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COVID-19 Changes to our Doctoral Practicum

Given the unprecedented challenges of providing training while in the global COVID-19 pandemic, several changes are being made to our training program with additional adaptations likely necessary over the course of the year. Much of this will hinge on CDC, state, and university guidelines. 

While this is a challenging time to be trainee, it is also an opportunity to practice flexibility and to learn things you never expected. 

Additional information can be found in the CCPPS Outline of Phased Staffing & Clinical Plan. We request that trainees arrive to the area 5 days prior to their physical start date per WVU quarantine protocols. Any out-of-state travel will also require a subsequent 5-day quarantine. WVU will be testing all students and employees for COVID-19 prior to starting in-person work. Significant changes to the training program are delineated in the categories below.  

Telehealth Services 

Most services will be provided via telehealth for the foreseeable future. At the beginning of the 2020-2021 year, trainees will receive specific training on provision of services within a telehealth environment. Our hope is to have trainees able to provide telehealth services out of their Carruth Center offices to allow ease of access to senior staff for consultation and support. Pending Center clinical policy and certainly in the event of a broad reversion to work from home services, we would make efforts to secure university laptops to prevent disruption in trainee service delivery and training. Such a requisition would require university approval and funding and cannot be guaranteed at this juncture. It will be essential for trainees to have a confidential and secure home environment from which to provide services in the event we can enable work-from-home service delivery.  

In-Person Services 

For the duration of the pandemic, in-person service delivery will be rare and typically in the event of utilization of the Crisis Clinic. Such services will be delivered with appropriate physical distancing and utilization of masks. Trainees are unlikely provide such crisis services independently until after a period of shadowing and co-facilitation. This will depend on developmental level of the trainee and supervisory discretion. For any in-person services, strict sanitation protocols will need to be followed by staff and trainees. If there is an improvement in the global health crisis, any return to in-person services more broadly will be done in a gradual manner. 

Group Therapy Changes  

CCPPS group offerings will take place via telehealth with the suspension of interpersonal process groups or trauma-focused group offerings. Primary group offerings will be skills groups, psychoeducational groups, and support groups. Our hope is that we will be able to broaden our group offerings later in the year should we be able to resume in-person group treatment. 

Triage Changes 

CCPPS will be suspending typical drop-in hours for the remainder of 2020. We will instead be offering a larger number of scheduled triage appointments. We will maintain an in-person Crisis Clinic for higher-risk students who need an in-person intervention. 

LD/ADHD Assessment Changes  

Trainees working in assessment will continue to administer learning disability/ADHD assessments. However, it is likely that an abbreviated assessment battery will be adopted. Personal protective equipment (PPE), physical distancing, and sanitation protocols will be in place.  

Supervision Changes 

Individual and group supervision is likely to be received primarily in a teleconferencing environment. In some cases, it may be feasible for supervision to take the form of discussion outdoors (only in cases where adequate privacy can be ensured) or in larger rooms with appropriate physical distancing. 

Consultation & Outreach Changes  

Outreach will be provided primarily in a teleconferencing environment, although there are plans for outdoor outreach opportunities with appropriate physical distancing. Depending on clinical demand experienced by the center, trainees may have the option for additional outreach opportunities (which count as direct hours) in place of any reduction of individual counseling opportunity.  

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