Psychology Program at Spalding University

Using Lyssn as a key component in student training

Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky has a large clinical psychology doctoral program with nearly 200 students. Spalding’s Center for Behavioral Health (CBH) is a training clinic housed within the University School of Professional Psychology and offers a variety of mental health services to the public. The services are provided by doctoral students who are directly supervised by licensed psychologists. Dr. Norah Chapman is the Director and Associate Chair of the School of Professional Psychology. She oversees the operations of the CBH and helps administer the psychology training program for the university.

“We’re a training program and our students are used to supervision and feedback,” said Chapman, “but when the COVID-19 pandemic happened, students were dispersed. They were doing their practicum outside of the university and we had to ask ourselves: how can we record therapeutic sessions while supervising and continuing to educate in an ethical, legal and accessible way?”

Chapman and her team spent months looking for a solution and found that many options were cost prohibitive or didn’t resolve their concerns with security and consistency. When introduced to Lyssn by a colleague, Chapman was drawn to the ease of recording and the security of the cloud-based platform.

“One of the first things that attracted me to Lyssn was the built-in telehealth functionality. From a liability and risk standpoint, the idea of having a system that was easily accessible and HIPAA compliant gave me so much relief.”

A consistent, secure way to record

With COVID-19, students were in different locations, recording sessions in different ways. While the recordings were done in a responsible and compliant way, the lack of consistency was a concern to program leaders, who also worried about the security and ethics of sessions being saved to local computers. Students were also experiencing occasional technical difficulties and were at times hesitant to record sessions.

Lyssn offered a consistent, secure, and HIPAA compliant way for students to record sessions. In early 2020, Lyssn worked with Spalding University to implement Lyssn Advisor™, trained Chapman and her team on how to get the most out of the platform and worked with them to adjust the Lyssn system to suit the needs of the program.

With Lyssn Advisor, Spalding students can simply log on to the secure web-based platform and record telehealth sessions. Students can even easily upload sessions to Lyssn if needed so that all session recordings, even those recorded outside of the platform, can be stored securely in the cloud rather than living on student computers. The implementation of Lyssn quickly provided a consistent way for recording student counseling sessions, as well as a consistent way for instructors to provide feedback.

Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of feedback

“Lyssn took away barriers to recording, but it also gave us a new way to provide really efficient and effective feedback,” explained Chapman. “As a supervisor you can quickly log on and look at the videos and read the Lyssn system-generated reports and transcripts – which are fairly spot on. We can customize our feedback, point out nuanced details from the report, see things like who spoke the most, and generally get a feeling for how the session went. And I love the annotation feature – you can link feedback to the exact moment in the session, rather than say ‘at minute so and so…’ It just makes for a much clearer and impactful review.”

Lyssn as part of the curriculum

With the success of the Lyssn implementation and positive feedback from students and professors, Spalding made the decision to fully integrate Lyssn into their core training culture. Psychology students now take a class on how to use Lyssn and are required to use it; and supervisors provide feedback and grading within the platform. “Whatever solution we found, our students were going to end up absorbing those costs,” said Chapman. “We couldn’t ask students to pay much more than they had been, and with Lyssn they aren’t. It is very cost effective and the cost of Lyssn is rolled into the course fees.”

Lyssn Advisor includes feedback on Cognitive Behavioral Health and Motivational Interviewing techniques, and these reports are now part of the training curriculum and commonly used in classes. “The platform gives reports that I just haven’t seen anywhere else. The Motivational Interview report in particular is so useful for beginning students as they build foundational therapy skills,” said Chapman. The Lyssn platform reports will also be used by the University for accreditation with reporting capabilities that they did not previously have.

“Honestly, Lyssn has just been incredibly helpful – and has personally helped me sleep at night as an administrator! Recording and sharing sessions is so much easier and safer than anything we have ever done in the past, and the level of efficiency and consistency it gave us is astounding. For medium to large training programs like ours that have many students to keep track of, it really is a game changer.”