Program Information: Montana VA Health Care System - Behavioral Health

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Member Site Information
APPIC Member Number: 2300
Program Type: Internship
Membership Type: Full Membership
Site: Montana VA Health Care System
Department: Behavioral Health
Address: Behavioral Health Mail Code #116
3687 Veteran's Drive
PO Box 1400
Fort Harrison, Montana 59636
Country: United States
Metro Area: Not Applicable
Not Applicable
Distance from Major City: In Helena, MT
Phone: 406-447-6075x
Fax: 406-447-6070
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 & Lead / Director: Joanna McCormick
Chief Psychologist: Robert Connell
Number of Full-Time Licensed Doctoral Psychologists on Staff/Faculty 29
Number of Part-Time Licensed Doctoral Psychologists on Staff/Faculty 0
Position Information
Start Date: 07/17/2023
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: 26297
Part Time Annual Stipend for Next Class: 0
Fringe Benefits: Dissertation Release Time, Health Insurance, Licensing Exam Release Time, Professional Development Time, Sick Leave, Vacation
Other Fringe Benefits (not indicated above): 11 Federal holidays; 13 annual leave days & 13 sick leave days (accrued throughout the training year); 5 days of approved professional leave (can be used for dissertation defense, licensing, or professional development time); intern can choose from several federal health benefits plans.
Brief description of the typical work day for an intern at this training site A typical day will vary greatly depending on the rotation. As a training program, we focus mainly on experiential learning through the provision of direct patient care. Early in the training year, Interns can expect to have between 12 and 15 direct patient care hours per week (across both rotations) and toward the end of the year, close to 20 face-to-face hours per week (across both rotations). When indicated, we emphasize the use of empirically supported therapies including Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy for Depression, to name a few. In conjunction with the importance placed on empirically based treatments, Interns learn to integrate science into practice through regular didactics (approximately 15 hours per month), journal club, interprofessional consultation, and supervision. As such a typical day might include individual therapy sessions, group therapy sessions, couple therapy, psychological testing, supervision, didactic participation, consultation, and/or interprofessional team meetings.
Does this site have practicum psychology students on site? Yes
Doctoral Psychology Practicum StudentsYes
Masters Psychology Practicum StudentsNo
Do Psychology Interns/Postdocs Have the Opportunity to Supervise Practicum Students?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: 11/06/2022 11:59 PM EST
Interviews at this site are:
  • Preferred
  • Virtual
Interview notification date: 12/15/2022
Tentative interview date: 01/11/2023, 01/19/2023
Interview process description:

Applicants will be notified about interviews on 12/15/2021 at the latest, via email.  Interviews are tentatively scheduled to be held on 01/11/23 & 01/19/23.  Due to COVID-19, these interviews will be held virtually and no on-site visits will be offered.  The virtual interview days will include a group informational session, where the training director and clinical staff will be introduced and provide information about the training philosophy, internship program, and rotations.  In addition, applicants will participate in two individual interviews with internship staff members.  Applicants will also have the opportunity to meet with the current cohort of interns in order to ask questions.  Requests to meet with specific staff can be considered, but cannot be guaranteed.

How to obtain application info: Visit Website
Preferred method of contacting the program: Email the Program
We have matched with interns from these programs: Adler University (x2) Alliant IU/CSPP-San Francisco American School of Professional Psychology-Argosy, Washington DC American School of Professional Psychology-Argosy, Southern California Chicago School of Professional Psychology (2x) Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Irvine Campus Divine Mercy University Florida Institute of Technology George Fox University (x2) Immaculata University Indiana State University Midwestern University-Glendale (x3) Pacific University (x3) PGSP-Stanford Consortium Seattle Pacific University University of Arkansas - Fayetteville University of Denver University of Louisville University of Missouri – Kansas City University of Montana - Missoula University of North Dakota University of North Texas University of Oregon University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Utah State 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: Yes, by application deadline
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): 300
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: Review program brochure for additional information. Brochure available at:
Program Description

The aim of the Psychology Internship Program at Montana VA is to equip postdoctoral-level psychologists in the science, skill development, and art of psychological practice. Our program has an emphasis in training psychologists in the unique factors associated with practicing rural mental health. The Montana VA HCS is well suited as an institution to meet this aim, in that Interns will be in the rural medical care setting described above for 2080 hours over the course of a year providing significant, supervised clinical experiences to veterans while functioning as part of multi-disciplinary teams. During this year, Interns’ learning will be supplemented through didactics, group supervision, and other experiential learning activities. By the end of the internship year Interns will have had experiences that will enable them to build competency in the following ten domains:

  1. Research

  2. Ethical and legal standards

  3. Individual and cultural diversity

  4. Professional values, attitudes, and behaviors

  5. Communication and interpersonal skills

  6. Assessment

  7. Intervention

  8. Supervision

  9. Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills

  10. Rural mental health

The Psychology Internship Program is based on the Scholar-Practitioner (Vail) model and is committed to training future psychologists in the scientific practice of psychology. Interns are trained as practitioners and consumers of research. This model of training emphasizes the practical application of scientific knowledge and the reflective process between science and practice. While the Psychology Internship Program at Montana VA Health Care System emphasizes science and empirically based treatments, we agree that “The primary goal of training a practitioner-scholar is the delivery of human services that take into account individual, cultural and societal considerations” (Rodolfa, et al., 2005).

