BCIA Mentoring Versus Supervision: Why the Difference Matters

Updated: Jul 31


Mentoring

BCIA requires mentoring as an educational process for individuals seeking BCIA certification. Listen to Dr. Moss explain the difference between mentoring and supervision © Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback.


Mentoring Defined

Mentoring is the "process of transmitting knowledge and skills from the trained to the untrained or the experienced to the inexperienced practitioner. Mentoring involves a relationship between a mentor and candidate that promotes the development of skill, knowledge, responsibility, and ethical standards in the practice of biofeedback"' (bcia.org). BCIA publishes mentoring handbooks, which include Essential Skills Lists for Biofeedback, HRV Biofeedback, and Neurofeedback.


Typically, a mentor does not assume legal responsibility for the mentee's patients receiving treatment or training. The mentor’s focus is on the planning and delivery of biofeedback services, not on the entirety of the client’s care (Moss, 2020).

Supervision Defined

Supervision provides guidance for clinical practice for qualified health professionals by a more experienced health professional. In supervision, the supervisor assumes some legal responsibility (and liability) for the quality of care and the patient’s wellbeing in the treatment process. A supervisor is responsible to remain cognizant of the entirety of the technician’s caseload, client assessment, treatment planning, and treatment delivery (Moss, 2020). Unacceptable Supervision

Since supervisors assume legal responsibility for client care, they must be physically present at the site where an applicant or unlicensed certificant works. BCIA rejects applications from technicians whose supervisors are not licensed, not legally allowed to supervise biofeedback services, or who can only oversee the delivery of services at a distance. Worst case, from another state! Summary BCIA requires mentoring, but not supervision, for individuals seeking BCIA certification. The mentor’s focus is on the planning and delivery of biofeedback services, not on the entirety of the client’s care. In supervision, the supervisor assumes some legal responsibility (and liability) for the quality of care and the patient’s wellbeing in the treatment process. A supervisor is responsible to remain cognizant of the entirety of the technician’s caseload, client assessment, treatment planning, and treatment delivery. References Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (2016). Professional standards and ethical principles (9th rev.). Moss, D. (2020). Professional conduct in biofeedback and neurofeedback. BCIA Webinar. presented to BCIA.


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