The APA-accredited Psychology internship Program at the West LA VA provides broad and general training based on the scientist-practitioner model, and emphasizes practice informed by scientifically-based research. The aim of the program is to prepare interns for successful entry into postdoctoral or entry-level professional positions, particularly in VA Medical Centers or academic medical centers, and eventual licensure. We accept applications from students who are enrolled and in good standing at doctoral programs in clinical or counseling psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), doctoral programs in Clinical Science accredited by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS), or an APA or CPA-accredited respecialization training program in Clinical or Counseling Psychology.
The internship is geared to provide direct clinical experience with adult U.S. military Veterans in outpatient and inpatient mental health and medical settings. This full-tme, 12-month program begins on August 1, 2022 and is organized into four 13-week clinical rotations. There are 9 internship positions, with 5 positions in the General Track and 4 that are funded through Geropsychology. Interns in the Geropsychology track complete two of their four rotations in geriatrics (Geropsychology and Geriatric Medicine). Major rotations include: Behavioral Health; the Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation and Treatment Program; Geriatric Medicine; Geropsychology; Neuropsychology; Mental Health Clinic/Anxiety Disorders Clinic; Rehabilitation Psychology; the Substance Use Disorders Outpatient Program; and the Trauma Program.
Selection of rotations is based on the intern's interests, goals, and gaps in training. In addition to the four clinical rotations, interns participate in a year-long psychotherapy placement. The psychotherapy placement is designed to provide interns with a more intensive training experience within a particular treatment model or orientation with patients who present with more complex problems. Interns are required to treat two ongoing patients in the psychotherapy placement. A single "case" may be year-long treatment of one individual, an ongoing group, or a series of individual patients who may benefit from more prolonged, but not year-long treatment.
There are rich opportunities for education and research. Two weekly seminars (the Intern Seminar and the Assessment Seminar), a twice-monthly seminar (the Diversity Seminar), a monthly seminar on Evidence-Based Psychotherapy, and a monthly seminar on clinical supervision are offered during the year. The Assessment Seminar covers personality as well as neuropsychological assessment. The monthly Geropsychology Journal Club is required for interns in the Geropsychology Track and optional for those in the General Track. In addition to these required didactics, there are many additional learning opportunities, including a weekly Trauma seminar, monthly Health Psychology Journal Club meetings, Psychology Department workshops, DEI Lunch and Learn meetings, weekly rounds, rotation-specific lectures and conferences, and access to UCLA Neuropsychology didactics. Interns are required to become involved in a research or other scholarly project consistent with their interests.
Interns are allotted a maxium of four hours of research time per week. While completion of the VA research project is to be the primary use of the intern’s research time, research hours may also be used for any outside research, including completion of the dissertation, preparation of manuscripts or presentations, or work on other research projects. Research hours must be taken on site.
The GLA Psychology Department has an active Psychology Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. The Committee’s mission is ”to create a willing community of fellow staff members and trainees to learn from one another’s life experiences, to advocate for inclusion, to celebrate all cultures and identities, and to promote equity in access to opportunity. We strive to extend these values to the services and care we offer to Veterans.” The Committee meets monthly with the goal of enhancing DEI initiatives across the department and the VA system. Subcommittees, made up of staff and trainees, work on DEI initiatives in the areas of hiring/recruitment, training, and staff development.