Our program follows the professional developmental model in which the Intern is expected to progress throughout the Internship year. This model indicates that the Intern will move from a somewhat dependent and closely supervised trainee to a relatively independent junior colleague. We strive to provide Interns with strong generalist training and they can expect to complete their Internship year being competent, independent, postdoctoral-level psychologists which will enable them to work competently in rural areas, medical centers, outpatient settings, and within the Veteran’s Affairs Healthcare System.

Our training program emphasizes the psychosocial model of recovery and empowerment of Veterans to recover from mental health difficulties. When indicated, we emphasize the use of empirically supported therapies including Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Depression, CBT for Insomnia, and Interpersonal Therapy for Depression, Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy, to name a few.  

This is a generalist internship site, aimed at training well-rounded and skilled clinicians, who have particular expertise in working effectively in rural settings. Interns will be placed on two rotations for each of the two six months periods of internship, totally 4 rotations across the year.  In each six month period, the two rotation experiences will combine for a total of 36 hours per week.  The total time on each of the two rotations will be determined collaboratively based on training needs, Interns' preference, and supervisor availability.  Currently, the Internship offers the choice between the following rotation experiences: 

  1. Clinical Geropsychology
  2. Clinical Neuropsychology
  3. General Outpatient
  4. Outpatient Trauma Recovery
  5. Primary Care Mental Health Integration (PCMHI)
  6. Program Development and Leadership
  7. Psychological Assessment
  8. Residential Trauma & Substance Use Recovery
  9. Triage and Rapid Evaluation Clinic (TREC)

For additional information about each of these rotations and the program, please see our program brochure.

Internship Training Opportunities


Adults: Yes
Family: Yes
Older Adults: Yes
Inpatients: Yes
Outpatients: Yes
Gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender: Yes
Ethnic minorities: Yes
Students: Yes
International Students:
Rural: Yes
Low income: Yes
Homelessness: Yes
Other: veterans

Treatment Modalities

Assessment: EMPHASIS (31% to 49%)
Individual Therapy: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Couples Therapy: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Family Therapy: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Group Therapy: EMPHASIS (31% to 49%)
Community Intervention: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Consultation/Liaison: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Crisis Intervention: EMPHASIS (31% to 49%)
Brief Psychotherapy: EMPHASIS (31% to 49%)
Long-term Psychotherapy:
Cognitive Rehabilitation: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Primary Care: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Evidenced Based Practice: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Evidence Based Research:
Supervision of Practicum students :
Other: Residential Treatment


Health Psychology: EMPHASIS (31% to 49%)
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: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Physical Disabilities: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Learning Disabilities: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Developmental Disabilities:
Assessment: EMPHASIS (31% to 49%)
Neuropsychology-Adult: EMPHASIS (31% to 49%)
Serious Mental Illness: EMPHASIS (31% to 49%)
Anxiety Disorders: EMPHASIS (31% to 49%)
Trauma/PTSD: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Sexual Abuse: EMPHASIS (31% to 49%)
Substance Use Disorders: EMPHASIS (31% to 49%)
Sexual Offenders:
Geropsychology: EMPHASIS (31% to 49%)
Vocational/Career Development: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Multicultural Therapy:
Feminist Therapy:
Religion/Spirituality: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Empirically-Supported Treatments: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Public Policy/Advocacy: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Program Development/Evaluation: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Administration: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Integrated health care - primary: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
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: 31 76 78 62 72 53
Number of applicants invited for interviews: 23 35 33 33 29 27
Total number of interns: 3 4 4 4 4 4
Total number of interns from APA/CPA accredited programs: 3 4 4 4 4 4
Total number of interns from Ph.D. programs: 0 3 2 1 4 0
Total number of interns from Psy.D. programs: 3 1 2 3 0 4
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 3 3 4
Number of interns that come from a Counseling Psychology program 0 1 0 1 1 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 8 5 8 7 16
Range of integrated assessment reports: highest number of reports written 64 49 105 19 57
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 0 0 0 1
Postdoctoral Fellow: 3 2 3 2 2 2
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 3 2 2 4 1
Military Medical Center: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Private General Hospital: 0 0 0 0 0 0
General Hospital: 1 0 0 1 0 0
Other Medical Center: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Private Psychiatric Hospital: 1 0 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 1 0 3
Other (e.g. consulting): 0 0 1 0 0 0
Not Currently Employed: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Changed to Other Career Field: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Unknown: 0 0 0 0 0 0