Program Information: Psychology Service (116B2)

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Member Site Information
APPIC Member Number: 1561
Program Type: Internship
Site: James H. Quillen VA Medical Center
Department: Psychology Service (116B2)
Address: P.O. Box 4000
Mountain Home, Tennessee 37684-4000
Country: United States
Metro Area: Not Applicable
Not Applicable
Distance from Major City: 120 miles east of Knoxville, TN; 62 miles west of Ashveville, NC
Phone: 423-979-2893x
Fax: 423-979-2655
Web Address:
Brochure Website's Address:
Primary Agency Type: Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Additional Agency Types:
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Member of APPIC since: 1998
APA Accreditation Accredited
CPA Accreditation Not Accredited
Internship Staff/Faculty Information
Training Director & Lead / Director: Myra Elder Ph.D.
Chief Psychologist: Emily Beck
Number of Full-Time Licensed Doctoral Psychologists on Staff/Faculty 35
Number of Part-Time Licensed Doctoral Psychologists on Staff/Faculty 0
Position Information
Start Date: 07/01/2020
Number of Full Time Slots Expected Next Class: 4
Number of Part Time Slots Expected Next Class: 0
Full Time Annual Stipend for Next Class: 26166
Part Time Annual Stipend for Next Class:
Fringe Benefits: Dissertation Release Time, Dental Insurance, Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Professional Development Time, Sick Leave, Vacation
Other Fringe Benefits (not indicated above): No required rotations - interns choose (with faculty input), beautiful 200+ acre campus, clinically focused, private offices, peer consultation on Friday afternoons, faculty volunteer for Training Committee (not assigned), true attention to work-life balance, interns treated as junior colleagues instead of "students," strong focus on quality supervision, access to gym.
Brief description of the typical work day for an intern at this training site Monday-Thursday are for rotation assignments and long-term psychotherapy patients. Early in the year, interns work side-by-side with supervisors, then begin to work more independently when ready. Participation in treatment teams is common. Fridays are reserved for seminars, department meetings, peer consultation.
Does this site have practicum psychology students on site? No
Is this program fully affiliated with one or more doctoral programs? No
Is this program partially affiliated with one or more doctoral programs? No
Internship Application Process
Accepting Applicants: Yes
Application Due Date: 11/01/2019 11:59 PM
Application Due Date Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time
This program uses the AAPI: Yes
An onsite interview is: Preferred
Interview notification date: 12/02/2019
Interview notification date time zone: Eastern Standard Time
Tentative interview date: 12/13/2019
Interview process description:

We conduct interviews between early December and mid-January, on Mondays and Fridays. All applicants chosen for interviews are notified by Dec. 15, per APPIC rules. We interview 6-7 people each day, with the following schedule: morning orientation, 2 one-hour-long individual interviews with faculty members, facility tour, lunch with available faculty, meet with current interns without faculty present, and a Q & A/wrap-up session.

We try to match the applicant with a faculty interviewer who supervises a rotation aligned with the applicant's interests, depending on schedules and circumstances. The interview day lasts from about 8am-2:30pm. Interviews can be conducted by telephone, if necessary, and this involves speaking to two different faculty members and the training director.

Applicants likely to be granted an interview would have a combination of intervention, assessment, and supervision totalling at least 1,000 hours.  We prefer to see at least 100 hours of assessment, but will consider applicants with fewer hours, depending on the strength of the rest of the application.

Over the past 3 years, we averaged approximately 70 applicants, and we invited 40+ applicants for interviews. Interviews are scheduled via Google Doodle.

The training director personally calls applicants to invite them to interview.

Our site does not use standardized case studies during the interview process. We believe that interviews are stressful enough without putting people on the spot to perform. It is also not consistent with our culture of hospitality. We trust that your APPI and interview provide us with enough information to make an informed decision about a good match. The interview is as much about you getting to see our site and meet us as it is about us meeting you. 

We update our 30+ page internship brochure before Sept. 1 of each year, so please refer to that document for more information. Please do not hesitate to e-mail Dr. Elder or Angelique Achord if you have questions.





