years of your career. Get the most out of them. As pre-licensed therapists, your work now will influence you for the rest of your practice.


As you finish your coursework and accrue the hours necessary to qualify for exams, you are in the vague and often undervalued world of the pre-licensed therapist. You are likely working for little or no compensation, with high-need clients and varying degrees of support. The learning curve in this chapter of your life is steep and sometimes overwhelming.

You won’t be making a fortune in your pre-licensed years, but you are providing a valuable service, and often to those who would not otherwise get help. Just because there isn’t a fat paycheck attached to the time you spend in practice doesn’t mean you aren’t being “paid”. Your trainee- and internships are the greatest classroom in the world. Without good training and adequate supervision, you won’t be able to take advantage of that. It’s likely that you are not paid during these hours – so consider the time you spend learning from colleagues, in continuing education classes and hours of supervision your “payment”. Are you being paid enough? If not, make some noise – your supervisor can’t know what you need; agency directors often scramble to provide enough training but don’t always know what pre-licensed therapists are looking for; and support is something you must actively seek out.

Seek Advice And Training Opportunities

Talk to your supervision team about your concerns, speak up about your desire for training, and actively seek out and join process and support groups. Many terrific, licensed clinicians will offer our newer colleagues discounted services to help you along the way.   Don’t waste a moment of these valuable years – they will form you as a therapist and as a person. Time and energy invested now will pay you huge dividends, so that you will one day be the therapist and mentor to your younger colleagues that you aspire to be.

Posted by Pamela Suraci in Pre-licensed Support