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Psychology Training Programs

The Mental Health Department at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center (CNVAMC) offers eligible trainees in psychology a year-long advanced-practice practicum, internship, or post-doctoral residency in Psychology. Our predoctoral psychology internship and post-doctoral psychology residency are currently accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). Please see program specific information on the designated links.

Practicum

Program Experience

We are currently reviewing requests for 6- or 12-month practicum opportunities on a case-by-case basis from individuals enrolled in programs for clinical and counseling psychology programs.

Please notify us of your interest 6 months prior to desired start date to allow for onboarding documentation and agreements between the school site and VA to be processed.

Opportunities for practicum currently include intervention, assessment, and consultation services in the Traumatic Brain Injury and Blind Rehabilitation Program. Other opportunities for involvement in the PTSD program, Substance Use Recovery Program, Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center program, and the Behavioral Health Interdisciplinary Team program may have openings during further training years.

Supervision may include oversight from both Clinical Psychologists and supervised supervision from psychology interns or postdoctoral fellows.

Contact

Dr. Katrina Speed, Acting Psychology Training Director

Katrina.speed@va.gov

Predoctoral Psychology Internship

 

The Augusta University/Medical College of Georgia-Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center Psychology Internship (AU/MCG-Charlie Norwood VAMC Psychology Internship) was formed with the guiding principle that synergy could be achieved by pooling resources and interrelating institutional education, clinical service, and research efforts to enhance psychology internship training. Provision of care in interdisciplinary health care settings is a focus of our internship training and our training model focuses on three primary facets of training in the development of professional psychologists: (1) Training in the implementation of essential practice skills in key field settings; (2) Training in an empirical approach to practice (fostering attitudes of empiricism and reflection), and; (3) Training in the provision of care for underserved populations and areas.

For additional information, please visit: Psychology Internship Program (augusta.edu)

Program Summary and Highlights

The Medical College of Georgia (MCG)/Augusta University and the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) are organized as partners in offering a 12-month, full-time Internship in Clinical Psychology. The program begins in early July and carries an annual stipend of $26,297 (VA-paid tracks) and $30,160 for (MCG/AU-paid tracks). We currently fund ten Interns (6-VA; 4-MCG/AU). The Internship combines a solid grounding in clinical skills with access to a wide range of mental health and medical settings through which an Intern can develop general clinical-counseling skills as well as emphasis training. Our training model focuses on three primary facets of training in the development of professional psychologists: (1) Training in the implementation of essential practice skills in key field settings; (2) Training in an empirical approach to practice (fostering attitudes of empiricism and reflection), and; (3) Training in the provision of care for underserved populations and areas. Our hospitals and clinics are large regional treatment and training centers with more than 1000 combined inpatient beds and a multitude of specialty treatment programs and clinics. Our program partners with East Central Georgia Regional Hospital (ECRH) - a state funded psychiatric hospital that provides care for individuals with serious and chronic mental health disorders. The Augusta Campus of ECRH consists of three primary inpatient units: Adult Mental Health, General Mental Health, and Forensics. Across all training experiences, Interns work in close collaboration with primary care physicians, psychiatrists and other physician specialists, and other allied health professionals to develop skills in providing interdisciplinary health care.

There are two required 4-month rotations:

  1. The General Practice Rotation
  2. The Integrated Health Psychology Rotation:

In addition to the generalist training opportunities available, emphasis training is provided through the selection of one of six tracks:

  • Child and Family (AU funded)
  • Forensic Psychology (AU funded)
  • Clinical Health Psychology (2 CNVAMC funded and 1 AU funded)
  • HIV & LGBTQ Health Disparities Track (AU funded)
  • Psychology of Women (3 CNVAMC funded)
  • Trauma Psychology (CNVAMC funded)

*The consortium has notified APA/CoA/OAA in May 2022 of intent to dissolve the consortium agreement. We are fully committed to maintaining accreditation as a consortium until we achieve independent accreditation during this transitional period. We are available to discuss any questions or concerns with regards to this process. Despite the expected changes, we are committed to having high-quality training for the upcoming year and do not anticipate any significant changes to training offered at this time.

Training Philosophy and Core Values

Core Values in Training:

The AU/MCG-Charlie Norwood VAMC Internship supports the foundational value of the scientist-practitioner model of training for the professional psychologist. Scientific methods can both inform us of the human experience and guide in the development and implementation of therapeutic responses to life problems. Therefore, training in scientific methods should be a core endeavor for the development of the professional psychologist.

