COVID-19 & Private Practice: Minimizing Risk for Mental Health Practitioners (with Webinar Recording)
Online Course Materials: Articles
Developed by Alessandra Maria Chiesa, Ph.D.
This course includes NEW 2020! COVID-19 Informed Consent Addendum forms and COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire to be used with your existing informed consent forms. It also includes recording from July 29, 2020 Webinar: COVID-19 & Private Practice.
General Course Description
The current COVID-19 pandemic has many practitioners feeling concerned and even overwhelmed regarding how to ensure their own safety, as well as the safety of staff and clients, as they consider or have already returned to in-person sessions. Informed consent is one part of the process with the need to provide this in an ethical and legally appropriate manner.
This intermediate course (text-based only, no audio or video) is designed for clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, and other mental health professionals working in small or independently operated practice settings. The course proposes best practice guidelines based on the medical information from the CDC and the WHO and professional practice organizations such as the APA and the CSWA. Information from these multiple resources is summarized and adapted for application to practitioners providing mental health services. The course covers three topics in planning related to (1) hygiene and safety practices to reduce risk of transmission in private practice settings, (2) how to implement a basic screening process for incoming patients/clients, and (3) how to develop an updated informed consent form that addresses your office’s COVID-19 safety practices.
Included in this course are an Informed Consent Addendum for In-person Visits During the COVID-19 Pandemic form (adult and child), to be used as an addendum to your existing informed consent forms, AND a COVID-19 screening questionnaire. Each form is designed to be edited and customized to reflect the specific policies of each clinician. Also included is the recording from July 29, 2020 Webinar: COVID-19 & Private Practice.
- This course will teach the participant to
- Identify three or more hygiene and risk management steps recommended by the CDC that may be used in small private office setting providing mental health services to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
- Identify one or more basic screening processes to use with incoming patients/clients before the start of a scheduled appointment in small private office setting providing mental health services.
- Identify at least three areas to address when presenting patients/clients with an updated informed consent form that specifically addresses COVID-19 safety practices in a small private office setting providing mental health services.
- American Psychological Association Legal and Regulatory Affairs Staff.
(2020). Sample informed consent form for resuming in-person services.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Get the facts about
Coronavirus. Retrieved from
- Clinical Social Work Association (n.d.). CSWA – Informed Consent for
In-person – 6-20 [Form]. Retrieved from
- Schwartz-Mette, R., Brown, K. S., Childress-Beatty, L., & Skillings, J.
L. (2020). COVID-19: What the Ethics Code says about reopening your
practice now. Retrieved from
- World Health Organization. (n.d.). Coronavirus. Retrieved from
- Hygiene and Safety Practices
- Professional Resources Guiding Decisions
- Current Understanding of the Virus
- What is COVID-19?
- How is COVID-19 spread?
- How long does virus live on objects?
- Five Essential Best Practices
- More essential and detailed best practices
- HIPAA modifications during COVID-19
- Recommendations for one-on-one interactions
- Informed consent
- Use of a COVID-19 screening questionnaire
- Consider additional steps
- Check best practice guidelines of professional organizations
- Consult with liability insurance carrier
- Recommendations specific to psychological testing
- Telehealth testing guidelines
- In-person testing guidelines
- Special considerations for children or special needs examinees
- Other important considerations
- COVID-19 Screening questionnaire
- Developing and use of updated informed consent addendum form specific to your office’s practices during the COVID-19 pandemic