Training Program Model
Denver VISN 19 MIRECC Fellowship Opportunities
Salt Lake City VISN 19 MIRECC Fellowship Opportunities
Psychology training at the VISN 19 MIRECC Postdoctoral program is based on the scientist-practitioner model. Our clinical training therefore follows an “observe, engage, lead/supervise” model in which Fellows begin to acquire clinical competencies through observing their supervisors, then by engaging in relevant clinical activities (often with a more experienced practitioner) with intensive supervision, and progressing to a more independent level of practice ultimately leading/teaching or supervising others in that skill.
The scientist-practitioner model framework is modeled by clinical supervisors and research mentors who:
- utilize both empirically-validated treatments and evidence-based principles in the care and consultation of VA patients; and
- direct Fellows to research literature as a primary means of increasing their knowledge and skills.
Mentors and supervisors model the use of consultation, persistent attention to life-long clinical/research training and continuing education to navigate clinical challenges. Clinical supervision/research mentorship activities are guided by empirical references and theory about effective practices in psychology. Respect for the scientist-practitioner framework is further modeled by:
- the interface of clinical service and clinical research staff within our setting;
- the provision of clinical didactics that feature a strong emphasis on empirically-derived treatment and assessment practices; and
- a wide range of clinical research opportunities.
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Consistent with the larger VA mission, our Fellowship program’s objectives aim to:
- Provide high-quality health and mental health to our nation’s Veterans, with a special goal to provide cutting-edge mental health services to Veterans in key priority areas: suicide prevention, and the development of effective, evidence-based treatments for co-contributing factors such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance use, and Serious Mental Illness (SMI).
- Educate and train health and mental health care providers who will service the needs of Veterans.
- Develop, implement, and disseminate clinically-relevant research that will improve the lives and functions of today’s Veterans.
Through the scientist-practitioner model, our program guides and prepares Fellows to fulfill the above objectives through supervised activities/didactics that: facilitate Fellows’ active participation in mental health service delivery and foster skills in service delivery to high priority populations such as patients with suicidal thoughts and behaviors, depression, anxiety, PTSD, TBI and SMI; supply advanced education and training designed to prepare entry-level psychologists to meet the emerging mental health needs of today’s Veterans; and, provide ample opportunities to engage in clinical research contributing to development of effective treatments/interventions.
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In total, Fellows spend approximately:
- 10 – 15 hours weekly in direct clinical service delivery (encompassing individual psychotherapy and psychotherapy groups, as well as charting and notes); and
- another 10 – 15 hours is devoted to clinical research-related activities including participant meetings, grant and manuscript writing and administrative tasks.
Please click here to view a sample Fellow schedule outlining didactic and other requirements of the Fellowship.
More information regarding financial assistance and Fellowship Administration are available here. Our resource and administrative assistance policy is also available.
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Ultimately, our two-year Fellowship program seeks to provide Fellows the training, mentorship and tools to become highly competent in eight core goals:
- Assessment, diagnosis and intervention;
- Interdisciplinary consultation and teaching;
- Conducting clinically-informed research;
- Scholarly inquiry/integration of science and practice;
- Confidence and professional identity;
- Cultural and individual diversity issues;
- Professional, ethical and legal; and,
- Organization, management, administration and program evaluation.
For a full description of each core goal, including expected competencies, description of how outcomes are measured, and minimum thresholds for successful completion of the program, please view our page on Policies Regarding Performance Evaluation/Feedback.
The following represent the minimum requirements for successful program completion:
- Attainment of “HI” – HI+” (High Intermediate to High) or higher on all relevant competency areas evaluated in Year 1; Scores of “A” to “A+” (Advanced skills comparable to autonomous practice at the licensure level) on most skills outlined by core competencies (by end of Year 2), evaluated through the MIRECC Post-Doctoral Fellow Self-Assessment and Evaluation.
- Completion of clinically driven research-focused project.
- Publication in peer-reviewed journals (minimum of two; at least one directly related to area of research interest, ideally as first author).
- Grant submission.
- Regular presentations at the VISN 19 MIRECC Postdoctoral Journal Club (to include one on primary project).
- Successful completion of required didactics (via formal evaluation of Training Committee).
- Maintenance of consistently professional and ethical conduct in professional setting throughout duration of training (via formal evaluation).
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