The internship program strongly values cultural and individual diversity and believes in creating an equitable, welcoming, appreciative, safe, and inclusive learning environment for its interns. Diversity and multiculturalism among interns and supervisors enhances and enriches the program. Every effort is made by the internship supervisors to create a climate in which all staff and interns feel respected, comfortable, and in which success is possible and obtainable.

Training Goals and Competencies

Our curriculum is built to meet core competencies as outlined by the American Psychological  Association and accreditation standards. Emphasis is placed on exposure to and implementation of empirically supported assessment and intervention with patients from diverse backgrounds across a broad range of patient populations. We use frequent formal evaluations to assess progress and elicit programmatic feedback to inform programmatic changes and recommendations for growth for trainees during the internship year.

  1. Evidence Based Practice in Intervention
  • Patient Risk Management and Confidentiality
  • Case Conceptualization and Treatment Goals
  • Therapeutic Interventions (individual, group, couples, etc.)
  • Effective Use of Emotional Reactions in Therapy
  • Comprehensive skills in risk assessment and crisis management
  • Emphasis is placed on development of skills in evidence-based treatment protocol delivery and empirically support treatments.
  1. Evidence Based Practice in Assessment
  • Diagnostic and Treatment Planning Skills
  • Psychological Test Selection and Administration
  • Psychological Test Interpretation
  • Assessment Writing Skills
  • Feedback Regarding Assessment
  1. Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills
  • Consultation Assessment
  • Consultative Feedback
  • General Medical Knowledge and case management/coordination
  • Team Membership and Building
  • Management of a professional schedule 
  • Skills in recovery based principles of care that emphasize a person centered perspective, self-determination, self-reliance, identification of one’s strengths, peer support and advocacy, and hope.
  1. Supervision
  • Supervision Methods (Knowledge)
  • Supervision Methods (Application)
  • Evaluation of Supervisees 
  1. Cultural and Individual Diversity
  • Cultural Humility
  • Diversity Knowledge
  • Multicultural Orientation and competence
  • Independence
  • Participation in planning, development, and facilitation/implementation of outreach activities with emphasis on services impacting care to/for underserved and diverse communities
  1. Research/Integration of Science and Practice
  • Critical Thinking in Scientific Evaluation and Clinical Practice
  • Science and Practice Integration
  • Research Methodology Knowledge
  • Ongoing participation in a research-scholarship project and the completion of a research manuscript suitable for submission for publication during the internship year.
  1. Ethical and Legal Standards
  • Knowledge of Ethics and Law
  • Management of Ethical Dilemmas
  • Ethical Behavior
  1. Professional Values and Attitudes
  • Professional Interpersonal Behavior
  • Seeks Consultation/Supervision
  • Uses Positive Coping Strategies
  • Professional Responsibility and Documentation
  • Efficiency and Time Management
  • Administrative Competency
  • Professional Development
  1. Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  • Maintaining Professional Relationships and Demonstrating Effective Interpersonal Communication
  • Written, Verbal, and Oral Communication
  • Difficult Communication

There are three required seminars:

1. The Diagnostic/Treatment Seminar meets weekly for eleven months of the year and includes application of a “Problem-Based Learning” (PBL) model.  The PBL approach to learning employs a clinical case/problem as the vehicle of learning and demands development of clinical/scientific reasoning.  The Seminar facilitates a 10-week course (two hours per week) that reviews Cognitive Behavior Therapy and introduces ACT that includes joint psychology and psychiatry residency training activities.

2. The Psychotherapy Process Seminar meets for the year and provides a laboratory to develop skills of empiricism and reflection in the nonparticipant mode of peer supervision and in the participant mode of a live therapy session presentation.  Each Intern along with the faculty/seminar directors take turns presenting a psychotherapy case live. Didactics for the seminar focus upon: (a) Common factors in psychotherapy, (b) Supervision, and (c) therapy termination.

3. The Professional Issues Seminar is intended as a complementary endeavor to be devoted to didactics and discussions related to the professional development of the Intern.  The seminar primarily focuses on the non-therapy aspects of being a psychologist. 

