For Graduate Students and Pre-Doctoral Interns Interested in Further Training in Geropsychology
The Council on Professional Geropsychology Training Programs (CoPGTP) is dedicated to promoting training in geropsychology on four broad levels: academic, pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship programs, and post-licensure.
We have known for some time that psychologists are not being trained in adequate numbers to meet the mental health needs of the aging population. Fortunately, there are an increasing number of graduate programs and pre-licensure training opportunities available throughout the U.S. for those entering the field of geropsychology. This section provides an overview of training considerations for individuals interested in geropsychology training at the internship or postdoctoral fellowship level.
Incentives for Geropsychology Training:
There are many benefits to specialized training in geropsychology, including:
care to the population – older adults need mental health services, and can greatly
benefit from our professional interventions.
- Increased job opportunities – demographics favor the development of at least a sub-specialty in geropsychology, given the aging of the population, as well as favorable trends of Medicare and other private payers for mental health services.
- Leadership opportunities – across many different work environments, including hospitals, community mental health centers, private practice, VAs, etc, an increased proficiency in geropsychology will continue to be in demand;
job satisfaction – improvements in our knowledge base and skills about mental
health services with older adults can foster a sense of professional reward and
Here are some steps you can take at this stage of your geropsychology career:
- Look at the websites for each of the CoPGTP training programs that offer internship and/or postdoctoral training.
- Look at the website for the Society of Clinical Geropsychology (APA Division 12, Section II) (http://www.geropsychology.org) to review a larger list of internship and postdoctoral training programs.
- Familiarize yourself with the Geropsychology Competencies.
- Use the Geropsychology Knowledge and Skill Assessment Tool for a self-evaluation of your own level of development in the recommended competencies, and to define ongoing learning goals and training needs. Completing this tool may help you to define special areas of training you may wish to pursue during internship or postdoctoral fellowship years.
- Review the list of Recommended Readings for additional books and journal articles that address broad overviews and specific competencies related to geropsychology.
Other websites that may be useful resources for you include:
- The APA Office on Aging: http://www.apa.org/pi/aging/
- Society of Clinical Geropsychology: http://www.geropsychology.org/
- APA Division 20, Adult Development and Aging: http://apadiv20.phhp.ufl.edu/
- Psychologists in Long Term Care: http://www.pltcweb.org/
Thank you for your interest. We look forward to your continued involvement in the field of clinical geropsychology.