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(p. 7) Becoming Licensed Means That I Am Now Competent 

(p. 7) Becoming Licensed Means That I Am Now Competent
(p. 7) Becoming Licensed Means That I Am Now Competent

Jeffrey E. Barnett

, and Jeffrey Zimmerman

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date: 22 May 2019

Mental health clinicians invest in many years of hard work to develop their clinical competence through graduate coursework and through supervised clinical experiences. All this is done with the ultimate goal of becoming independently licensed to practice in one’s profession. Because licensure is such an important event, signifying the culmination of so much education and training, it may be natural to believe that becoming licensed means that one is now clinically competent. This chapter addresses how clinical competence and licensure should be viewed and understood. Licensure assesses one’s competence to enter the profession, but it cannot guarantee competence in all areas of clinical practice at the time of licensure or in the future. How to maintain, update, and expand one’s competence over time is addressed. Risks and threats to competence are discussed, and recommendations are provided for ensuring one’s ongoing competence over time.

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