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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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Model of Training - Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Training

The Postdoctoral Fellowship Training Program is committed to the scholar-practitioner / evidence – based model in the delivery of clinical care, clinical research, and professional teaching. We emphasize and demonstrate respect for the individual and diversity in the delivery of clinical care, clinical research, and professional teaching. We strive to provide Fellows with significant breadth and depth of experience working with a variety of clinical populations while simultaneously applying an approach utilizing scientific information in the conceptualization, assessment, and treatment of clinical problems. The Psychology Fellow is expected to spend 70% time in clinical service, 20% time in research, and 10% time attending didactics and providing teaching and supervision. Fellows will be encouraged to define their research activity in terms of involvement in projects already underway at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System.

We believe that teaching Fellows in clinical service, scholarly thinking, and clinical research design is best received and maintained within a "junior colleague" model of training. Our commitment to the Fellows' professional growth and scholastic development is conveyed in a supportive training atmosphere emphasizing individual strengths. Fellows are challenged to think critically, and encouraged toward full creative participation in all endeavors, scientific and clinical.

A guiding principle in all aspects of service delivery within the program is respect and human dignity for our clients. We emphasize patients' rights, self-determination and the right to choose, including the patient's right to adequate medical, psychological, educational, recreational and other community services, the patient’s right to family participation in treatment, and delivery of care with the utmost privacy in the least restrictive environment. We honor cultural, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender differences in our patients and deliver services accordingly.

Finally, we tailor our training to be consistent with the current climate of clinical practice and research. As we prepare students for practicing psychology in the new millennium, we are aware that Fellows must be trained for delivery of brief, empirically defensible treatments with a broad spectrum of patients. The Fellowship Program's didactics, symposia, and seminars are utilized effectively towards this end to inform and support the current model of clinical practice. Fellowship offers a window to the realities of clinical research and practice and we believe that the training that alerts Fellows to these external economic, social, and political forces is important for a successful career.

With the preceding in mind, The Fellowship Program operates utilizing the following principles:

  • Emphasis on patient-centered care;
  • Emphasis on goal-directed treatment and outcomes;
  • Emphasis on maximizing individual strengths;
  • Emphasis on self-respect and human dignity;
  • Emphasis on the patient's right to adequate medical, psychological, housing, educational, recreational, and other community services;
  • Emphasis on patient rights, self-determination, and right to choose;
  • Emphasis on active patient and family participation in treatment and in the implementation of plans;
  • Emphasis on culturally appropriate services;
  • Emphasis on delivery of care in the least restrictive environment;
  • Emphasis on the value of peer support and interaction;
  • Commitment to personal growth and development.

To achieve these principles, the Fellowship Program assists Fellows in the following ways:

  • First, we provide a structured, coherent, and integrated training program designed to develop clinically and academically well-rounded clinical psychologists.
  • Second, we provide intensive and systematic training in the application of psychological principles to human problems and ensure clinical work with a variety of patients, techniques, and approaches. This provides an opportunity for Fellows to develop and refine adequacy in conceptual abilities, skills in interpersonal interactions such as therapeutic intervention, systematic observation of behavior, and psychological assessment; to develop values of professional responsibility and ethical behavior; and to integrate scholarly research findings in clinical practice.
  • Third, we expose Fellows to a diversity of approaches to help them develop critically in their assessment of mental health issues.
  • Fourth, we place emphasis on the Fellow's increasing responsibility for defining individualized training goals and assuming responsibility for major professional functions and patient care. We see as one of our major responsibilities to integrate the didactic learning with the practical knowledge and skills of the professional psychologist. Our major resource in this endeavor is the significant investment of enthusiasm, energy, and time of many doctoral psychologists, dedicated to the supervisory/training process.
  • Fifth, we provide ample supervision throughout the Fellowship year in multiple different formats (i.e., individual, group, didactic, case conferences, etc.).
  • Sixth, formal and informal teaching (seminars, lectures, etc.) are an integral component of the training program.