How to obtain application info: Visit Website
Preferred method of contacting the program: Email the Program
We have matched with interns from these programs: East Carolina University, Georgia Southern University, Xavier University, Florida State University, Tennessee State University, Purdue University, Indiana State University, University of Texas (Austin), University of Tennessee, University of Notre Dame, University of Kentucky, East Tennessee State University, universities in California, New Mexico, Alabama, Illinois, Georgia, South Carolina, Iowa, and Virginia. We accept clinical PhD and PsyD students, and counseling PhD students - looking for the best match, regardless of program.
Internship Applicant Requirements
US Citizenship Required: Yes
Canadian Citizenship Required: No
Masters Degree Required: No
Comprehensive Exams Passed: Yes, by application deadline
Dissertation Proposal Approved: Yes, by application deadline
Dissertation Defended: No
Minimum Number of AAPI Intervention Hours: 500
Minimum Number of AAPI Assessment Hours: 50
Minimum Number of Years of Grad Training Required: 3
Accepted / Not-Accepted Program Types
Clinical Psychology Accepted
Counseling Psychology Accepted
School Psychology Not Accepted
APA-Accredited Accepted
CPA-Accredited Not Accepted
Non-Accredited Not Accepted
Ph.D Degree Accepted
Psy.D. Degree Accepted
Ed.D. Degree Not Accepted
This institution, department, internship, or postdoctoral program requires trainees to sign a statement about personal behavior and/or religious beliefs as a condition of admission and/or retention in the program: No
How to obtain text of statement:
Other Requirements: The VA Office of Human Resource Management will conduct a background check that the matched interns must be able to pass. Also, unless medically excused, interns must have certain vaccines up to date before being allowed to work in a hospital setting.
Program Description

Thank you for your interest in the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center's Pre-doctoral Psychology Internship at Mountain Home (Johnson City), TN! We are located in the beautiful Appalachian Highlands.

We are proud that 14 former interns from our program are now permanent staff members; many of them serve as supervisors.

We adhere to a generalist model of education and training. We teach the nine core competencies outlined in APA's Standards of Accreditation, including intervention, assessment, ethics, self-reflectivity, interpersonal effectivenss, cultural diversity, and critical thinking/scientific inquiry.

The internship provides an intensive clinical training experience. The program offers interns a balanced exposure to various clinical settings through major and minor rotations. In addition, interns carry about 4 long-term psychotherapy patients throughout the year, working with a supervisor of their choice, who also functions as a professional mentor.  


Assessment - Providing various types of diagnostic assessments through our out-patient Mental Health Clinic.

Geri-PACT Clinic - Providing a range of assessments to and interdisciplinary consultation for an out-patient geriatric population in Primary Care, supervised by a neuropsychologist.

Oncology/Palliative Care Program - Experience working with patients at the end of life, providing family support, consulting with an interdisciplinary team.

Outpatient Mental Health - Provide intakes, individual and group therapy for a range of diagnoses, working with an inter-disciplinary MH staff. 

PTSD Clinic - Conducting intakes and assessments, providing group and individual therapy, learning about various Evidence-Based Therapies for trauma.

Primary Care-Mental Health Integration (PC-MHI) - Seeing PC patients in same-day, co-located care, using a brief therapy model, working closely with Primary Care providers and other staff,

Psychosocial Rehabilitation Treatment Program (PRTP) - Assessment and therapy with a residential population that includes Serious Mental Illness (SMI) and multiple co-morbidities, consulting with other MH disciplines.

Substance Use Disorders Program (SUDP) - Assessment, group, and individual therapy in an interdisciplinary team setting


Behavioral Medicine Electives - Choose 1-2 activities not offered in a full rotation - Chronic Pain Management, Home-Based Primary Care out of a very rural satellite clinic, transplant evaluations, etc.

Child Consultation (East TN State U) - Work with the Center of Excellence for children in state custody, providing inter-agency consultation. Off-site rotation. 

Clinical Research - Finish your dissertation.

Compensation and Pension Program - Learn to conduct VA-specific disability exams.

Couple and Family Therapy - Work with a national consultant certified in Integrated Behavioral Couples Therapy, learn about general family systems dynamics.

Polytrauma Program - Be part of our polytrauma consultation team and follow patients through the various disciplines of this program.

Psychology Program Evaluation - Choose two programs to evaluate and improve, suc as PC-MHI or PRTP.

Spinal Cord Injury - Provide yearly assessments and individual therapy in the context of our interdisciplinary SCI clinic in Primary Care.

Substance Use Disorders Program - see above

Supervision - Spend one day per week at East TN State University's doctoral psychology clinic, providing supervision to student therapists while under the supervision of a clinical psychologist. Off-site rotation.


Johnson City is beautiful and affordable, and our internship is a mature program that supports work-life balance, professional identity development, and mutual respect. When people think of Appalachia, many images/stereotypes come to mind. Johnson City has four Starbucks cafes and a Bonefish Grill - no one is "roughing it" here. And we are diversifying; Hispanic people are the fastest-growing demographic in our region.

Due to the rugged rural geography, our patients travel an average of an hour to the VA for care. Our mission is to help those who served and continue to face challenges with poverty, lack of health education and resources, geographic isolation, and stigma.

