Program Information: Sioux Falls VA Health Care System - Mental Health Service Line

Click on a section title to expand or collapse individual sections.
Member Site Information
APPIC Member Number: 2206
Program Type: Internship
Membership Type: Full Membership
Site: Sioux Falls VA Health Care System
Department: Mental Health Service Line
Address: 2501 West 22nd Street
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57105
Country: United States
Metro Area: Not Applicable
Not Applicable
Distance from Major City:
Phone: 605-336-3230x7988
Fax: 605-333-5387
Web Address:
Brochure Website's Address:
Primary Agency Type: Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Additional Agency Types:
Member of APPIC since:
APA Accreditation Accredited
CPA Accreditation Not Accredited
Internship Staff/Faculty Information
Training Director & Lead / Director: Emily Blegen
Chief Psychologist: Summer Nelson
Number of Full-Time Licensed Doctoral Psychologists on Staff/Faculty 10
Number of Part-Time Licensed Doctoral Psychologists on Staff/Faculty 0
Position Information
Start Date: 07/01/2023
Number of Full Time Slots Expected Next Class: 2
Number of Part Time Slots Expected Next Class: 0
Full Time Annual Stipend for Next Class: 26297
Part Time Annual Stipend for Next Class:
Fringe Benefits: Dissertation Release Time, Health Insurance, Licensing Exam Release Time, Life Insurance, Professional Development Time, Sick Leave, Vacation
Other Fringe Benefits (not indicated above): Interns are eligible for 11 federal holidays. Interns accrue 104 hours of sick leave (SL) at 4 hours per pay period. Interns accrue 104 hours of annual leave (AL) at 4 hours per pay period, to be used at their discretion. If the intern demonstrates satisfactory progress towards training goals, the intern may be approved for up to 40 hours of authorized absence (AA) for documented educational purposes, dissertation-related, or VA-employment related activities off-station.
Brief description of the typical work day for an intern at this training site A typical work day would include one hour of scheduled supervision, a meeting, and therapy or assessment clinical work. Meetings vary throughout the week and rotation. A meeting can include Peer Consultation group, an interdisciplinary team meeting, the Training Director + Interns lunch, Journal Reading Group, etc. Therapy would include case preparation, individual and group therapy, and documentation. Assessment would include interviewing; administering, scoring, and interpreting psychological and neuropsychological assessments; writing comprehensive reports; and provision of feedback.
Does this site have practicum psychology students on site? No
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: 11/27/2022 11:59 PM EST
Interviews at this site are:
  • Required
  • Virtual
Interview notification date: 11/30/2022
Tentative interview date: 12/12/2022, 01/4/2023, 01/18/2023
Interview process description:

All personal interviews are conducted remotely, typically via video (phone in unique circumstances). Interviews are individual and coordinated by invitation only. Interviews are required of all applicants who make the final selection round. Candidates will be informed by email by end-of-business on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 concerning whether or not they have been invited for a personal interview. We regard interviews as a two-way process - a chance for us to meet and learn more about the applicant and an opportunity for the applicant to meet us and get a better understanding of our program. Interview Days are scheduled for 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. CST and involve an informational session with the training director(s) and supervisor(s) for several rotations as well as formal interviews in the afternoon. For the current selection cycle, interviews will take place on Monday, December 12, 2022; Wednesday, January 4, 2023; and Wednesday, January 18, 2023. Applicants will need to be available to interview on one of those days should they be invited for an interview. All invitation emails are released at the same time, to allow for equal opportunity to schedule a preferred interview date. As there are a limited number of spots available on each day and we may not be able to accommodate an applicant’s first date choice, we ask the applicant also to specify alternate day preferences. Interview day appointments will be determined by the order in which emails are received. Once an interview day has been agreed upon, we will provide further information and details. We adhere strictly to the selection process guidelines established by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC).

How to obtain application info: Visit Website
Preferred method of contacting the program: Email the Program
We have matched with interns from these programs: University of Denver Biola University Loma Linda University Alliant IU San Diego St. Thomas University Florida Institute of Technology Palo Alto University John F Kennedy University University of Indianapolis University of South Dakota California Lutheran University The Wright Institute George Fox University Regent University Alliant IU/California School of Professional Psychology - Los Angeles Minnesota School of Professional Psychology - Twin Cities Argosy University - Hawaii Spalding University
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 start of internship
Dissertation Proposal Approved: No
Dissertation Defended: No
Minimum Number of AAPI Intervention Hours (if applicable): 250
Minimum Number of AAPI Assessment Hours (if applicable): 50
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 Accepted
PCSAS-Accredited 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 Sioux Falls VA Health Care System training program will closely adhere to guidelines put forth by the APA, VA, and APPIC. As required under APPIC policies, offers to interns may not be made before Match Day. Further, VA Health Care System is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The selection of interns is made without discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, politics, marital status, physical handicap, or age. We are committed to providing a supportive and professional environment that values and promotes diversity. All new VA Health Care System employees are subject to background checks. Because of significant time delay between completion of criminal background checks and the start of the internship year, shortly after selection interns will be instructed to begin the procedure for completing this background check, and match result and select decisions are contingent on passing the screens. Interns are included in the random selection for drug screening during their appointments. VA training occurs in a health care setting; some of the patients served by VA are elderly or infirm and could succumb to common illnesses like influenza. It is important to be able to document that your vaccinations are up to date and that you have been screened for active tuberculosis prior to starting your training at a VA hospital. Securing a statement from university student health center, your regular health provider, or an urgent care clinic can expedite your appointment. Additionally, maintaining a current flu vaccination during the training year (or taking additional preventative measures to limit patient exposure to the flu) and current COVID vaccination will be required. A Training Qualifications and Credentials Verification Letter [Trainee Qualifications and Credentials Verification Letter (TQCVL) - Office of Academic Affiliations (] also is required as part of the onboarding process. The letter documents extern, intern, or postdoctoral resident readiness for starting their clinical work at a VHA facility. There are requirements for such things as Hepatitis B vaccination (or signing a declination form), TB screening, screening against the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities database, etc. VA guidelines direct if the intern applicant is male, he must have registered with the Selective Service System by age 26 years. See VA Psychology webpage for further details about eligibility requirements (webpage with link). The website also includes links to eligibility requirements to train at VA Facilities and VA being a drug free workplace.
Program Description

Please visit our website for information including a PDF detailing our program.

