The Vanderbilt University (VU)-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Clinical Psychology Training Program is a cooperative effort between the VU Department of Psychiatry and the VA to offer pre-doctoral internship training in clinical psychology. The Internship is a consortium consisting of: 1) the VU Department of Psychiatry Divisions of Adult, and 2) Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; 3) the VU Psychological and Counseling Center (PCC); and 4) the Alvin C. York and Nashville campuses of the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS). All of the consortium organizations are located in a large university medical center in Nashville, with the exception of the Alvin C. York campus which is located about 37 miles away in Murfreesboro. The VU-VA Clinical Psychology Training Program is a member of the Internship and Postdoctoral Programs in Professional Psychology (AAPIC) and has been continuously approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1971. An APA site visit was completed in 2013 and the Consortium was approved for the maximum 7 years.
The number of affiliated organizations and their differing missions allows the Consortium to offer a wide variety of clinical training opportunities. Applicants apply to work at each agency separately and each interns’ experience is determined by his/her selection of a primary and secondary placement. The consortium is structured to provide an in-depth, immersive experience at one agency which should be congruent with the intern’s primary interest area (e.g. university counseling center, academic medical center, VA). The Consortium also provides a substantive training experience in a different setting, which allows for the pursuit of special interests or the strengthening of areas of weakness in the intern’s past training experience. For instance, an intern selects major and minor rotations at their primary site, and a secondary placement at a different site. The structure of the internship is described in detail here. The sites and rotations available at each agency are described in more detail in the “Agencies and Rotations” section.
The training program is conceptually grounded in the scientist-practitioner model of the profession. All of the Consortium agencies share the recognition that the primary focus of the internship year is on the acquisition of clinical experience in a well-supervised environment conducive to learning and professional development. Training in clinical techniques across the Consortium is presented in relation to the framework of science that underpins clinical practice. The internship is located in an academic/medical center setting which offers the opportunity for involvement in research and interns are strongly encouraged to avail themselves of these opportunities.
Each agency is administratively independent and represented on the Training Committee which, under the leadership of the Director of Training, is the coordinating body of the Consortium’s program’s polices and goals. The administrative structure and governance of the training program are described in detail in the “Administrative Structure” section. The Consortium’s By-laws are available in the “Downloads” section.