We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Ezra Lockhart, MHlthSc(DD), LMHC, LAC, MFTC, MAC, CAS, CDCS and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Ezra, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
There is a national shortage of counselors, clinicians, and therapists in the addiction, behavioral health, and mental health fields. This overall shortage results in practitioners moving into supervisory roles by default. What I mean by this is that those who can weather burnout and the high attrition rate are often promoted to the supervisor-level without specific training or even an example to confidently and competently carry out the role.
To exacerbate this issue, the majority of supervisors wear two hats: administrative supervisor and clinical supervisor. Administrative supervision is a function of employment, while clinical supervision is a function of professional skills development. Oftentimes, one of these roles suffers or is lacking completely. This impacts both job performance and the quality of client care.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I started a private practice in Aurora that focused on autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, substance addiction, and technology-based addiction. However, like most clinicians in private practice, I was forced to close my office several months into the pandemic. I was able to shift to an online practice; however, I was unable to support my clients in a manner they were used to and, frankly, they preferred.
Trying to get support for technology-based addiction from a technology-based modality is problematic. As a result, I transitioned most of my clients to different care or applied for licenses in different states for those clients went either back to their home state or to support their aging parents. Not being able to sustain my client base inspired me to shift to supporting early-career professionals. And to be honest…I am grateful to be able to use my 18 years of clinical experience, supervisory experience, and professional training to develop the next generations of counselors, clinicians, and therapists.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a shoutout to my external clinical supervisor Dr. Reo Leslie Jr.! Trying to transfer my licenses and certifications to Colorado from Alaska was an extremely long and difficult process. There were so many unexpected roadblocks. However, as soon as I connected with Dr. Leslie Jr. the guidance and support that I received helped me blast through those barriers!
Dr. Leslie is the founder and CEO of the Colorado School for Family Therapy. He is the Founder and President of The Colorado Mental Health Professionals Association.
Dr. Leslie worked as a clinician for the Denver Broncos and the Chicago Bears!
Dr. Leslie’s leadership, testimony, and authorship have transformed bills into State law in the Colorado House and Senate.
Dr. Leslie was appointed to the Denver District Attorney Advisory Council on Mental Health and was recognized with an Award for Community and Legislative Service by the President of the Colorado Senate, the Speaker of the Colorado House, and the Colorado Black Democratic Legislative Caucus.
I am grateful to continue to be under his guidance.