Program Information: VA Boston Healthcare System Psychology Internship Training Program

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Member Site Information
APPIC Member Number: 1325
Program Type: Internship
Membership Type: Full Membership
Site: VA Boston Healthcare System
Department: VA Boston Healthcare System Psychology Internship Training Program
Address: VA Boston Healthcare System
150 South Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02130
Country: United States
Metro Area: Not Applicable
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH
Distance from Major City: 0
Phone: 857-364-4335x
Fax:
Email: risa.weisberghawkins@va.gov
Web Address: http://www.boston.va.gov/psychologytraining/internship.asp
Brochure Website's Address: http://www.boston.va.gov/psychologytraining/internship.asp
Primary Agency Type: Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Additional Agency Types:
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Member of APPIC since:
Accreditation
APA Accreditation Accredited
CPA Accreditation Not Accredited
Internship Staff/Faculty Information
Training Director & Lead / Director: Risa Weisberg
Chief Psychologist: Jennifer Vasterling Ph.D.
Number of Full-Time Licensed Doctoral Psychologists on Staff/Faculty 120
Number of Part-Time Licensed Doctoral Psychologists on Staff/Faculty 6
Position Information
Start Date: 08/01/2022
Funded
Number of Full Time Slots Expected Next Class: 18
Number of Part Time Slots Expected Next Class: 0
Stipend
Full Time Annual Stipend for Next Class: 29092
Part Time Annual Stipend for Next Class: 0
Fringe Benefits: Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Sick Leave, Vacation
Other Fringe Benefits (not indicated above): 11 paid federal holidays; 13 days annual leave; 13 days sick leave; plus 64 hours of official leave for outside educational events / conferences. Tort/malpractice coverage (VA) is provided. Interns also are granted leave for dissertation defense. Appointments granted at affiliated medical schools (Boston University and Harvard)
Brief description of the typical work day for an intern at this training site Interns days are spent in a combination of direct clinical care, clinical supervision, participation in clinical team meetings, didactics and other trainings, and research activities.
Does this site have practicum psychology students on site? Yes
Doctoral Psychology Practicum StudentsYes
Masters Psychology Practicum StudentsYes
Do Psychology Interns/Postdocs Have the Opportunity to Supervise Practicum Students?Yes
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: 11/01/2021 11:59 PM EST
Application Due Date Time Zone:
This program uses the AAPI: Yes
An onsite interview is:
  • Virtual
Interview notification date: 11/24/2021
Tentative interview date:
Interview process description:

IMPORTANT: The candidate's cover letter should indicate application to no more than two (2) rotationsInterviews are by invitation only.  All applicants will be notified by email on or before November 24, 2021 as to whether they are invited for an interview.  All interviews will be conducted virtually.

Interview Process:

Invited applicants will be scheduled for a virtual interview experience.  Details of this experience were arranged last year, in collaboration with the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science's Workgroup on Reducing Barriers to Psychology Education and Training, of which our training director, Dr. Weisberg, is a key member. Dr. Weisberg, along with other workgroup members, conductied qualitative interviews with key stakeholders, including current interns and applicants, to determine what is most desired and helpful in the interviewing process.  VA Boston Healthcare System's virtual interviews were structured based on this data. We also collected data on the VA Boston virtual interview experience from last year's applicants. Based on this, we anticipate that our virtual interview experiences this year will consist of:


  • An introduction to our internship site and an overview of our interview, application, and ranking process, with Dr. Weisberg
  • One-on-one interviews with faculty from the clinical rotations of most interest to the applicant, as primary clinical rotations
  • Potential group interviews with faculty from clinical rotations in which the applicant has interest in exploring as possible secondary clinical rotations
  • Presentation from our Diversity and inclusion Committee Members
  • Opportunities to meet with and ask questions to our current interns
  • Question and answer sessions with our internship training director and admissions coordinator

 

Interview Dates:

Invited applicants will be scheduled for interviews in December and January.  Specific dates and format remain to be determined, based on the results of the APCS workgroup findings.  We anticipate that virtual meetings with our internship director, admissions coordinator, diversity coordinator, and current interns will likely all occur on one of 6 interview dates in December and January, but that individual meetings with clinical rotation faculty may be scheduled separately, at mutually convenient times.  We will provide an update on this process when the details are worked out. Currently, we anticipate the group, virtual interview meetings will occur on the following dates

  • Monday, December 6, 2021
  • Wednesday, December 8, 2021
  • Tuesday, December 14, 2021
  • Friday, December 17, 2021
  • Tuesday, January 4, 2022
  • Thursday, January 6, 2022

Invited applicants will receive an electronic invitation to rank-order their interview date preferences.  This will be sent to their primary email address.  To the extent possible, we will try to accomodate high ranked preferences.

