Washington State Approved Supervisor Requirements

What is the difference between a Washington State Approved Supervisor and an AAMFT (American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists Association) approved supervisor?


Licensed Associates for Mental Health Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapy, or Clinical Social Work, must have a Washington State Approved Supervisor while gaining their clinical experience hours for full licensure through supervision provided by a WA. State Approved Supervisor—either one provided by an employing licensed mental health agency, or by paying an approved supervisor to supervise a private practice.

To become a Licensed Associate of any type, the Masters-level graduate candidate must contract for supervision by a “Washington State Approved Supervisor, “using WA. Approved Supervision Forms (below).   Additional supervisory qualifications—such as an AAMFT Approved Supervisor--are estimable but unnecessary.   Adherence to the basic requirements of Washington State law are essential and requisite. [WAC 246-809-134].

Washington State Forms for the Supervision of Therapists and Counselors

Approved Supervisors for Licensed Mental Health Professionals

Supervisors and those seeking Supervisory Status:

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has a list of requirements that all Licensed Mental Health Professionals must adhere to in order to offer supervisory services to licensed candidates. Please refer to specific WAC's (below) for complete requirements. Should you choose to supervise a licensed candidate, you must have a valid, current license for two years that is in good standing and without restrictions. You cannot be legally or blood-related , or cohabitate with, the licensed candidate or candidate’s peer and you cannot have been a therapist of the licensed candidate within the last two years.

If you are an out-of-state counselor looking to become a Washington State Approved Supervisor, please refer to Washington State DOH for state reciprocity to ensure you meet Washington State requirements.

Before you begin any supervision, you should provide that candidate with a "Declaration of Supervision" to ensure that you have met the state requirements and state that you do in fact qualify as a Washington State approved supervisor. By stating the following, you are attesting that you have completed the requirements below.

To see Counseling WAC (Washington Administrative Code) definitions, click here.

I have obtained a minimum of 15 clock hours of training or more in clinical supervision through:

  • A supervision course

  • Continuing education credits on supervision

  • Supervision of supervision

  • Or any combination of these

And I have obtained 25 clock hours of experience in supervision of clinical practice; I attest that I will gain full knowledge of the supervisee’s practice activities including:

  • Practice setting

  • Record keeping

  • Financial management

  • Ethics of clinical practice

  • A backup plan for coverage

*Note:  To ensure you are meeting all requirements, please be sure to review the individual forms and/or WAC's related to your specific license type.

Approved Supervisors for Certified Counselors

To act as a supervisor to a certified counselor, you must meet the following:

  • Have an active credential in a counseling-related field for a minimum of five years.

  • The credential or credentials must be in good standing while serving as a supervisor.

You must not be a blood or legal relative or cohabitant of the credential holder, or someone who has acted as the credential holder's counselor within the past two years.  You must not have a reciprocal supervisory arrangement with another credential holder.

Prior to the commencement of any supervision, you must provide the certified counselor with a declaration.  (The declaration form, which houses links to related WAC's, can be found linked below in the Forms Used section.)


Forms Used by the Supervising Counselor

Each form linked below INCLUDES the "Declaration of Supervision" statement that must be completed and submitted to the Department of Health in Washington State as well as given to each counselor being supervised, in accordance with Washington State regulations.

Forms Used by the Counselor to Report

Hours of Supervision to the State of Washington

"Mental Health Counselor Associate Supervision and Experience Verification" Form. (one form for each supervisor)
"Marriage and Family Therapy Supervision and Experience Verification" form. (one form for each supervisor)
"Verification of Social Worker Supervised Postgraduate Experience" form. (one form for each supervisor)

List of Washington State Approved Clinical Supervisors available for paid clinical supervision of Licensed Associates, in private practice, working toward full licensure.

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