***PLEASE NOTE: As of October 2, 2020, we have reduced our minimum intervention hours from 400 hours to 300 hours in order to be responsive to applicant circumstances impacting accrual of clinical hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We revised our internship brochure to reflect this as well: https://www.psychologytraining.va.gov/seattle/ -- click "Psychology Internship - American Lake"
Training provided through the American Lake Psychology Training Programs supports the Mission of VA Puget Sound to "Honor America’s Veterans by providing exceptional and innovative care that improves their health and quality of life," and the national VA Missions of patient care, education, research and serving as back-up to the Department of Defense.
The Training Program has a specific mission, as captured in the following statement:
"It is the mission of the Psychology Internship Training Program at the American Lake Division of VA Puget Sound to ensure that Veterans and others across the nation have continuing access to highly qualified, ethical, and professional health service psychologists who integrate science into their practice, with sensitivity to and knowledge about the influence of ethnic, cultural, and individual differences on their psychological services."
It is our belief that excellence in health service psychology requires attention to ethics, diversity, science, and practice. The internship program at American Lake draws from the Scientist-Practitioner model, which requires the integration of science and practice. We believe that interns pursuing a career in clinical work should follow scientifically proven practices, and that those who become researchers should utilize clinical sensitivity and insight in designing and implementing their research.
Overview of the Training Program
The Doctoral Internship at American Lake provides supervised HSP experience to doctoral candidates in Clinical or Counseling Psychology who are enrolled in programs accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), the American Psychological Association’s Commission on Accreditation (APA CoA), or another VA recognized accrediting organization (e.g., PCSAS).
Our internship program's major aims include:
- Preparation for effective, entry level functioning in complex and comprehensive public service environments.
- Development of professional identity that includes valuing justice, integrity, respect, and ethical practice.
- Commitment to the appreciation, generation, and application of scientifically derived knowledge, including the integration of science with practice.
- Commitment to and respect for individual and cultural diversity.
Our aims reflect our belief that a psychologist is defined both by specific training received and by the attitude with which clinical and research problems are approached. Our aims support the VA’s broader mission of training psychologists competent and committed to practice in public service settings.
Our internship program is developed from the basic perspective that a health service psychologist should be broadly trained in accordance with the Profession-Wide Competencies (PWCs) defined by the American Psychological Association. We believe a practitioner must be a generalist before they can be a competent specialist. To that end, our internship training is designed to provide clinical experience across the spectrum of psychological skills, while allowing for some experience in specialty or focus areas and involvement in research. We expect each intern to participate in a range of placements that foster acquisition of PWCs, complement their individual training to date, and further their professional development and career plans.
Interns should seek out and be exposed to a wide array of patients and problems and work with a variety of programs and supervisors. Interns are expected to further develop already-acquired PWCs. They are expected to gain experience with patients that represent a cross-section of the diverse Veterans served at VA Puget Sound’s American Lake Division and to acquire sensitivity to and knowledge of cultural differences and other individual differences that influence how services are provided. Emphasis is placed on the experiential (i.e., hands on) acquisition of clinical skills, including the ability to evaluate psychiatric and neuropsychological disorders objectively, to develop and implement treatment plans, and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions. Some rotation placements focus exclusively on provision of clinical services; others offer the opportunity to work on ongoing clinical research projects. Seminars addressing relevant clinical, research, and professional concerns occur throughout the year at both Divisions of VA Puget Sound (American Lake, Seattle), and in the greater professional community.