Valerie Kuykendall-Rogers is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor (LPC-S), providing supervision in Texas.
From early on, Valerie had dreams and aspirations to work in a field helping others, remembering how her interest was piqued by a high school psychology class. Already a good listener and someone other people felt like they could talk to, Valerie’s interest in “why people do what they do” propelled her forward down a path of counseling.
She earned her B.A. in Psychology at University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Arts in Community Counseling Psychology from Loyola University in Chicago, and a Master of Divinity degree from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University.
“I found what I always wanted to do,” she said. “A career in mental health has been a perfect match for my personality and talents. I love seeing people grow and learn and make changes in their lives that help them live a more balanced, healthy and fulfilled existence.”
Today, Valerie runs her own private practice, Ascent Psychotherapy Center, in Houston, focusing her work on adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, helping them improve their ability to form healthy and sustainable relationships.
“During my nearly 25 years of work in the mental health industry, most of which revolved around children who were sexually, physically, and/or mentally abused/neglected, I have seen the impact it has had on their views of self and others,” Valerie says. “I’m especially drawn to attachment issues and how this informs our ability to function in interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships.”
As a supervisor, Valerie tries to help therapists become more aware of countertransference by asking them questions about how they feel about a session or client. She likes to discuss ways and provide tools to help supervisees monitor their own countertransference each week.
Valerie identifies communication, compassion, and critical thinking as her top three values in supervision, elaborating on why each is so important in the supervision relationship:
Communication is key to me as a supervisor especially when a supervisee is perhaps having difficulty with a client, running late for their appointment, or any other issues that may arise. Given that we are only seeing each other for 4 hours per month, there are a lot of issues or concerns that may arise between those 4 hours that may require an immediate or urgent response. I like to keep communication open between myself and the supervisee and allow them to contact me (during reasonable hours) with any concerns or questions they may have. So open communication, dialogue, and easy accessibility are the underpinnings of the tenet of communication that are vital for me in my role as a supervisor.
Compassion is another key tenet of mine. As a supervisor, I understand and remember what it was like starting out as an intern, including the nervousness felt, the fear of being incapable or being an “imposter,” and the stress of not knowing what to do with different clients. I strive to convey compassion to my supervisees as well as help them to be compassionate with themselves. This is a learning process and all the lessons, strategies, or methods learned are now being put into action. The more compassion I can convey, the less nervousness and more compassion the supervisee can feel. This, in turn, will transfer to their clients, as they convey their compassion for their clients during the therapeutic milieu.
Critical Thinking is a vital tenet for me as well. I work with my supervisees to ensure that they can critically think through their cases and sessions with their clients as they engage in diagnosis and treatment planning. Critical thinking skills are also comprised of clinical decision making. My work with supervisees consists of also helping them be able to understand “why” they came to a certain diagnosis and how this informs their treatment planning not only at the start of the session, but monitoring this at critical stages of their treatment, for example, every 90 days) to ascertain if there are any changes needed and if so, why?
Valerie remembers the best advice she ever received was to know that the relationship or therapeutic alliance and rapport are vital to the success of treatment. “Knowing methodologies and strategies are important,” she says. “But people don’t care how much you know until you show how much you care. It is in this area, being warm, empathic, and genuine, that the majority of growth and change will occur.
Valerie, who also runs another business, A.P.E.X., LLC, dedicated to helping therapists build, operate, and grow their private practices, offers her supervisees a wealth of information, resources, and lessons from her own experiences. She recommends the following:
On Being a Therapist by Jeffrey A. Kottler
“I love this book by Dr. Kottler as it reflects a lot of Carl Rogers’ views about actually being a therapist rather than just “doing” the work of a therapist.”
Mind Remake Project
This site provides awesome links to free PDF resources including assessments, manuals, workbooks, and more.
A HIPAA-compliant service for sending secure emails to clients.
Send and receive secure faxes.
Send and receive secure messages. Valerie uses this to text with supervisees.
A secure HIPAA-compliant phone service that can also be used to send secure text messages to clients and also conduct secure telehealth sessions.
Associations/ Social Media
I also recommend that interns become members of their professional licensing organizations like American Counseling Association, Texas Counseling Association, etc.
Texas LPC Interns – Facebook Group
It’s not just for interns, but also for supervisors in Texas who are working with interns. I get a lot of feedback and information and encouragement from that site.
Valerie was drawn to online supervision when Texas changed its criteria to allow for LPC Supervisors in the state provide 100% of supervision online.
“I believe online supervision is the wave of the future and that it makes it really accessible to those who are having difficulty finding supervisors who are nearby or local,” she says. “It is also helpful for those whose schedule doesn’t allow for them to travel to see a supervisor on a weekly basis. I am very optimistic and hopeful that this will indeed continue to grow and expand across all states in the U.S.”
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