The primary aim of this training program is to provide quality generalist training utilizing evidenced based therapies and assessments. The Scholar-Practitioner model is the underlying philosophy and will be followed to prepare interns as well-rounded competent clinicians. We emphasize the integration of research and practical experience and believe it is essential in the development of professional competency; therefore, emphasis is placed on applying evidence-based practices, research-based programming, and the application of science into practice. The goal is to facilitate interns’ development of critical thinking, conceptualization, and problem-solving skills. Prior to the completion of the training year, interns will be expected to be competent in providing basic psychological services to Veterans in an ethical, professional, and knowledgeable manner.
The internship program is structured to help interns grow and mature both personally and professionally. Internship training is designed to promote development in two fundamental areas: achieving foundational competencies in psychological practice and developing a sound professional identity. All aspects of the training program will facilitate the development of core competencies as recommended by APA emphasizing the importance of multiple skill sets among diverse populations and in varying functional roles involved in patient care. Interns will learn to effectively communicate their observations and clinical opinions (verbal and written) in interdisciplinary settings and to develop interpersonal skills needed to work effectively with patients, their families, and allied health professionals.
At the start of the training year, interns undergo several days of orientation to our program, service, and facility. They visit potential rotation sites, meet with potential supervisors, and are provided with information regarding the expectations of each rotation to facilitate composing a training experience that best fits their interests and needs. We take great care to create a training plan and rotation sequence that is fair and accounts for the intern’s clinical interests and goals.
Over the course of the internship year, interns will conduct evidence-based assessments from referral sources throughout our service and learn to provide feedback to Veterans in a therapeutic manner. Assessments commonly administered in our service but not limited to include: MMPI-2-RF, PAI, Various cognitive screeners, WAIS-IV, CPT-3, SCID-5, CAPS-5, and several self-report measures. During the year-long intern assessment rotation, interns will be expected to attend a weekly assessment group supervision session in addition to their individual supervision with an assessment supervisor. Assessment group supervision will also incorporate a monthly psychological testing-related journal article discussion.
Each training opportunity in all rotations will present the opportunity to train with a multidisciplinary staff along with training in evidence-based interventions. Interns will have the unique opportunity for in depth training and supervision by VA Trainers and Consultants in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia and Cognitive Processing Therapy which will give them the opportunity to fulfill the training requirements to be ‘grandfathered’ in to receiving VA provider status once they are licensed if they decide to continue their career with the VA.
Interns will also work together to complete a yearlong group project that is focused on a diversity characteristic chosen by the training committee. The goal is to foster and encourage a life-long practice of professional multicultural competence. The interns together with the Group Project Coordinator(s) will work to embrace the idea of cultural humility and develop a process of openness, self-reflection and ongoing professional and personal development. Aspects of the project include: participation in culturally considerate supervision, delivery of culturally competent clinical interventions, encouragement of reflection on cultural identity and cultural interactions in professional spaces through personal reflective practice and group discussion, and facilitation of experiential encounters that increase awareness of cultural identity and interactions, as well as knowledge of a cultural group
Rotation options include: PTSD Clinical Team, Women Veteran's Mental Health/MST Team, Substance Use Disorder Team, Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center; General Mental Health Clinic, Home Based Primary Care, Acute Psychiatric Inpatient Unit, Rural Telemental Health along with the following training enhancements: Special Populations, Specialty Assessments (bariatric, organ transplant, police evaluations), and Rural Telemental Health.