Reflective Supervision/Consultation (RSC) is distinct due to the shared exploration of the parallel process. That is, attention to all of the relationships is important, including the ones between practitioner and supervisor, between practitioner and parent, and between parent and infant/toddler. It is critical to understand how each of these relationships affects the others. Of additional importance, RSC relates to professional and personal development within one’s discipline by attending to the emotional content of the work and how reactions to the content affect the work. Finally, there is often greater emphasis on the supervisor/consultant’s ability to listen and wait, allowing the supervisee to discover solutions, concepts, and perceptions on their own without interruption from the supervisor/consultant.

The primary objectives of RSC include the following:

  • Form a trusting relationship between supervisor and practitioner
  • Establish consistent and predictable meetings and times
  • Ask questions that encourage details about the infant, parent/caregiver, and emerging relationship
  • Remain emotionally present
  • Teach/guide
  • Nurture/support
  • Apply the integration of emotion and reason
  • Foster the reflective process to be internalized by the supervisee
  • Explore the parallel process and to allow time for personal reflection
  • Attend to how reactions to the content affect the process

RSC is recommended for all applicants, however, only Family Specialist, Mental Health Specialist, Mental Health Mentor-Clinical applicants are required to receive it.

RSC involves regular meetings between individuals or groups and a reflective supervisor who facilitates thoughtful discussion focused on the emotional content of work in the infant/early childhood-family field. This specialized supervision goes beyond clinical or administrative supervision to shared exploration of the parallel process, i.e., attention to all of the relationships, including that between practitioner and parent, between parent and infant/toddler, and between practitioner and supervisor. It is critical to understand how each of these relationships affects the others. Of additional importance, by attending to the emotional content of the work and how reactions to the content affect the work, reflective supervision enhances professional and personal development within one’s discipline. 

Family Specialist (IFS/ECFS) Specific Requirements: 

Minimum 24 clock hours within a one- to two-year timeframe of post-Bachelor’s, relationship-based reflective supervision/consultation, individually or in a group while providing services to infants/toddlers (birth to 36 months for IFS; 3-6 years for ECFS) and families. 

Provider of RSC must have earned and maintained Endorsement® as a Mental Health Specialist or a Mental Health Mentor-Clinical. 

*Bachelor’s-prepared IFS or ECFS applicants may seek RSC from a Master’s-prepared person who has earned Family Specialist Endorsement® if there is no one with either a Mental Health Specialist or Mental Health Mentor-Clinical Endorsement®. This Master’s-prepared Family Specialist provider of RSC must also receive RSC while providing supervision to others. 


Mental Health Specialist (IMHS/ECMHS) Specific Requirements: 

Minimum 50 clock hours within a one- to two-year timeframe of relationship-focused reflective supervision/consultation, individually or in a group, post-Masters, while providing services to infants/toddlers/young children (birth to 36 months for IMHS; 3-6 years for ECMHS) and families. 

Provider of RSC must have earned and maintained Endorsement® as a Mental Health Specialist or a Mental Health Mentor-Clinical. 


Mental Health Mentor –Clinical (IMHM/ECMHM) Specific Requirements: 

Minimum 50 clock hours within a one- to two-year timeframe of relationship-focused reflective supervision/consultation, individually or in a group, post-Masters, while providing RSC to infant/early childhood-family professionals. A minimum of 25 hours of the RSC received should be about the RSC that the applicant provides to others. 

Applicant’s provider of RSC must have earned and maintained I/ECMHM-Clinical Endorsement®. 


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Endorsement® Reference Ratings

Reference ratings for Endorsement® are critically important. They are our primary source for documenting an applicant’s skills in the domains of Reflection, Working with Others and Thinking.  Reference rating forms are filled out electronically via EASy.  An Endorsement® applicant enters the name and email address of the rater and then the EASy system emails the rater a secure link for completing the form.

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