In commemoration of the 22nd anniversary of the Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) credential, each month during 2020 the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE) will spotlight an ACS. This month we talked with Dr. Vanessa Teixeira, LMHC, ACS, TF-CBT, a counselor educator and lecturer at Nova Southeastern University’s Orlando, Florida, campus. Previously she was a mental health counselor for children, adults and families for 10 years in Florida and Virginia.
“I decided to pursue the ACS credential shortly after becoming licensed,” she says. “My professional identity as a mental health counselor is exceptionally important to me, and I knew that having the ACS credential was the next vital step to further developing and cultivating my professional growth and identity.”
Dr. Teixeira received a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s in mental health counseling and a Doctor of Education in Counselor Education and Supervision. In addition to being a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (TF-CBT), she obtained the ACS credential in 2017.
“What I liked about the ACS credential is that it is not only focused on being a supervisor; there is a greater focus on identifying as an experienced mental health counselor with enhanced supervision training,” she says.
As an NSU faculty member and counselor educator, Dr. Teixeira mentors, supervises and trains master’s-level mental health counseling students to become effective and ethical counselors. She says that obtaining the ACS has helped her to be a more qualified and confident supervisor.
“Graduate students pursuing their LMHC know that I have met national professional supervision standards and have the knowledge and expertise to provide competent and skilled supervision during their counselor training,” she says. “As an ACS, I can confidently provide clinical supervision to students and new professionals, knowing that I have the highest supervision credentials.
In the past few years, Dr. Teixeira has begun training counseling students to become more aware of LGBT issues and working with children who experience trauma, she says. “I have always been passionate about diversity issues in counseling, and I am currently volunteering as a leader in the Florida Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling (FALGBTIC).”
She recommends the ACS to any mental health professional interested in supervision, she says.
“Obtaining the ACS credential signifies superior knowledge, expertise and experience in the mental health counseling field,” Dr Teixeira says. “If you are looking to grow as a counselor and supervisor, the ACS credential will assist you in becoming a more confident supervisor, especially for counselor educators who are supervising graduate mental health counseling students. I believe graduate students depend on their faculty supervisors for training and supervision that incorporates experience in the counseling field, which is why the ACS credential is a great fit.”
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