The Martinsburg VA Medical Center is located on 175 scenic acres in the Shenandoah Valley. Situated in the heart of West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle in historic Berkeley County, the medical center has a service area of more than 126,000 veterans in West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The towns surrounding Martinsburg are steeped with history and stunning outdoors rich with recreational opportunities. The Appalachian Trail is nearby offering miles of scenic hiking and biking trails to explore. The Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers flow through the area offering opportunities for fishing, kayaking, whitewater rafting and tubing. Overall, the eastern panhandle of West Virginia is a small, friendly community environment with beautiful scenery to enjoy numerous outdoor activities, yet still within a 90 minute drive to the Nation’s Capital.
The Psychology Internship Program is grounded in the practitioner-scholar model, which emphasizes that through the training experience clinical practice is guided by scientific theory and research. Based on this model, the development of knowledge and skills related to evidence based treatments are considered critical to competent and ethical professional practice. Interns are trained in evidence based practices and learn how to incorporate these practices in their clinical work across all rotations. The practitioner-scholar model also acknowledges the complexity of real patients and limitations of the empirical base. Thus, science and research are constantly evolving and informed from the delivery of clinical care while respecting our patients as unique people, accounting for individual, cultural, and societal considerations.
All interns’ experiences are designed to meet our educational model by ensuring the program’s foundations are based upon the following: high quality supervision; training in empirically based assessment and treatments; a broad range of clinical experiences and didactics; specialized training and experience in an intern’s specific interest area; individualized intern experience based upon intern’s goals and level of prior experience/skills/professional development; and research/scholarly activity/quality improvement opportunities.
The training model is competency-based within the practitioner-scholar framework. The internship year is designed to be sequential, cumulative, and graduated in complexity. There will be increased expectations for the interns’ performance in the core competencies as their knowledge, experience, and expertise grow and develop. As the year progresses, interns will be assigned more difficult and complex tasks based upon their level of competency. Initially working under close supervision of experienced and skilled staff members, students will be expected to work with increasing independence as they develop individual competencies. Training will be conducted in a format that encourages growth of the student clinically and professionally throughout his/her time in the program. Supervision is expected to match the needs of the intern in a way that facilitates professional development and progression. Thus, the intensity of supervision diminishes over the course of the rotation and internship as the intern matures into the role of a colleague, rather than a student. It is during this internship program that future psychologists should receive their final formal year of educational and clinical training experience. The program is dedicated to providing a supportive and collegial environment in which interns receive direct supervision to guide them through their journey of personal and professional development.
Interns will complete three major rotations of four months in duration and two to three minor rotations of four to six months in duration. Major rotations include Primary Care Mental Health Behavioral Health Integration (PCMHI), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder/Evidence Based Therapy, and Behavioral Health Interdisciplinary Program (BHIP)/Outpatient Mental Health.