Do not hesitate to contact Dr. Emily Blegen with any additional questions or to obtain a copy of the brochure!


(At any one time, an intern will be concurrently participating in one major rotation, one minor rotation, and the yearlong rotation.)

2 Major Rotations - 6 months each: 16 hours per week + 2 hours individual supervision per week
*Neuropsychology Assessment
*General Outpatient Mental Health OR General Outpatient Mental Health Telehealth Focus
*Posttraumatic Stress OR Posttraumatic Stress Telehealth Focus

Dr. Leiting is a CPT Regional Trainer, so is able to offer an option in CPT training with formal consultation. We encourage and support completion; however, it is not mandatory for those who participate in the CPT training or Posttraumatic Stress rotation.

1 (year-long) or 2 (six months each) Minor Rotation(s) - 12 months: 7 hours per week + 1 hour individual supervision per week
*Group Psychotherapy
*Military Sexual Trauma
*Neuropsychology Assessment
*Primary Care Mental Health
ehabilitation & Extended Care

Yearlong Rotation - 12 months: 7 hours per week + 1 hour individual supervision + 1 hour group supervision ("Testing Team") per week
*Assessment (Neuro-Psych)



 ***Please note, we understand COVID-19 has caused unintentional disruptions to psychology training.  We typically require a minimum 250 Intervention Hours and 50 Assessment Hours, and that remains our general standard. However, for the 2022-2023 application cycle, if you are interested in applying to our training program, but have not met the requisite hours, please apply as we will review applications case by case (in order for your application to be considered in this circumstance, be sure to include each of the following: 1. briefly outline the circumstances resulting in below the minimum required hours, 2. describe the type of training received or other learning undertaken in lieu of direct experience, 3. include a summary of anticipated training experiences in terms of setting, modality, and hours).



Internship Training Opportunities


Adults: Yes
Older Adults: Yes
Inpatients: Yes
Outpatients: Yes
Gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender: Yes
Ethnic minorities: Yes
Deaf/Hearing-impaired: Yes
International Students:
Rural: Yes
Urban: Yes
Low income: Yes
Homelessness: Yes

Treatment Modalities

Assessment: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Individual Therapy: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Couples Therapy: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Family Therapy:
Group Therapy: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Community Intervention:
Consultation/Liaison: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Crisis Intervention: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Brief Psychotherapy: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Long-term Psychotherapy: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Cognitive Rehabilitation:
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 :


Health Psychology: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Women's Health: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Eating Disorders: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Sexual Disorders: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Sports Psychology:
Rehabilitation Psychology:
Physical Disabilities: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Learning Disabilities:
Developmental Disabilities:
Assessment: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Neuropsychology-Adult: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Serious Mental Illness: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Anxiety Disorders: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Trauma/PTSD: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Sexual Abuse: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Substance Use Disorders: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Sexual Offenders:
Geropsychology: EMPHASIS (31% to 49%)
Counseling: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Vocational/Career Development:
Multicultural Therapy: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Feminist Therapy:
Empirically-Supported Treatments: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Public Policy/Advocacy: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Program Development/Evaluation: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Supervision: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Research: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Administration: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Integrated health care - primary: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Integrated health care - specialty: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)

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
Number of Completed Applications: 41 20 31 24 28 45
Number of applicants invited for interviews: 31 17 24 22 25 21
Total number of interns: 2 2 2 2 2 2
Total number of interns from APA/CPA accredited programs: 2 2 2 2 2 2
Total number of interns from Ph.D. programs: 1 1 1 0 2 1
Total number of interns from Psy.D. programs: 1 1 1 2 0 1
Total number of interns from Ed.D. programs: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Number of interns that come from a Clinical Psychology program 2 2 2 1 2 2
Number of interns that come from a Counseling Psychology program 0 0 0 1 0 0
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 24 0 16 7 6 34
Range of integrated assessment reports: highest number of reports written 33 46 108 81 69 36
Summary of Post Internship Employment Settings of Each Internship Class (1st Placement)
2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Working on dissertation/Student: 0 0 1 0 1 0
Postdoctoral Fellow: 1 0 0 1 0 1
Community Mental Health Center: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Health Maintenance Organization: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Veteran's Affairs Medical Center: 1 1 0 1 0 1
Military Medical Center: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Private General Hospital: 0 0 0 0 0 0
General Hospital: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other Medical Center: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Private Psychiatric Hospital: 0 1 0 0 0 0
State/County/Other Public Hospital: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Correctional Facility: 0 0 0 0 0 0
School District/System: 0 0 0 0 0 0
University Counseling Center: 0 0 0 0 0 0
University Teaching Faculty: 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 or 4 year Undergraduate Teaching Position: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Medical School: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Academic Non-Teaching Position: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Research Position: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Independent Practice: 0 0 1 0 0 0
Other (e.g. consulting): 0 0 0 0 0 0
Not Currently Employed: 0 0 0 0 1 0
Changed to Other Career Field: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Unknown: 0 0 0 0 0 0