News Articles

News Articles

APPIC Board of Directors - COVID-19

Published on Saturday, March 21, 2020

APPIC Training and Education Community,
 

We have received many queries regarding how to respond to the consequences of the COVID-19 public health crisis and its impact on psychology training. There is great diversity among our member sites and the impact of COVID-19 on operations (e.g., total closure, business as usual, integration of telehealth services, etc.). Therefore, it is difficult to have one set of recommendations for all our member sites that addresses site-specific complexity in light of APPIC membership criteria. We realize that many of our constituents are experiencing significant anxiety and uncertainty in managing the challenges of COVID-19. APPIC encourages sites to tailor their programs to meet the needs of patients/clients, to facilitate trainees’ educational goals and requirements, and to consider the physical and emotional wellbeing of staff and trainees.

The APPIC Board wishes to support our stakeholders in developing adaptations to training programs that work for your site and your trainees, while also being mindful of APPIC membership criteria, APA/CPA accreditation criteria, and state and provincial requirements for licensure.

Internship and Postdoctoral Fellowship Directors:

  • It is okay to be creative with how you manage this crisis!
  • Consult with regulatory bodies when necessary (e.g., licensing boards).
  • Reach out to the academic Directors of Training of your interns’ home graduate programs.
    • Ask how you can best support their students.
    • Ask if their institutions have any specific regulations for their students.
    • Tell them what changes and accommodations you are making to the training experiences within your program (e.g., on-site or remote telemental health).
  • If your interns and fellows are not able to provide clinical services in any capacity because the site is closed, we recommend brainstorming ways your trainees can use the time to engage in other meaningful professional development activities (e.g., conducting program evaluations, online telemental health training, etc.)
  • Reach out to colleagues to learn of and share any proposed activities for training staff (e.g., webinars on telemental health, free clinical training resources, etc.).
  • Utilize the APPIC Membership Listserv to communicate with colleagues at other sites.

 

Doctoral Interns and Postdoctoral Fellows:

  • We empathize with your anxiety at this time—talk to your site’s Director of Training and your academic program’s Director of Training.
  • Remember that the organizations responsible for the accreditation of doctoral, internship, and postdoctoral programs, as well as state and provincial psychology licensing boards, want to increase our workforce of competent psychologists, not shrink it!
  • These organizations (APA, CPA, CoA, ASPPB, and APPIC) are motivated to work together, and with you, to get through this crisis! They recently met and collaboratively crafted this document which may also be found on the APPIC website: Psychology Training and Education Joint COVID-19 Statement
  • We assure you that APPIC will continue to collaborate to support the training of the next generation of health service psychologists.
  • We highly recommend that you communicate with your home doctoral program for support, to communicate how your site is adjusting your internship training, and to answer your questions about how internship training changes may impact any graduation requirements.

Academic Directors of Doctoral Training Programs

  • Reach out to the Training Directors of internship sites where you have students.
    • Ask how the site is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of protection of the health and safety of your students.
    • Share what you are doing in your program and with your practicum students to address these issues; this information may be helpful for Training Directors to consider and to possibly incorporate at their sites.
    • If it is within your purview, inform the Training Director if your institution has flexibility in adjusting the internship hours required for graduation requirements.
    • Ask how you can support them.
  • Reach out to your students who are on internship.
    • Ask how their sites are managing the pandemic and prioritizing their health and safety in addition to their training and clinical care.
    • Highlight that they should not put themselves at increased risk of exposure in order to accrue hours as usual.
    • Ask how you can support them (e.g., informing the site of your own institution’s policies).
    • Remind them to engage in self-care.

 

Here are some APPIC initiatives and resources that may be useful for all members of the training community:

  • In the spirit of collaboration, APPIC is partnering with the Council of Chairs of Training Councils (CCTC; a forum of education and training groups in professional psychology) to collect and share resources and solutions in a central online location.
  • We are actively working with our partners at Liaison and Time2Track to consider updating how phone and telemental health hours can be counted on the AAPI. Stay tuned for further details!
  • We have added an FAQ section to our website: APPIC Covid-19 FAQ
  • APPIC listservs are a good avenue to dialog with other members of our community.
  • APPIC’s Informal Problem Consultation (IPC) process is an option for trainees, internship and fellowship directors, and doctoral program directors to obtain confidential consultation from an APPIC Board Member. Click here to initiate an IPC.
  • The following links may also be helpful:

 

We look forward to continuing to work together with you as we weather this crisis. APPIC recognizes that the unprecedented nature of this situation contributes to uncertainty and the absence of a clear path forward. We will share information with you as it becomes available and as more specific directions emerge. We are all in this together! Please feel free to reach out to us with specific questions or concerns. Be well and stay safe!

 

The APPIC Board of Directors