Purpose: Interns selecting the Trauma track option will gain experience with a wide range of problems related to adjusting to psychological trauma. These include PTSD, depression, panic disorder, and substance abuse.  The clinical population consists of veterans with PTSD, or who have significant PTSD symptoms but are below threshold for the full diagnosis.  Traumatic events primarily involve war-related events or sexual assault, but may also include motor vehicle accidents, life-threatening accidents, and physical assaults.  War-related events may span a range from Korean War  to the present military action in the Middle East and beyond.

Some of these patients will have complex, co-occurring psychopathology.  Some will also have accompanying medical conditions that can complicate treatment, such as  traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, hypertension, diabetes, hepatitis, HIV or dementia.  In the context of an interdisciplinary health care team, interns will complete diagnostic assessments and evidence-based psychological treatment, in addition to crisis stabilization.

Settings: Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center


  • Lorraine Braswell, Ph.D. - Track director
  • Nancy Jane Batten, Ph.D.
  • Rebecca Jump, Ph.D.
  • Amanda Perkins, Ph.D.
  • Sarah Rowland, Ph.D.
  • Tim Perry, Ph.D.
  • Jeff Dickerson, LCSW.

Goals/Objectives of the Trauma Track Specialization: To develop competence in:

  1. Treating patients with many varieties of trauma often resulting in post-traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD), using recovery principles, measurement based care, and the primary Evidence Based Psychotherapies:

Prolonged Exposure

Cognitive Processing Therapy (individual and group)

  1. Treating patients with multiple, sometimes chronic, psychiatric disorders.
  2. Selecting and using psychometrically sound assessment methods.
  3. Writing clinically useful reports describing history, symptoms, and diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
  4. Providing patient care in interdisciplinary teams.
  5. Adjusting treatment models with sensitivity to cultural diversity
  6. Choosing and administering treatment outcome measures that are cost-efficient and clinically useful.
  7. Providing PTSD treatments to underserved patient populations.

Clinical Training Components: The Trauma Track  makes use of the following educational components in an effort to achieve the identified objectives of this emphasis track:

  1. Interns in this option will primarily see patients with combat and/ or sexual trauma who are followed by the Trauma Recovery Clinic Treatment Team, the OEF/OIF/OND Primary Care Team, the Substance Use Recovery Team or the MHRRTP (domiciliary) at the VA Medical Center.  Supervisors are licensed psychologists with experience in the treatment of these disorders.  Patients are all veterans of military service.  Many are members of minority groups.   Many are from underserved rural counties in GA and SC. 

The Trauma Recovery Team is a specialty team that provides specialty service and then returns the patient to Outpatient MH (BHIP) or Primary Care.  The clinic follows  approximately 150  patients at any given time and offers, diagnostic assessments and evidence-based psychological interventions such as Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness, CBT, IPT, STAIR, and CBCT for PTSD.  Interns divide their time primarily between assessments, crisis management, psycho-education and evidence based psychotherapy both individual and group.

  1. Interns may also see patients with trauma through other MH clinics or through the MCG Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic where patients are either from the community or are employed by MCG/AU and seen through the Employee Faculty Assistance Program.
  2. Interns will also encounter medical problems that result from chronic PTSD as well as medical problems that simply co-occur, but that compound PTSD symptoms. Substance use and PTSD are often co-occurring disorders.
  3. Psychology Interns regularly interact with medical interns, physicians, social workers, nurses and other allied health professionals in the course of normal team-based treatment. Each discipline surveys the clinical problem from their perspective in a joint intake and treatment planning process.  Treatment problems are discussed as a team.  The interns learn the shared working knowledge base of the team and gain an understanding of the range and limits of each professional’s expertise.
  4. Trauma Track Interns will participate in Outreach Educational and Prevention Teams. Outreach has been done for community groups, professional organizations, staff. etc.