Istilldontknow

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Aug 10, 2016
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Hi everyone,

I am currently on internship, and covid has greatly impacted my training and face to face hours. For context, I work in adolescent corrections and there have been constant outbreaks at the facility for the past few months (literally every resident in the facility has or had it at one point). Therefore, we are not allowed to see clients face to face and are only able to do 20 min phone sessions. Because of this, I am VERY low on clinical hours and there is no way I will I reach 500 hours by the end of the internship year. I am guessing I will be around 250-300 depending on how the facility moves forward with client contacts. I am not the only intern in my cohort facing this issue, and our director has been wonderful at assuring us that we will still complete the internship.

I am wondering if anyone else is in the same boat as I am? How are you coping? Does your director have a plan for alternate assignments to make up for lack of client contacts?
 
Dec 4, 2019
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Hi everyone,

I am currently on internship, and covid has greatly impacted my training and face to face hours. For context, I work in adolescent corrections and there have been constant outbreaks at the facility for the past few months (literally every resident in the facility has or had it at one point). Therefore, we are not allowed to see clients face to face and are only able to do 20 min phone sessions. Because of this, I am VERY low on clinical hours and there is no way I will I reach 500 hours by the end of the internship year. I am guessing I will be around 250-300 depending on how the facility moves forward with client contacts. I am not the only intern in my cohort facing this issue, and our director has been wonderful at assuring us that we will still complete the internship.

I am wondering if anyone else is in the same boat as I am? How are you coping? Does your director have a plan for alternate assignments to make up for lack of client contacts?
I am in the exact same boat...there is literally no way for me to reach the minimum number of face-to-face ours to graduate and still be a functioning human being. And my internship training director has just learned that observation hours are counted as support, not face-to-face intervention hours.

I expressed my concerns with my school's training director. They have made an agreement with my internship TD and noted that it will not prevent me from graduating on time or prevent me from starting postdoc if I want to pursue that route.

Coping...positive/normalizing self-talk. It is crazy to believe that we are not only mental health providers within correctional/forensic/healthcare settings during a pandemic, but also living history while we are trying to hone our craft. I voice this often to myself and be gracious.

I also try to voice my concerns/interests often. The initial model of internship presented to me doesn't fit within our COVID world. So, my TD has given me leeway to craft internship more to my likings/desires/whatever is available. For now, this means a lot more report writing and working on a research project. This also means I provide (jr) consultation services where possible and help produce mental health service packets for clients I cannot see face to face. I try not to seem like I am whining, so I try to "share the dilemma" with my TD and express my desire to problem solve knowing full well that they are human too.

Overall, these are strange times. If there is anyway I can support you, feel free to PM me.

Stay strong and sane :)

Best,

Winter
 
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WisNeuro

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Our state association has sent guidance to the state board of psychology to consider variances to internship hours from the 2020-2021 cohort when such individuals are applying for licensure given the unprecedented circumstances. Preliminary discussion with the board indicate that variances can only go so far, that is applicants will still need a certain percentage of the expected F2F hours (e.g.,something like only 25% of expected hours would not be acceptable). This is also a situation in which those affected would be strongly encouraged to pursue formal postdocs as this may help offset some concern from state boards about supervised clinical experience.
 
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Istilldontknow

2+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2016
77
45
Our state association has sent guidance to the state board of psychology to consider variances to internship hours from the 2020-2021 cohort when such individuals are applying for licensure given the unprecedented circumstances. Preliminary discussion with the board indicate that variances can only go so far, that is applicants will still need a certain percentage of the expected F2F hours (e.g.,something like only 25% of expected hours would not be acceptable). This is also a situation in which those affected would be strongly encouraged to pursue formal postdocs as this may help offset some concern from state boards about supervised clinical experience.
Thanks for the info! I did apply to formal postdocs, but that has been challenging as well. Originally, I had planned to apply to 4 forensic based post docs in my state. Unfortunately, 3 of those sites are not taking postdocs due to the pandemic.
 

WisNeuro

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Thanks for the info! I did apply to formal postdocs, but that has been challenging as well. Originally, I had planned to apply to 4 forensic based post docs in my state. Unfortunately, 3 of those sites are not taking postdocs due to the pandemic.

This may be a situation of expanding the net beyond your current state, or considering more flexible options (applying next year, expanding types of postdocs you are considering, etc).
 
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parametric

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Dec 24, 2014
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My f2f hours are also pretty low - no groups, no inpatient work, more frequent assessment cancellations, not all individual clients being good candidates for telehealth or having technology for VVC. Blah. My site’s doing as much as they can but there’s only so much they can do in light of the reality we are in.
 
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Thanks for the info! I did apply to formal postdocs, but that has been challenging as well. Originally, I had planned to apply to 4 forensic based post docs in my state. Unfortunately, 3 of those sites are not taking postdocs due to the pandemic.
I did not limit my forensic postdoc applications by geolocation. I did however, have limited writing samples which reflect my present writing abilities. For the most part, sites were quite understanding and helpful throughout the process.
 

AcronymAllergy

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I suspect many/most state boards will attempt to be somewhat flexible in this regard, and there are forms for internship directors to identify ways in which the typical internship experience was modified due to the pandemic. That being said, getting in touch ahead of time with states in which you're considering getting licensed to ask what their policies are (if they yet know them) could be a good idea. Like WisNeuro said, states will probably only have so much leeway to give.

If it helps you feel better, I don't think this is going to be a rare occurrence. Even sites that are able to provide 100% or near-100% telehealth and/or limited in-person services are seeing dips in clinical hours.
 
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