The VA Long Beach Doctoral Internship Program has been fully accredited by APA since 1980, with our next site visit in 2029. Our primary goal is to train interns to conduct an array of psychological services in a large VA healthcare system. We currently offer 8 fully-funded intern positions across two different tracks: One slot is designated for a Neuropsychology Track (112912), which offers general psychology training with a special emphasis in neuropsychology. Our remaining seven slots will be for our General Track (11211), which follows our traditional model of broad-based training in multiple treatment settings. The generalist training that we provide reflects the population of our medical center and community clinics. We serve primarily adult veterans and some active military service personnel, the majority of whom are male but with a higher percentage of women in younger cohorts. We have been known for our behavioral health training as well as more traditional psychological services, with an increasingly strong emphasis on evidence-based treatments. We accept both clinical and counseling students and no distinction is made between them concerning the content of training experiences.
We tailor our internship program to the specific needs and interests of each intern. During orientation week, all staff psychologists present to the interns and practicum students to explain what training experiences their rotation offers. With the advisement of the Training Director and intern preferences taken into account, interns are assigned rotations from different VA hospital clinics that blend their individual training needs and interests. Interns in the General Track will select four 6-month clinical rotations, with two rotations co-occurring in each half of the year. Interns in the Neuropsychology Track will complete a year-long rotation in the neuropsychology clinic in addition to two 6-month general clinical rotations. Our program follows an apprenticeship model, in which interns work closely with their supervisors. The degree of responsibility afforded the intern depends on their level of experience coming into each rotation, and ideally, increases over the course of the rotation as competency and skill increase.
In addition to clinical rotations, interns receive additional generalist training through several programmatic elements, including: (1) Intern Research or Evaluation Project, (2) Didactic/Case Consultation Seminars with a focus on assessment, evidence-based therapies, provision of supervision, professional development, and diversity, (3) Providing supervision to practicum students on a general psychotherapy case, and (4) Conducting one comprehensive assessment battery and integrated testing report. Our program also includes experiences to attend mental health grand rounds, journal club, and other rotation-specific didactic and interprofessional experiences. We offer up to 10 days of release time to attend VA postdoc interviews, one day for the defense of your dissertation, and another for graduation.
There have been several temporary changes to our training as a result of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, and since March 2020, all trainees are working virtually on VA laptops from home, and all have received additional training in providing telehealth. The interns beginning in Fall 2021 are also working mostly virtually, as of now, though it is likely trainees and staff will return to in-person care at some point in the fall rotation. Inpatient rotations may require the intern to be on campus part-time from the start, in which case, trainees are able to choose whether or not they wish to be on those rotations based on their own risk/needs. For interns working on campus, appropriate PPE is provided, and safety precautions are implemented according to hospital policy. As this is an evolving and extended emergency situation, it is unclear how long training will remain mostly virtual. Trainees at VA Long Beach are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine here, if they have not already and wish to.
The training program brochure is located on our website: http://www.longbeach.va.gov/careers/PsychologyTraining_.asp. We recommend checking this website before you come to interview, as items in the brochure are updated often. Please email our Training Director Dr. Stacy Reger at email@example.com or Dr. Andrea Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions that are not answered in the brochure.
Thank you for considering VA Long Beach, and good luck during the internship application process.