Have you ever wondered if your clinical skills were getting stale? Maybe you have the feeling that you need to add to your clinical toolbox, or while working with a client, you realized that you needed a different approach.
Regardless if your a new clinician or have years of experience, there is a need to keep your clinical skills fresh. You’re responsible for delivering the best service possible for your client, and if it’s been a while since you worked on your skills, it’s time to learn something new. Here are five ways to refresh your clinical skills.
1) Attend a free webinar
We are in a time of content overload online. Every week you have the opportunity to attend free webinars and trainings. From learning about setting boundaries to emotional intelligence, webinars are a great tool for learning.
2) Join a social media group for counselors
Social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn provide you an opportunity to connect with other clinicians. In these groups, you can ask questions, review discussions, and learn new clinical skills. Social media groups for clinicians not only help you improve your communication skills, but also tolerance for others, which can serve you in many ways.
3) Put consideration into your Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
Your CEU requirements that are a part of your licensing process is a great time to freshen your clinical skills. Instead of cramming all of your requirements into a few hours to meet the deadline, put consideration into the information you want to learn. For example, you want to work on your active listening skills, so pick training that offers this and provides CEUs.
4) Work with a supervisor or clinical coach
Think about all of the skills you learned during your required supervision for your license. What if you could reach out to a supervisor regularly or committed to seeking supervision monthly, even though it isn’t required? Being able to reach out for help and support is essential in being a competent clinician. Another option is to work with a clinical coach who can help you hone in on specific skills such as critical thinking, boundaries, and treatment planning.
5) Consider a new certification
Are you considering a new certification program? If you want to refresh your clinical skills while adding a few new ones, consider adding a new certification to your toolbox. Maybe you enjoy working with trauma and grief, then you may consider Eye Movement Desensitization Resolution (EMDR). There are hundreds of specialization you can obtain as a clinician, and many offer certifications. Not only are you able to better serve your ideal client, but you are also becoming highly skilled in your specialty area.
The number of reasons that you need to freshen your clinical skills is endless. However, one of the most important reasons is to make sure you enjoy your job as a clinician. When you are fulfilled and happy with your job, you are giving your best to your clients. Continuing professional development is crucial for both you as a clinician and the clients you serve.
Dr. Kristie Overstreet is a clinical sexologist, certified sex therapist, licensed professional clinical counselor, author, speaker, and consultant. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Sexology, Master of Arts in Professional Counseling, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She is a licensed counselor in California, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana. She is also a Certified Sex Therapist and Certified Addiction Professional. She has over 12 years of clinical experience specializing in sex therapy, transgender healthcare, relationships, and helping counselors build their private practice. She is president of Therapy Department, a private practice that provides counseling, training, speaking, and consulting services across the United States. For more information about Dr. Kristie’s work visit www.KristieOverstreet.com.