Other Educational Opportunities Include: 

1. Departmental Grand Rounds

2. Workshops

3. Half-day dedicated time for scholarship/research

 

Training Sites and Emphasis Opportunities

The below are currently involved sites within the training program and potential opportunities for rotation and training experiences depending on track schedule and supervisor availability:

  • Augusta University (AU)/The Medical College of Georgia (MCG) /AU Medical Center
    • Adult Psychiatric Consultation Service
      • Provides Psychiatric Consultations for all inpatient adult services
    • Infectious Disease Clinic (HIV) – Psychology C/L Services
      • Provides integrated health care for individuals infected with, and affected by HIV/AIDS; Also provides services to LGBTQ patients and families
    • Adult Neurology Clinic - Assessment, Consultation/Liaison Service and Treatment
      • Provides interdisciplinary assessment and treatment for patients with neurological disorders
    • Cancer Center - Psychology CL Services and Brief Psychotherapy
      • Provides integrated health care for individuals with cancer
    • Children’s Hospital of Georgia – Child Psychiatry Consultation Service
      • Provides consultations for all inpatient pediatric services
    • Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Clinic - Assessment, Consultation/Liaison Service and Treatment
      • Provides interdisciplinary assessment and treatment for patients with cystic fibrosis
    • Pediatric Enhanced Primary Care Clinic - Assessment, Consultation/Liaison Service and Treatment
      • Provides interdisciplinary assessment and treatment for pediatric patients with comorbid psychiatric conditions
    • Pediatric Infectious Disease (HIV) - Psychology C/L Service
      • Provides integrated health care for children with HIV/AIDS
  • The AU/MCG Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic
    • Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychiatry – Assessment and Therapy Services
      • Provides a full range of assessment and treatment for services with children and their families
    • Behavioral Health (adult services) – Assessment and Therapy Services
      • Provides a full range of assessment and treatment services with adults
    • LGBTQ Health Services - Assessment and Therapy Services
      • Provides assessment and treatment services through the outpatient clinic and the Equality Clinic of Augusta.
  • AU/MCG Employee-Faculty Assistance Program
    • Assessment and Brief Psychotherapy Services
      • Provides assessment and brief counseling/psychotherapy sessions for staff and faculty at Augusta University
  • AU Student Counseling & Psychological Services (SCAPS)
    • Provides mental health services for all students attending Augusta University
  • The Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center (CNVAMC) of Augusta
(Uptown Division)
    • Behavioral Health in Primary Care Integration - Psychology C/L Services
      • Provides integrated primary health care for veterans involving same day consultation, risk assessment and safety planning, brief interventions, and triage to other appropriate services as indicated
    • Blind Rehabilitation Inpatient Unit - Psychology C/L Services
      • Provides integrated rehabilitation services for veterans with injuries resulting in prominent visual impairment
    • Chronic Pain Program - Psychology C/L Services
      • Provides integrated pain management services for veterans
    • Outpatient General Mental Health Service – Assessment and Therapy Services
      • Provides a full range of behavioral health assessment and treatment services with veterans
    • Substance Abuse Recovery Clinic - Assessment and Therapy Services
      • Provides treatment, education and support, including recovery opportunities for any Veteran with a substance abuse disorder
    • Suicide Prevention Program
      • Provides training in suicide risk evaluation, safety planning, clinical interviewing, crisis line calls, and case management of high risk for suicide veterans
    • TBI Polytrauma Evaluation Clinic – Assessment and CL Services
      • Provides integrated rehabilitation services for veterans with brain injuries
    • Trauma Recovery Clinic – Assessment and Therapy Services
      • Provides integrated behavioral health care for veterans experiencing PTSD resulting from combat trauma and/or military sexual trauma
(Downtown Division)
    • Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Unit – Assessment and Therapy Services
      • Provides integrated rehabilitation services for veterans with spinal cord injuries
    • Neuropsychological Assessment
      • Provides diagnostic and treatment consultation to interdisciplinary staff throughout CNVAMC
  • The East Central Georgia Regional Hospital (ECRH)
    • Forensic Unit – Assessment and Psychotherapy Services
      • Provides forensic evaluations for adjudication of individual with criminal charges and evidence of mental illness, as well as a full range of treatment services for these individuals is provided
    • General Mental Health Unit – Assessment and Psychotherapy Services
      • Provides a full range of assessment and treatment services with adults with chronic/serious mental illness

NOTE: Generally, the work duty hours for all consortium partners is from 8:00-6:00, although direct patient care activities end at 4:30 p.m. in the CNVAMC.  Completion of 2080 hours of training for the internship is required.        

Application process

We are an APPIC member and use the APPIC application for psychology internship (AAPI) to review applications. Information can be found at APPIC - Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers which includes a directory, the application portal, and many resources about the application process.

Direct link to program listing: https://membership.appic.org/directory/display/397

Current year application deadline: November 1, 2022
Internship start date: July 1, 2023

Note:  Interns may apply for any or all of the tracks on their APPIC match forms.

