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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Psychology Training Program Internship Experience: Generalist Track

Psychology Internship and Postdoctoral Fellowship Overview
Introduction | Training StaffClosing Comments and Contact Information
Psychology Internship Program
Generalist Track | Neuropsychology Track | RotationsApplication Process
Postdoctoral Fellowship
Overview | Application Process | Clinical Neuropsychology Fellowship 

In order to meet our training goal involving appropriate breadth and depth of psychological service delivery expertise for the eight Generalist Track interns, trainees are expected to select six half-time placements of four months duration each.These placements are designed on the basis of intern preferences, but with an eye towards achieving a balance of experiences. The intern will have a mix of outpatient and inpatient placements, along with a distribution of therapy, assessment, and consultation experiences. The intern is typically assigned to two concurrent half-time placements lasting four months each. Some interns may also select a one-day placement in a focus area, such as Forensic Psychology. The sequence of placements is sometimes determined by an intern’s particular need for early placement in a content area where he/she may be seeking a later post-doctoral fellowship (e.g., Clinical Neuropsychology, Primary Care Mental Health). The following is an example of two of the possible training tracks.

 

Sample Track A

 

Sample Track B

 

Rotation 1

 

Rotation 1

 

Community Integration Program (CIP) – PRRC 

50%

PTSD Clinical Team

50%

CIP - Vocational Rehabilitation

50%

Substance Dependence Treatment Program

50%

 

 

 

 

Rotation 2

 

Rotation 2

 

Neuropsychology

50%

General Mental Health Clinic

50%

Spinal Cord Injury

50%

Mental Health Inpatient

50%

 

 

 

 

Rotation 3

 

Rotation 3

 

Chronic Pain

50%

Neuropsychology

50%

WISER

50%

Primary Care-Mental health

50%

 

 

 

 

 
There are a large number of psychologists at MEDVAMC. Hence interns will have an opportunity to gain exposure to varied theoretical orientations. Group and individual therapy opportunities are available and include treatment approaches such as CBT, group process, interpersonal, psychodynamic and psychoeducation depending on the needs of the population served and the theoretical orientation and style of the individual supervisor. Some psychologists are able to provide supervision in family therapy if there is an interest. The MEDVAMC psychology internship has a close association with BCM and interns have the opportunity to participate in minor rotations offered through the BCM clinical psychology internship program (the number of available minors varies from year to year).

Each psychology intern is assigned to a specific staff psychologist for professional supervision during each rotation. These training assignments are rotated every four months so that the intern will gain experience in different treatment programs and with different supervisors. Each intern will have at least six rotations and six different supervisors. The interns are expected to progress from more intensive supervision at the beginning of the year to more autonomous functioning by the year’s end.

There are a number of scheduled training seminars on clinical assessment, psychotherapy, clinical issues, and professional issues. Other conferences, staff meetings, case presentations, and regular unit staffings are scheduled so that interns can attend. To facilitate further communication among the interns and between the interns and staff, the interns meet with the Director of Training each week to discuss problems, changes and/or issues of concern to the interns. Once a month MEDVAMC interns participate in special topic didactic opportunities with interns from Baylor College of Medicine, University of Houston Counseling Center, the University of Texas Medical School, the Cypress-Fairbanks independent School District, and the Houston Independent School District. This affords the interns in the Houston area an opportunity to form a support network and discuss professional issues.

Interns are expected to demonstrate understanding and competence in the areas of diagnosis and assessment, effective interventions, consultation, evaluation of efficacy of interventions, and issues of cultural and individual diversity. Interns are expected to present assessment and therapy cases toward the end of the training year so that their competence can be formally evaluated.

On completion of each training assignment, supervisors evaluate the intern's performance during the preceding four months. Feedback on this evaluation and intern progress is discussed with supervisors. A written evaluation of progress in training is furnished to the intern’s departmental Director of Training each rotation. Each intern is also asked to make an evaluation of the supervision received during the preceding rotation. At the end of the internship year each intern is asked to evaluate the internship experience during an exit interview.