 

How to obtain application info: Visit Website
Preferred method of contacting the program: Email the Program
We have matched with interns from these programs:
Internship Applicant Requirements
US Citizenship Required: Yes
If NOT a U.S. Citizen, Authorization to Work or to Engage in Practical Training (CPT or OPT) in the US is Required: No
Canadian Citizenship Required: No
If NOT a Canadian Citizen, Authorization to Work in Canada or to Engage in Practical Training (CPT or OPT) in Canada is Required: No
Masters Degree Required: No
Comprehensive Exams Passed: Yes, by ranking deadline
Dissertation Proposal Approved: Yes, by start of internship
Dissertation Defended: No
Minimum Number of AAPI Intervention Hours:
Minimum Number of AAPI Assessment Hours:
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 Accepted
PCSAS-Accredited Accepted
Non-Accredited Not Accepted
Ph.D Degree Accepted
Psy.D. Degree Accepted
Ed.D. Degree 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: At a minimum, candidates for internship must have completed 3 years of graduate training by the start of internship, and have completed at least 400 practicum hours of intervention and assessment experience (combined). These standards are set to accommodate the different priorities of the various internship training tracks. For example, an applicant with 250 intervention hours might be competitive for the neuropsychology rotation but probably would not be competitive for the more intervention-intensive rotations. Similarly, an applicant with 50 assessment hours would not be competitive for the neuropsychology rotation but might be competitive for another one. VA conducts drug screening exams on randomly selected personnel as well as new employees. Interns are not required to be tested prior to beginning work, but once on staff they are subject to random selection for testing as are other employees. Please be advised: Although the recreational and medical use of marijuana is legal in Massachusetts and some other states, it is not legal at federal facilities. Thus, we cannot employ anyone who tests positive for marijuana. For additional information regarding the “VA Drug-Free Workplace Program,” please see https://www.va.gov/OAA/onboarding/VHA_HPTsDrug-FreeWorkplaceOAA_HRA.pdf
Program Description

The primary objective of the VA Boston Healthcare System Psychology Internship Program is to provide a comprehensive predoctoral training program that assures the development of adequate levels of proficiency across the basic core competencies of clinical psychology including assessment, behavior change and psychotherapy, consultation, attention to issues of diversity, professional ethics, and scholarly inquiry / clinical research. 

We view the internship year as critical in the transition of the individual from graduate student to professional psychologist.  We encourage the development of a professional identity, professional values, and a professional demeanor along with these competencies in the practice of psychology.  The expectation is that by the end of the training year, an intern will be able to function competently and independently (i.e., entry level practice or better) in the core competencies, listed above. 

Within the training program, general skills are emphasized. However, when feasible and appropriate to training needs, the development of specialist skills also is encouraged. We provide training in professional psychology in the following rotations for 2021 - 2022: 

  • Behavioral Medicine
  • Center for Returning Veterans (OEF/OIF/OND)
  • General Mental Health
  • Geropsychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Primary Care Behavioral Health
  • PTSD Clinical Team
  • Rehabilitation Psychology
  • Women's Trauma Recovery Team; 
  • Substance Abuse Treatment at our Brockton Campus
  • Substance Abuse Treatment at our Jamaica Plain Campus
  • Trauma and Addiction Recovery

Our rotations are located at the VA Boston Healthcare System - Brockton, Jamaica Plain (Boston), and West Roxbury campuses; plus, an optional child clinical externship at Boston University (Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders). Our patient population is diverse and interns will have opportunities to with veterans with diverse identities, including veterans of Color and LGBTQ veterans. We encourage applications from trainees committed to culturally responsive and trauma-informed care. We are also dedicated to training interns from diverse backgrounds, including applicants from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Serving Institutions. 

Our internship is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science (APCS) and we also encourage applications from academy graduate programs. 