Eligibility requirements for all VA Psychology Training Programs

Am I Eligible? Checklist for VA HPTs

Interviews: Interviews will be held virtually on Mondays and Fridays in December 2022 and January 2023. An optional, non-evaluative Open House will be offered after program ranking have been submitted by the internship in late January/early February 2023 for applicants who are interested in visiting Augusta to inform their ranking.

Contact Information and Accreditation

(Acting) VA Psychology Co-Training Director: Katrina Speed, PhD  Katrina.speed@va.gov

(Interim) MCG/AU Psychology Co-Training Director: Christopher Drescher, PhD

cdrescher@augusta.edu

 

For any additional information regarding the accreditation status of the internship contact:

American Psychological Association, Office of Program and Accreditation

750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242

(Phone 202-336-5979)

Email: apaaccred@apa.org

APA Accreditation - Home

 

*Please note that we have had a recent change in the training director leadership at both sites. Both Dr. Speed and Dr. Drescher have been with our programs are working diligently to make this a smooth transition. These changes are not anticipated to cause any disruption to the upcoming training year. Please reach out to us if there are any additional questions about this transition may impact training.

Internship Admission, Support, and Initial Placement Data

Please see the link below to see tables updated in August 2022.

Post-doctoral Psychology Residency

The Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center offers training in two areas of emphasis – Inter-professional Team-Based Care (2 positions), and Military Sexual Trauma (1 position).

Mission Statement

The mission of the CNVAMC’s Psychology Postdoctoral Residency is to train Fellows to effectively function in roles that combine clinical service and scholarly inquiry. The program is generalist in nature, prioritizing the development of well-rounded clinical skills. Even though this is classified as a general clinical residency training, this program emphasizes the provision of integrated behavioral health services to veterans and the treatment of military sexual trauma.

Program Competencies

INTEGRATION OF SCIENCE AND PRACTICE

  • Critical Scientific Evaluation
  • Science and Practice Integration
  • Research Methodology Knowledge
  • Empiricism

INDIVIDUAL AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY

  • Cultural Humility
  • Diversity Knowledge
  • Multicultural Orientation
  • Independence

ETHICAL AND LEGAL STANDARDS

  • Knowledge of Ethics and Law
  • Management of Ethical Dilemmas
  • Ethical Behavior

PROFESSIONAL VALUES AND ATTITUDES

  • Professional Interpersonal Behavior
  • Seeks Consultation/Supervision
  • Uses Positive Coping Strategies
  • Professional Responsibility and Documentation
  • Efficiency and Time Management
  • Administrative Competency
  • Professional Development

COMMUNICATION AND INTERPERSONAL SKILLS

  • Relationships
  • Written Communication
  • Difficult Communication

CONSULTATION AND INTERPROFESSIONAL/INTERDISCIPLINARY SYSTEMS

  • Consultation Assessment
  • Consultative Feedback
  • General Medical Knowledge
  • Team Membership and Building

ASSESSMENT

  • Diagnostic Skill
  • Psychological Test Selection and Administration
  • Psychological Test Interpretation
  • Assessment Writing Skills
  • Feedback Regarding Assessment

INTERVENTION

  • Patient Risk Management and Confidentiality
  • Case Conceptualization and Treatment Goals
  • Therapeutic Interventions (individual, group, couples, etc.)
  • Effective Use of Emotional Reactions in Therapy

SUPERVISION

  • Supervision Methods (Knowledge)
  • Supervision Methods (Application)
  • Evaluation of Supervisees 

Curriculum

Interprofessional Care Fellows
  • The training objective of the interprofessional care postdoctoral residency positions is to provide Fellows with a broad and comprehensive clinical education within interdisciplinary team  settings. Fellows have the opportunity to select to work within a variety of interdisciplinary care teams, which involve direct collaboration with professionals from various disciplines including psychiatry, social work, nursing, chaplain service, pharmacy, dieticians, and medical center physicians. The position has a major emphasis in development of Interprofessional skills working within interdisciplinary teams. Areas of opportunity for these experiences could include Primary Care/Mental Health Integration (PCMHI), Behavioral Health Interdisciplinary Program (BHIP), consultation and liaison services (C/L), and leadership/administrative services. Postdoctoral Fellows work as a member of these teams and serve as consultants to non-psychology professional groups during the training year. Fellows participate in clinical supervision of psychology interns under the supervision of the licensed psychologist. Fellows work with postdoctoral training staff to customize a training year to meet their individual needs, preferences, and abilities.
Military Sexual Trauma Fellows
  • This track provides general clinical psychology residency training, with an emphasis in military sexual trauma. Specific training experiences include: 1) evidence-based assessment and treatment of military sexual trauma; 2) interdisciplinary consultation; 3) development of clinical supervision competencies; and 4) identification of, understanding, and addressing ethical issues common among female populations. Training in behavioral medicine interventions addressing common problems among female veterans may also be offered/available.
  • Fellows provide psychological services predominantly in the Trauma Recovery Clinic, but may also complete rotations in the Women’s Health Primary Care Clinic or alternative elective minors. Fellows also participate in clinical supervision of psychology interns under the supervision of the licensed psychologist.

