PTSD Clinical Team Clinic - VAMC
This rotation provides an opportunity to work with veterans who were exposed to combat and other military trauma. The setting is the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Clinical Team (PCT), which is part of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center Mental Health Service. The PCT is an outpatient multi-disciplinary team consisting of psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, and trainees. The emphases are on evaluation, innovative group treatment modalities, and individual therapy utilizing exposure and other cognitive-behavioral treatment protocols.
The intern functions as an integral part of the treatment team and is involved in every aspect of patient care. Specifically, the intern:
- participates in the evaluation and diagnosis of PTSD and other psychological conditions using a multi-dimensional assessment approach;
- implements individual and group cognitive-behavioral treatment approaches, including exposure therapy, social skills training, and stress management techniques;
- gains an understanding of systemic issues related to PTSD in the VA Medical Center setting, such as iatrogenic; effects, secondary gain or malingering, management with limited resources, and networking with other VA clinics and disciplines;
- acquires familiarity with the PTSD psychopathology and treatment literature;
- is involved in on-going clinical research projects.
Goals and Objectives:
- Accurately identify trauma-related symptoms and diagnose trauma-related disorders among adult survivors of military-related trauma using psychometrically valid interview-oriented measures, such as the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS).
- Deliver, with fidelity, evidence-based treatments for PTSD and related depression, with a specific focus on behavioral interventions, such as Prolonged Exposure and Behavioral Activation, or more cognitively focused interventions, such as Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT).
- Accurately track and interpret ongoing patient progress over the course of treatment with weekly patient self-report measures, such as the PTSD Checklist (PCL)combined with a synthesis of all other clinically relevant information, e.g., patient participation in homework assignments, affect during exposures, weekly ratings of subjective unites of distress (SUDs), and protocol-oriented dialog.
- Document the delivery of services and patient responses to services appropriately in each patient's electronic medical record.
- Deliver group psychoeducational content effectively to help patients become more active and educated partners in their treatment plans.
- Deliver clinical feedback effectively during video-based group clinical supervision of evidence-based behavioral interventions.
Opportunities for engagement in productive clinical research are present through on-going studies or the development of new projects.
Location of rotation: Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Faculty: Ronald Acierno, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Anna Birks, Psy.D., Staff Psychologist
Kristy Center, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist/Assistant Professor
Rachel Darrow, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Carol Denier, Ph.D., Instructor
James Harbin, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist
Brian Lozano, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist
Peter Tuerk, Ph.D., Assistant Professor