MPA is working to assure that you have the information needed as Maryland deals with COVID-19 (coronavirus). The situation is fluid and will remain that way for a while.
Upcoming workshop: Friday, July 31, 12 noon to 2 pm EDT – Psychological Practice in Maryland. Join MPA for a free workshop updating local psychologists on practice during MD’s state of emergency. We’ll cover such topics as insurance waivers for telehealth practice and requirements for reopening your office during COVID. Free for all psychologists licensed to practice in Maryland. Register today!
To MPA members from Paul Berman – New!
Upcoming MPA Programming
MPA is working hard to get the answers to many of your most pressing questions. Below is a list of upcoming events (Continuing Education and non-CE). Mark your calendars!
COVID-19 information for the general public
Resources for Maryland residents from the special open enrollment period for the MD Health Exchange to solutions for managing stress during this time.
Resources for Psychology Graduate Students
As a courtesy to psychology graduate students, MPA is offering free registration for some of our lunch and learn webinars. Please contact MPA at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
MPA is aware of doctoral graduate students looking for volunteer opportunities during the state of emergency. We’ve reached out to various partners and organizations. Pro Bono Counseling Project has a need for volunteers. According to Sherri Bloom, Pro Bono’s Clinical Director, the group has seen a surge of intakes and as long as both the student and supervisor register with Pro Bono, they are happy for the help. Here is the link to sign up: https://probonocounseling.org/clinicians/get-involved/
We will update this page with additional opportunities as we hear about them.
Resources for Maryland Psychologists
MPA Resource list – New!
MPA’s Professional Practice Committee has pulled together a list of organizations, some of which may be new to you, and identified some of the resources they provide. Let us know if there are other organizations you are familiar with that might be of help to some of our members, and we will add them to the list. There is so much information out there right now, so we hope this list is helpful to you as you manage your practices.
MPA Advocacy Efforts
MPA has been actively engaging in efforts to ensure that psychologists can provide services to those in need during this critical time. We know that there are still many questions to be answered and we’re doing our best to resolve those issues.
MPA Webinar on COVID
On Monday, March 16, MPA held a special MPA Office Hours webinar on coronavirus, MPA and psychological practice in Maryland. We would like to thank MPA’s Director of Professional Affairs Paul Berman, Legal Counsel Richard Bloch, Laura Steensen and Sarah Simpson from the Greater Baltimore Counseling Center for their participation. Click here for the video.
Maryland Board of Examiners COVID-19 TEMPORARY CHANGES UPDATE 04/03/2020
• Psychologists located outside of Maryland may apply for a Temporary Exception to Practice to treat current patients located in Maryland by completing the Temporary Exception to Practice Application on the Board’s website. The following conditions must be met:
• The psychologist must be in good standing in their licensing state and must have been licensed under requirements substantially equivalent to (or higher than) Maryland requirements;
• The psychologist can only provide services to existing patients to ensure continuity of care during the crisis;
• The psychologist must pay a $100.00 fee;
• The temporary exception will be valid for up to 30 days (an extension may be granted beyond the thirty days upon request);
• The Temporary Exception to Practice is not available to psychology associates or interns;
• Services can be provided by telepsychology, but must be in accordance with Maryland state law, any relevant Executive Orders, the Board’s regulations in COMAR 10.36.10 (to the extent they’re not inconsistent with any emergency executive orders), and federal law.”
• All applicable questions on the application must be answered. Incomplete applications will not be process
MPA Continuing Education
- All MPA CE events in May will be virtual only. While the events will be held online, live streamed events are considered in-person as they take place in real time.
- If you’re sick and need to miss an MPA event, please contact the office at 410-992-4258 or CE@marylandpsychology.org. We can either apply your registration to another workshop or receive a refund.
- Looking for independent CE courses? Please see our Home Study CE library.
In accordance with Maryland “Stay at Home” order, the MPA staff is teleworking. Staff will be available by email and phone (410-992-4258) during normal business hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday – Friday. You can find staff email addresses here
APA resource on protecting yourself and your practice
Information on COVID-19 (coronavirus)
Recommendations from the CDC and WHO to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If you need to cough or sneeze, please use the crook of your elbow instead of your hands.
- If you are sick, please stay home.
- Consider fist-bumping, air high fives or elbow tap greetings instead of handshakes and hugs
How to Cope
Fortunately, psychological research also points to ways to manage these difficult conditions. Before social distancing, quarantine or isolation orders are enacted, experts recommend planning ahead by considering how you might spend your time, who you can contact for psychosocial support and how you can address any physical or mental health needs you or your family may have.
Limit news consumption to reliable sources
It’s important to obtain accurate and timely public health information regarding COVID-19, but too much exposure to media coverage of the virus can lead to increased feelings of fear and anxiety. Psychologists recommend balancing time spent on news and social media with other activities unrelated to quarantine or isolation, such as reading, listening to music or learning a new language. Trusted organizations—including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the World Health Organization—are ideal sources of information on the virus.
Create and follow a daily routine
Maintaining a daily routine can help both adults and children preserve a sense of order and purpose in their lives despite the unfamiliarity of isolation and quarantine. Try to include regular daily activities, such as work, exercise or learning, even if they must be executed remotely. Integrate other healthy pastimes as needed.
Stay virtually connected with others
Your face-to-face interactions may be limited, but psychologists suggest using phone calls, text messages, video chat and social media to access social support networks. If you’re feeling sad or anxious, use these conversations as an opportunity to discuss your experience and associated emotions. Reach out to those you know who are in a similar situation. Facebook groups have already formed to facilitate communication and support among individuals asked to quarantine.
Relying on pets for emotional support is another way to stay connected. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend restricting contact with pets if you contract COVID-19 until the risks of transmission between humans and animals are better understood.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Get enough sleep, eat well and exercise in your home when you are physically capable of doing so. Try to avoid using alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with the stresses of isolation and quarantine. If needed, consider telehealth options for psychotherapy. If you already have a psychologist, contact them ahead of a potential quarantine to see if they can continue your sessions using phone-based or online delivery.
Use psychological strategies to manage stress and stay positive
Examine your worries and aim to be realistic in your assessment of the actual concern as well as your ability to cope. Try not to catastrophize; instead focus on what you can do and accept the things you can’t change. One way to do this is to keep a daily gratitude journal. You may also choose to download smartphone applications that deliver mindfulness and relaxation exercises. For example, PTSD Coach is a free application developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for PTSD and the Department of Defense’s National Center for Telehealth and Technology. It contains coping and resilience resources such as exercises for deep breathing, positive imagery, muscle relaxation and more.
Focusing on the altruistic reasons for social distancing, quarantine or isolation can also help mitigate psychological distress. Remember that by taking such measures, you are reducing the possibility of transmitting COVID-19 and protecting those who are most vulnerable.