Internship Training Opportunities

Populations

Children:
Adolescents:
Adults: Yes
Family:
Older Adults: Yes
Inpatients: Yes
Outpatients: Yes
Gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender: Yes
Ethnic minorities: Yes
Spanish-speaking: Yes
French-speaking:
Deaf/Hearing-impaired: Yes
Students: Yes
International Students:
Rural: Yes
Urban: Yes
Low income: Yes
Homelessness: Yes
Other:

Treatment Modalities

Assessment: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Individual Therapy: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Couples Therapy: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Family Therapy:
Group Therapy: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Community Intervention:
Consultation/Liaison: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Crisis Intervention: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Brief Psychotherapy: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Long-term Psychotherapy: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Cognitive Rehabilitation: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Primary Care: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
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%)
Other: As feasible, Supervision of Practicum student/s

Experience

Health Psychology: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Women's Health: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
HIV/AIDS: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Eating Disorders: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Sexual Disorders: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Sports Psychology:
Rehabilitation Psychology: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Physical Disabilities: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Learning Disabilities: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Developmental Disabilities:
Assessment: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Neuropsychology-Adult: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Neuropsychology-Child:
Serious Mental Illness: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
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:
Sexual Offenders:
Geropsychology: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Pediatrics:
School:
Counseling:
Vocational/Career Development:
Multicultural Therapy: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Feminist Therapy:
Religion/Spirituality:
Empirically-Supported Treatments: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Public Policy/Advocacy:
Program Development/Evaluation: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Supervision: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Research: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Administration: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Integrated health care - primary: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Integrated health care - specialty:
Other:

Each of our rotations has a unique focus and different levels of exposure to the treatment modalities and experiences here listed.  For example, the Neuropsychology rotation has a primary focus on assessment and neuropsychology, the Women's Trauma Recovery Team emphasizes individual and group therapy with a focus on women's health, PTSD, and sexual abuse. 

Additional information about training opportunities: Not all rotations or training experiences may be available as described in the APPIC Directory. Please consult the program's application materials or their website at: http://www.boston.va.gov/psychologytraining/internship.asp  for a complete description of the training opportunities available at this training site. IF the site has not updated their information by August 1, feel free to contact the Training Director for additional information.

Summary of the Characteristics of the Specified Internship Class
2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Number of Completed Applications: 362 339 321 292 322
Number of applicants invited for interviews: 127 122 128 123 122
Total number of interns: 19 18 18 17 18
Total number of interns from APA/CPA accredited programs: 19 18 18 17 18
Total number of interns from Ph.D. programs: 19 17 17 17 18
Total number of interns from Psy.D. programs: 0 1 1 0 0
Total number of interns from Ed.D. programs: 0 0 0 0 0
Number of interns that come from a Clinical Psychology program 19 17 18 15 18
Number of interns that come from a Counseling Psychology program 0 1 0 2 0
Number of interns that come from a School Psychology program 0 0 0 0 0
Range of integrated assessment reports: lowest number of reports written 1 1 4 4
Range of integrated assessment reports: highest number of reports written 236 140 96 59
Summary of Post Internship Employment Settings of Each Internship Class
2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
Working on dissertation/Student: 1 0 0 0 0
Postdoctoral Fellow: 17 17 17 18 18
Community Mental Health Center: 0 1 0 0 0
Health Maintenance Organization: 0 0 0 0 0
Veteran's Affairs Medical Center: 0 0 0 0 0
Military Medical Center: 0 0 0 0 0
Private General Hospital: 0 0 0 0 0
General Hospital: 0 0 0 0 0
Other Medical Center: 0 0 0 0 0
Private Psychiatric Hospital: 0 0 0 0 0
State/County/Other Public Hospital: 0 0 0 0 0
Correctional Facility: 0 0 0 0 0
School District/System: 0 0 0 0 0
University Counseling Center: 0 0 0 0 0
University Teaching Faculty: 0 0 1 0 0
2 or 4 year Undergraduate Teaching Position: 0 0 0 0 0
Medical School: 0 0 0 0 0
Academic Non-Teaching Position: 0 0 0 0 0
Research Position: 0 2 0 0 0
Independent Practice: 0 0 0 0 0
Other (e.g. consulting): 0 0 0 0 0
Not Currently Employed: 0 0 0 0 0
Changed to Other Career Field: 0 0 0 0 0
Unknown: 0 0 0 0 0