Military & Veterans Psychology (MVP®) Area of Emphasis

Military Friendly School 2016Programs and Support For Our Military Community

The Military and Veteran Psychology Area of Emphasis (MVP®) is a coordinated array of efforts to train culturally competent mental health professionals to provide services to military service members, veterans, and their families. The program also aims to provide a supportive community for student veterans, family and friends of military personal, and for those interested in working with veterans and military families. MVP® requires students to complete focused academic coursework (Military Psychology and Culture; Military Families and the Cycle of Deployment; Trauma and the Military; Psychoactive Substance Abuse in Military and Veteran Communities), to participate in 2 years of non-academic personal development activities with other students, to provide relevant direct services through field training, and to conduct research in the areas of military and/or veteran matters.

Our veterans flagship program Train Vets to Treat Vets® (TVTV) is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Veteran Services to train William James College student veterans to become clinicians effective in working with veteran populations, to outreach to SM/Vets to consider careers in mental health, while simultaneously educating them about the mental health needs of veterans returning from deployment, to create a supportive community for student veterans, family and friends of military personnel, and for those interested in working with veterans and military families. The program also offers state-wide training conferences for mental health professionals to expand awareness of veterans' mental health needs.

The MVP® Area of Emphasis at William James College is open in its entirety to students enrolled in a PsyD in clinical psychology or a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, whether they are veterans or civilians. The coursework associated with this emphasis is also available to all graduate students who have completed the necessary prerequisites.

Program Components

  • Training students to become clinicians effective in working with veteran populations
  • Providing culturally competent mental health services to veterans and their families
  • Reaching out to veterans to consider careers in mental health
  • Providing a supportive community for student veterans, family and friends of military personal, and for those interested in working with veterans and military families.
Enrollment Process

Masters level students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program may apply to enter the MVP concentration prior to the end of fall semester year one.

Students in the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology apply to MVP prior to their second-year practicum search, or by the end of fall semester year one for students entering with advanced standing.

Coursework

Area of Emphasis (5 credits)
Clinical Mental Health Counseling MA Students

CLI MV545 - Military Psychology and Culture (credits: 2)
CLI MV522 - Substance Abuse and Addictions in Military and Veteran Communities (credits: 1)
CLI MV540 - Trauma and the Military (credits: 1) 
CLI MV515 - Military Families and the Cycle of Deployment (credits: 1) 

Recommended Sequence
For Clinical Mental Health Counseling MA students
While the following sequence of courses is recommended, students are encouraged to meet with their advisor and concentration director to discuss their own academic plan.

Year One: Spring Semester
  • MV545 – Military Psychology and Culture (credits: 2) (introductory graduate substance abuse course required prior or concurrent)
Year One: Summer Session Year Two: Fall Semester Year Two: Spring Semester
Experiential Learning

MVP students are required to participate in an experiential learning group facilitated by MVP faculty. Veteran-only groups and non-military student groups will meet for 15 hours per semester for one academic year. These are offered at no fee to students and are not graded. Veterans are strongly encouraged to take part in their first year; other students are advised to do so while working with veterans in the field.

Field Education

Cases involving veterans or their families must comprise at least 20% of the entirety of MVP students’ WJC fieldwork. Students who secure a training position in a veteran-only clinic, center, or hospital will fulfill this requirement in a single year. When access to veterans or their families is limited or not possible, students will work with training and field education directors to gain additional experience with trauma, depression, and substance abuse. Service learning projects will complement and extend the contact that students have with the veteran community. The concentration director will determine if field placement and service learning experiences fulfill MVP requirements. Doctoral students should apply to MVP veteran-only field sites for year three.

Service Learning

MVP students will do six small service or community learning projects over a 2-year period. The Associate Director of Veterans Relations (Travis Bickford) will assist students in the planning and evaluation of their service learning projects. Students with outstanding independent involvement in the veteran community may apply to waive this requirement.

Meet One of Our Students

Veteran Student Adam Freed

Veterans In The News

wbur's CommonHealth Blog

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