Psychology Doctoral Students’ Satisfaction With Virtual Supervision During COVID-19

Abigail E. Moretti, Christina A. Simmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic necessitated an abrupt move to virtual modalities of training and supervision for many psychology doctoral students across the U.S. completing a practicum or externship experience. As supervision is critical to the development of psychology trainees, it is imperative to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on supervisory practices, particularly with virtual supervision. The present study examined psychology doctoral students’ self-reported satisfaction with virtual supervision during COVID-19, their supervision format preference, and the supervision format they perceived to be most effective. Results indicated that participants (N = 129) were satisfied with the overall virtual supervision they received during COVID-19; however, there was a significant decrease in the degree of satisfaction with supervision received before and during COVID-19. The majority of participants indicated that they both preferred in-person supervision and perceived it to be the most effective supervision format. The present study discusses variables (e.g., change in individual supervision hours, number of supervision methods used) that predicted or impacted satisfaction, format preference, and perceived effectiveness, and quantified the supervisory experience of psychology doctoral students completing a practicum or externship. Participants reported a decrease in practicum hours (65%), concern about accruing hours for internship (54%), and change in the nature of practicum activities (68%). The majority of participants reported no change in their individual supervision hours (64%). As virtual supervision is a modality that supervisors may continue using beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, the present study provides potential guidelines for supervisors to increase trainee satisfaction when using virtual supervision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-184
Number of pages9
JournalTraining and Education in Professional Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Psychology(all)


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