We founded our Psychology Multicultural Diversity Committee in 2000, and we continue to focus on diverse staff and intern recruitment. Our VA employs 2400+ people from all backgrounds. We are affiliated with a medical school, several nursing schools, and a college of pharmacy. This hub of health care education attracts more ethnic/racial diversity to the community.

Interns also have the opportunity to co-lead our LGBT group and be involved in the care of transgendered veterans.

We have a strong tradition of training and hiring people of differing abilities and sexual orientations. We hope you will consider applying to our program, and we wish you the best of luck in this process.

Internship Training Opportunities


Adults: Yes
Family: Yes
Older Adults: Yes
Inpatients: Yes
Outpatients: Yes
Gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender: Yes
Ethnic minorities: Yes
International Students:
Rural: Yes
Low income: Yes
Homelessness: Yes
Other: Differently-abled

Treatment Modalities

Assessment: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Individual Therapy: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Couples Therapy: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Family Therapy: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Group Therapy: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Community Intervention: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Consultation/Liaison: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Crisis Intervention: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Brief Psychotherapy: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Long-term Psychotherapy: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Cognitive Rehabilitation: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Primary Care: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Evidenced Based Practice: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Evidence Based Research: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Supervision of Practicum students : EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)


Health Psychology: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Women's Health: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
HIV/AIDS: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Eating Disorders: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Sexual Disorders: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Sports Psychology:
Rehabilitation Psychology:
Physical Disabilities: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Learning Disabilities:
Developmental Disabilities:
Assessment: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Neuropsychology-Adult: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Serious Mental Illness: EMPHASIS (31% to 49%)
Anxiety Disorders: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Trauma/PTSD: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Sexual Abuse: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Substance Use Disorders: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Forensics/Corrections: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Sexual Offenders:
Geropsychology: EMPHASIS (31% to 49%)
Counseling: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Vocational/Career Development:
Multicultural Therapy: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Feminist Therapy:
Religion/Spirituality: EMPHASIS (31% to 49%)
Empirically-Supported Treatments: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Public Policy/Advocacy:
Program Development/Evaluation: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Supervision: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Research: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Administration: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Integrated health care - primary: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Integrated health care - specialty: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)

Training focuses on intervention, assessment, and consultation. Treatment modalities include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Integrated Behavioral Couples Therapy (IBCT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Prolonged Exposure (PE). We also provide the opportunity to co-lead a Moral Injury Group in our PTSD Program.

While empahsis is placed on learning these Evidence-Based Treatments (EBTs), we also value and teach Common Factors, critical thinking about the integration of modalities, and the art of knowing when to depart from the protocol in the service of excellent clinical care.

Additional information about training opportunities: Not all rotations or experiences may be available at all consortium sites, and some internship programs may not have updated this information recently. Please consult the program's web site or other application materials for a complete description of the training opportunities available at each site.

Summary of the Characteristics of the Specified Internship Class
2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
Number of Completed Applications: 68 71 72
Number of applicants invited for interviews: 33 42 49
Total number of interns: 4 5 5
Total number of interns from APA/CPA accredited programs: 4 5 5
Total number of interns from Ph.D. programs: 3 3 3
Total number of interns from Psy.D. programs: 1 2 2
Total number of interns from Ed.D. programs: 0 0
Number of interns that come from a Clinical Psychology program 3 3 4
Number of interns that come from a Counseling Psychology program 1 2 1
Number of interns that come from a School Psychology program 0 0
Range of integrated assessment reports: lowest number of reports written 2 11 2
Range of integrated assessment reports: highest number of reports written 18 32 20
Summary of Post Internship Employment Settings of Each Internship Class
2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019
Working on dissertation/Student: 0 1 0
Postdoctoral Fellow: 2 2 2
Community Mental Health Center: 0 0 0
Health Maintenance Organization: 0 0 0
Veteran's Affairs Medical Center: 2 1 3
Military Medical Center: 0 0 0
Private General Hospital: 0 0 0
General Hospital: 0 0 0
Other Medical Center: 0 0 0
Private Psychiatric Hospital: 0 0 0
State/County/Other Public Hospital: 0 0 0
Correctional Facility: 0 0 0
School District/System: 0 0 0
University Counseling Center: 0 0 0
University Teaching Faculty: 0 0 0
2 or 4 year Undergraduate Teaching Position: 0 0 0
Medical School: 0 0 0
Academic Non-Teaching Position: 0 0 0
Research Position: 0 0 0
Independent Practice: 0 0 0
Other (e.g. consulting): 0 0 0
Not Currently Employed: 0 0 0
Changed to Other Career Field: 0 0 0
Unknown: 0 0 0