Department : Psychology Service (116B2)

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Member Site Information
APPIC Member Number: 1561
Program Type: Internship
Membership Type: Full Membership
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: 62 miles north of Asheville, NC; 107 miles east of Knoxville, TN
Phone: 423-979-2893
Fax: 423-979-3616
Web Address:
Brochure Website's Address:
Primary Agency Type: Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Additional Agency Types:
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Member of APPIC since:
APA Accreditation Accredited
CPA Accreditation Not Accredited
Internship Staff/Faculty Information
Training Director: Myra Elder Ph.D.
Chief Psychologist: Emily Beck
Number of Full-Time Licensed Doctoral Psychologists on Staff/Faculty 46
Number of Part-Time Licensed Doctoral Psychologists on Staff/Faculty 0
Position Information
Start Date: 07/01/2024
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: 33469
Part Time Annual Stipend for Next Class: 0
Fringe Benefits: Dissertation Release Time, Health 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 in building.
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? 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: 11/01/2023 11:59 PM EST
Interviews at this site are: Not Offered
A Virtual Interview is: Required
Interview notification date: 12/15/2023
Tentative interview date: 12/4/23; 12/7/23; 12/11/23; 12/14/23; 12/18/23; 1/4/24; 1/8/24
Interview process description:

Our site will continue to host virtual interviews, scheduled on Mondays and Thursdays. All applicants chosen for interviews are notified by Dec. 15 at the latest, per APPIC rules. Our virtual interviews work best if conducted by Microsoft Teams.

The interview day will consist of several meetings with scheduled breaks. A group orientation session with the Training Director will be scheduled first, then individual, hour-long interviews with two faculty members will be scheduled. Opportunities to speak with other psychologists and current interns will also be available. The interview day lasts from 8am to around 3pm EST.

We try to match the applicant with faculty interviewers who supervise the rotations aligned with the applicant's interests, depending on schedules and circumstances. 

Applicants likely to be granted an interview would have a combination of intervention, assessment, and supervision totalling at least 1,000 hours.  We strongly prefer to see at least 500 hours of intervention and at least 100 hours of assessment. We will consider applicants with fewer assessment hours, depending on the strength of the rest of the application.

Over the past 3 years, we averaged approximately 65 applicants, and we invited 40+ applicants for interviews. 

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 know us as it is about us meeting you.

Dr. Elder regrets that virtual interviews prevent her from providing interviewees with an in-person tour of our 120-year-old historic campus. We were the last federal Soldier's Home to be built in this country, and our campus is on the National Register of Historic Landmarks. 

We will have the newest version of our 30+ page internship brochure available by mid-August, so please refer to that document for more information. You can access it here:

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: Loyola University Maryland, Xavier University, University of Alabama, Georgia State University, Georgia Southern University, University of Hartford, Pacific University of Oregon, Florida State University, East Carolina University, Adler University, Tennessee State University, Purdue University, Carlos Albizu University - San Juan campus, New Mexico State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Indiana State University, University of Texas (Austin), University of Tennessee, University of Notre Dame, George Fox University, Wheaton College, University of Kentucky, East Tennessee State University, to name a few. 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
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 application deadline
Dissertation Proposal Approved: Yes, by application deadline
Dissertation Defended: No
Minimum Number of AAPI Intervention Hours (if applicable): 500
Minimum Number of AAPI Assessment Hours (if applicable):
Minimum Number of Combined Intervention and Assessment Hours (if applicable):
Minimum Number of Years of Grad Training Required (if applicable): 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. This includes the COVID-19 vaccine. Interns will also be subject to random drug testing (and cannabis is illegal in the federal system). For all eligibility requirements, please visit
Program Description

To paraphrase the great Dolly Parton, welcome to our Tennessee Mountain Home!

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 11 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, and we teach the nine core competencies outlined in APA's Standards of Accreditation.

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.  

For the most up-to-date information about our rotations, please see our internship brochure, updated each August and posted on our website. Here is a quick summary:


Acute Inpatient Mental Health Services - Consulting, assessment, therapy, and interdisciplinary teamwork on our 24-bed inpatient psychiatric unit.

Community Living Center - Consulting, assessment, therapy, and interdisciplinary teamwork in our VA short-stay and long-term nursing home.

Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans - Group and individual intervention and assessment services for our unhoused Veterans, within a multidisciplinary team structure.

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 Program - Providing same-day, co-located, time-limited mental health care within Primary Care.

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

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


Acute Inpatient Psychiatry - See description above. Can be taken as a major or minor rotation.

Clinical Research - Finish your dissertation.

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

Home Based Primary Care - Travel to Southwest Virginia and accompany a psychologist to patients' homes to provide true interdisciplinary care in the heart of Appalachia. 

Psychology Program Evaluation - Choose two programs to evaluate and improve, such as SUDP or PRTP.

Substance Use Disorders Program - See above, can be taken as a major or minor rotation.

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.

Whole Health Integrative Mental Health - Be part of a health promotion/disease prevention multi-disciplinary team on the forefront of providing holistic care.


One of our foundational values in Appalachia is hospitality. As such, we are committed to welcoming people of all identities, seen and unseen, across all intersections, as we weave a tapestry of differences into a strong and vibrant workforce. We strive to uphold values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we invite interested applicants from underrepresented groups who are also committed to a multicultural orientation. 

Johnson City is beautiful and affordable, and our internship is a mature program that supports work-life balance, professional identity development, and mutual respect. 

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 Mental Health Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee in 2000, and we continue to focus on diverse staff and intern recruitment. Our VA employs 2500+ 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. And we are diversifying; Hispanic people are the fastest-growing demographic in our region.

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

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: Exposure (1% to 20%)
Group Therapy: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Community Intervention: Exposure (1% to 20%)
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: 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%)


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: Experience (21% to 30%)
Empirically-Supported Treatments: Experience (21% to 30%)
Public Policy/Advocacy:
Program Development/Evaluation: Experience (21% to 30%)
Supervision: Experience (21% to 30%)
Research: Exposure (1% to 20%)
Administration: Exposure (1% to 20%)
Integrated health care - primary: Experience (21% to 30%)
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/transtheoretical approaches, 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 training experiences may be available as described in the APPIC Directory. Please consult the program's application materials or their website at:  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 2022-2023 2023-2024
Number of Completed Applications: 68 71 72 72 64 61 69
Number of applicants invited for interviews: 33 42 49 49 43 40 49
Total number of interns: 4 5 5 5 5 5 5
Total number of interns from APA/CPA accredited programs: 4 5 5 5 5 5 5
Total number of interns from Ph.D. programs: 3 3 3 2 2 1 5
Total number of interns from Psy.D. programs: 1 2 2 3 3 4 0
Total number of interns from Ed.D. programs: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Number of interns that come from a Clinical Psychology program 3 3 4 5 5 5 4
Number of interns that come from a Counseling Psychology program 1 2 1 0 0 0 1
Number of interns that come from a School Psychology program 0 0 0 0 0 0
Range of integrated assessment reports: lowest number of reports written 2 11 2 2 2 5 2
Range of integrated assessment reports: highest number of reports written 18 32 20 9 9 44 26
Summary of Post Internship Employment Settings of Each Internship Class (1st Placement)
Academic teaching:
Community mental health center: 0
Consortium: 0
University Counseling Center: 0
Hospital/Medical Center: 2
Veterans Affairs Health Care System: 2
Psychiatric facility: 0
Correctional facility: 0
Health Maintenance Organization: 0
School district/system: 0
Independent practice setting: 1
Other (Academic Psychology Department): 0