VA Hospital Trauma Intern Tackles PTSD

By Cara Bortz, M.S. Clinical Psychology

I was thrilled to match at the prestigious James A. Haley VA Hospital for my internship year. I was matched as a trauma intern, meaning I would have the unique opportunity to specialize in trauma and obtain VA certification in evidence-based psychotherapies for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Thus far in my internship, I have completed national training in trauma processing psychotherapies including cognitive processing therapy (CPT) and prolonged exposure therapy (PE). I completed a rotation in Military Sexual Trauma, where I had the opportunity to work with male and female veterans who have endured sexual traumas during their military service. I am currently completing my second rotation on the Combat PTSD rotation, where I work primarily with male and female veterans who have endured various combat traumas from several war eras. I have also been afforded the opportunity to complete many comprehensive evaluations for multiple referral questions and have completed several comprehensive evaluations for PTSD diagnosis. In my third rotation, I will work in Primary Care/Behavioral Health and will complete my fourth rotation on the Inpatient Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, which is one of five VA facilities in the country designed to provide intensive rehabilitative care to veterans and active duty service members who have experienced severe traumatic brain injuries.

Receiving my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and upcoming Doctor of Psychology degree (Psy.D.) from Florida Tech, I can truly speak to the unique and thorough education that is provided. Florida Tech provided strong generalist training with the opportunity to seek specialization in unique domains. While ensuring a quality generalist foundation, the program truly encourages us to seek opportunities in our areas of potential specialization. The ability to speak to various experiences provided in the breadth of opportunities at Florida Tech, while ensuring competence in the depth received in areas of specialization has proved invaluable throughout my internship experience. I have felt confident and capable of stepping into leadership roles and speaking to clinical research in hospital multidisciplinary meetings. I am grateful to all of the Florida Tech professors and staff who have fostered a supportive and enriching learning environment and greatly look forward to the futures of all of our students.

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