The primary goal of the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System’s Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is to train fellows who will become licensed psychologists prepared to assume entry-level positions in a variety of healthcare settings, such as the public sector, academic settings, or medical centers. Our fellows will also have additional and more focused training in one emphasis area, PTSD. This area is vital and relevant in clinical psychology and fellows completing our fellowship will be able to work with these particular patient populations with a degree of competence above and beyond a general training experience.
By the end of the training program, the fellows should have developed the full range of clinical psychology skills required for independent practice with demonstrated competence in a variety of clinical areas as defined by the competencies and objectives outlined below. These competencies and objectives were developed in concert with recognized clinical competencies defined by the American Psychological Association.
Goal #1: To produce competent clinicians ready for independent practice
Objectives for Goal #1: Development of foundational competencies in assessment, evaluation, and conceptualization skills
Competencies expected: Demonstrate a thorough working knowledge of psychiatric diagnostic nomenclature and DSM multiaxial classification; utilize historical, interview, and psychometric date to generate an accurate formulation that logically leads to a treatment plan; formulate a useful case conceptualization that draws on theoretical and research knowledge; collaborate with patient to form appropriate treatment goals; generate well-organized documentation; answer relevant questions clearly and provide specific recommendations and plans; plan and carry out a feedback interview; explain results in terms the patient and/or caregiver can understand; provide suitable recommendations and respond to issues raised by patient or caregiver; promptly and proficiently administer commonly used tests in his/her area of practice; appropriately choose the tests to be administered; demonstrate competence in administering tests; skillfully interpret the results of tests used in his/her area of practice
Goal #2: To produce competent clinicians ready for independent practice
Objectives for Goal #2: Development of functional competencies in intervention and consultation skills
Competencies expected: Consistently achieve a positive alliance with patients; effectively evaluate, manage, and document patient risk by assessing immediate concerns such as suicidality, homicidality, and any other safety issues; make appropriate short-term safety plans, and adapt treatment plan as needed; interventions are well-timed, effective, and consistent with empirically supported treatments; intervene in group skillfully; attend to member participation, completion of therapeutic assignments, group communication, safety, and confidentiality in therapy groups; ready materials for psychoeducational groups and understand each session’s goals and tasks; demonstrate skilled and collaborative interactions with professionals of different training backgrounds
Goal #3: To produce competent clinicians ready for independent practice
Objectives for Goal #3: Produce clinicians that are competent in education, teaching, and supervision skills
Competencies expected: Demonstrate good knowledge of supervision techniques and employ these skills in a consistent and effective manner; seek consultation as needed; build good rapport with supervisee; demonstrate a level of productivity commensurate with level of professional development; complete manuscripts of professional quality for submission; meet reasonable deadlines for preparing and submitting manuscripts, poster, or presentation proposals to professional conferences; respond professionally and effectively to editorial feedback from collaborators
Goal #4: To produce competent clinicians ready for independent practice
Objectives for Goal #4: Produce clinicians that are competent in administrative and systemic skills
Competencies expected: Selectively and appropriately act as an effective leader in inter-professional contexts; demonstrate a growing ability to accomplish administrative tasks; prioritize appropriately; show a growing autonomy in management of larger administrative, research, or clinical projects; develop and implement plan for quality improvement or other professional writing or presentation
Goal #5: To produce competent clinicians ready for independent practice
Objectives for Goal #5: Produce clinicians that are competent in professional responsibilities
Competencies expected: Professional and appropriate interactions with treatment teams, peers, and supervisors; demonstrate positive coping strategies with personal and professional stressors and challenges; maintain professional functioning and quality patient care; behave consistently with appropriate limitations in relationships with colleagues and patients; document all patient contacts, including scheduled and unscheduled appointments, and phone contacts; document all crucial information; efficient and effective time management; keep scheduled appointments and meetings on time; keep supervisors aware of whereabouts as needed; seek consultation or supervision as needed and use it productively; demonstrate good knowledge and consistent application of professional ethics and state law
Goal #6: To produce competent clinicians ready for independent practice
Objectives for Goal #6: Produce clinicians that demonstrate sensitivity to diversity and individual differences
Competencies expected: Demonstrate sensitivity to the cultural and individual diversity of patients; demonstrate commitment to providing culturally sensitive services; demonstrate awareness of own background, including race and gender, and its impact on patients; commitment to continuing exploration of own cultural identity issues and relationship to clinical work
Goal #7: To produce competent clinicians ready for independent practice
Objectives for Goal #7: Produce clinicians that are competent in scientific knowledge and methods
Competencies expected: Display necessary self-direction in gathering clinical and research information independently and competently; seek out recent development as needed to enhance knowledge about clinical practice and other relevant areas; adhere to VA human subjects requirements in terms of documentation and adherence to guidelines; initiate and maintain Human Subjects Review application and renewal forms; respond effectively to queries from IRB; display an understanding of ethical issues in the protection of participants in research settings; design methodologically sound research studies; display an understanding of research design, methodology, and statistics; effectively organize and implement subject recruitment and data collection; complete data collection in a timely manner.