Fellows are required to complete a minimum of two psychological testing cases during the training year. Consults are submitted by providers throughout the MHSL and are assigned to Fellows, who will be supervised by a member of the Training Committee. The emphasis of this training experience is on enhancing general diagnostic skills, clinical interviewing, and overall assessment/testing skills. Each assessment case is unique and varies broadly along a spectrum of cognitive and personality evaluations. As such, there is no standard test battery or report format.

At least one representative of the Residency class is expected to attend the Training Committee meetings to provide updates regarding the training experiences of Fellows throughout the year, bring to the attention of the Training Committee issues or concerns pertaining to Residency training, and assist in the discussion and implementation of curriculum changes.

The residency is a one-year, full-time training program with an expected workload of 40 hours per week of direct services delivery and other training activities. Residents successfully completing either track within the program will meet the requirement for the Post-Doctoral Supervised Work Experience needed for professional licensure as a Psychologist in the State of Georgia.

Benefits and Internship Admission, Support, and Initial Placement Data

Eligibility

Health professional trainees are held to the policies and mandates of the VA and Office of Academic Affairs (OAA). Specific criteria are listed at the links below:

Eligibility requirements for all VA Psychology Training Programs

Am I Eligible? Checklist for VA HPTs

How to Apply

The CNVAMC is committed to the recruitment and training of diverse postdoctoral Fellows. Consistent with the APA Commission on Accreditation, we define cultural and individual differences and diversity as including, but not limited to, age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language, national origin, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Applications from qualified minority individuals are encouraged. Individuals who wish to be considered in part on the basis of a diversity variable should indicate their interest in the cover letter of their application.

Interested applicants should submit their materials online via APPIC’s centralized application service (APPA-CAS). To apply, candidates should submit the following:

1. A cover letter that describes your postdoctoral training goals and perceived fit with our program. In your letter, please describe your previous educational and clinical experience relevant to the training offered in our program, your assessment of your training needs, and your general career goals. Please review our complete brochure thoroughly before applying. Please specify if you are applying to the Interprofessional track or Military Sexual Trauma track (or both).

2. A copy of your Curriculum Vita.

3. A letter from the Chair of your Dissertation Committee describing the progress of your dissertation and anticipated defense date if not yet complete, or confirming successful completion.

4. Three letters of recommendation from supervisors who are directly familiar with your clinical work. At least one letter must be from an internship supervisor. If your dissertation Chair is providing one of your letters, they may address your dissertation status within that letter. A separate, fourth letter on this subject is not required in that circumstance.

5. An official transcript of your graduate work

Deadlines: Applications must be received online by December 16, 2022 to receive consideration. The Director of Postdoctoral Training and select members of the Training Committee will review all submitted applications in detail and will select some candidates for interviews. All applicants will be notified of their interview status by e-mail at the address provided in the APPA-CAS system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that correct and up-to-date contact information is supplied in the online application. We plan to hold virtual interviews at the end of January/beginning of February.

The VA Office of Academic Affiliations requires that all VA postdoctoral training programs abide by the APPIC Postdoctoral Selection Guidelines. Accordingly, we will abide by the new Postdoctoral Selection Standards and Common Hold Date. Offers may be made at any time following the conclusion of interviews and may be held up to the Common Hold Date of Monday, 2/27/2023. See the APPIC site for more information about the CHD policies. Applicants will be notified as soon as they are no longer under consideration and when all positions have been filled. The anticipated start date for 2022-2023 is August 14, 2023.

Contact Information and Accreditation

(Acting) VA Psychology Training Director: Katrina Speed, PhD

Katrina.speed@va.gov

The program received 10-year accreditation in 2019 by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association.

For any additional information regarding the accreditation status of the residency contact:

American Psychological Association, Office of Program and Accreditation

750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242

(Phone 202-336-5979)

Email: apaaccred@apa.org

APA Accreditation - Home