Center for Deployment Psychology (formerly the D-GPE Program)
The D-GPE Program
This federally funded psychology training program was organized in a “spoke-hub” model, with a Tri-Service Center for Deployment Psychology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences serving as the primary training hub and each of the ten established Army, Navy, and Air Force APA accredited Psychology Internship sites at the regional military hospitals serving as the training spokes.
A Military and Civilian Psychology Training Program
Open to both military and civilians, this program is specifically designed to train psychologists, psychology residents, and psychology interns in the treatment of military personnel returning from war and their family members.
Need for Mental and Behavioral Health Services
Although historically one might assume this population had ample resources through military and veteran’s hospitals, recent government-issued reports document the rapidly increasing mental health needs of this population. Further, demobilized Reservists and National Guardsmen, and retired military personnel are not always concentrated in areas of the country where easy access to established resources exists. These service members’ mental health needs may then go unmet, or they will seek care through civilian providers with limited to no experience in treating such a population.
Multiple Training Opportunities
Through a variety of training formats, ranging from a 4-day Continuing Education event to a nearly 3-week intensive training course, the D-GPE program trains civilian and military psychologists, psychology interns and psychology residents in evaluating and treating combat-injured and combat-experienced service personnel.
Specific focus of intensive training at the Center for Deployment Psychology:
Military constructs important to understanding the culture and expectations of deployment
Psychology of trauma and resilience, with a specific focus on issues such as PTSD, Acute Stress reactions, and suicide
Provision of mental health care to individuals severely medically injured in combat (e.g., loss of limb, loss of vision, head injury, disfigurement, etc.)
Training in assisting service personnel and their families in post-deployment adjustment, with a specific focus on family, work, and civilian society reintegration
Given that community training and outreach are also expected to be key elements in the success of this program’s ability to reach returning service members in remote areas, the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) will sponsor outreach activities itself. Additionally, the curriculum and training will focus heavily on preparing all participants to perform community training and outreach related to the target population upon completion of their training (i.e., train-the-trainer model).
During Program Year 2 several large scale research projects are planned to assess the impact of this program on public health awareness, and the impact of the program on the quality and availability of health services provided to our targeted population, will be initiated. With a total of 4-6 fellowship positions at the CDP and surrounding military medical centers, each requiring the completion of a major research protocol, the D-GPE program will not only expand the range of individuals trained but will establish the structure for an intensive research and program evaluation system, as well.