GeroCentral

GeroCentral

Training & Career

The number of mental health providers with specialty training in treating older adults falls staggeringly short of the need. There is a severe shortage of geriatric mental health professionals (Jeste, et al, 1999; Halpain et al, 1999; See also Qualls et al., 2002). Currently, we have only 55% of needed psychiatrists, 18% of needed social workers, and 10% of needed psychologists. By 2030, it is estimated that we will only have 27% of needed psychiatrists, 9% of needed social workers, and 5% of needed psychologists.  There is a drastic need to prime the pipeline of geriatric mental health professionals!

The Training & Career section provides resources related to training at each academic level of professional psychology, and for those who are post-licensure.  Our list of continuing education options will be growing as we identify existing and new opportunities.  GeroCentral also plans to develop our own series of webinars over time.

There are also many opportunities for providing or receiving mentoring at any level of training or career development through GeroCentral partner organizations.  The Mentoring section provides opportunities and resources related to mentoring.

Find opportunities for research training in the Research section and in Fellowships.

 

“My training / practice setting doesn’t have a geropsychology specialty.  What should I do?”  
LEVEL OF TRAINING RECOMMENDED TRAINING ACTIVITIES
Undergraduate Volunteer at settings serving older adults / Participate in community outreach to elderly populations: e.g., nursing homes, visiting elders living alone, Geriatric clinics
Participate in aging research (Departments of Psychology, Social Work, Human Development, Gerontology)
Coursework in topics involving aging: e.g., Developmental Psychology, Aging & Human Development
Pursue practicum options in organizations serving elderly and/or medically vulnerable populations: e.g., Agency on Aging, Caregiver Resource Centers
Explore careers related to aging
Graduate Coursework in topics related to normal and/or pathological aging: e.g., Neuropsychology, Health Psychology, Human Development, Minority Psychology
Pursue practicum options in organizations serving elderly and/or medically vulnerable populations: e.g., Agency on Aging, Alzheimer’s Association
Internship Internship rotations  involving older populations: e.g., Medical Psychology, Behavioral Medicine, Neuropsychological Assessment / Memory Clinic, Hospice & Palliative Care, Home-Based Primary Care, Veterans Affairs medical centers
Didadic opportunities on aging-related topics: e.g., grand rounds, seminars
Postdoctoral Supervised clinical rotations involving older populations (see Internship section above)
Community outreach to older adults: e.g., giving talks at community centers
Didadic opportunities on aging-related topics: e.g., grand rounds, seminars
Audit courses in Geropsychology or aging in affiliated academic institution
Seek research and/or clinical mentor in Geropsychology — devise plan to develop relevant knowledge, skills & attitude
Post-Licensure Continuing Education on aging-related topics
Consultation with colleagues who are involved in geropsychology practice
Research collaboration with colleagues involved in aging research
Seek research and/or clinical mentor in Geropsychology — devise plan to develop relevant knowledge, skills & attitude
All levels Webinars (see list on GeroCentral website)
Join & participate in Geropsychology professional organizations: e.g., APA Divisions 12-2, 20, 38, 40; PLTC
Attend professional meetings of Geropsychology organizations
Read books & journal articles on aging
Join journal clubs on aging-related topics

 

Publications about Training

American Psychological Association. (1998). Interprofessional health care services in primary care settings: Implications for the education and training of psychologists.  Available here.

Fulmer, T., Flaherty, E., & Hyer, K. (2003). The geriatric interdisciplinary team training (GITT) program. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 24(2), 3-12.

Gallagher-Thompson, D. & Cassidy, E. L. (2000), Training Psychologists for Service Delivery in Long-Term Care Settings. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 7: 329–336. doi: 10.1093/clipsy.7.3.329

Helmes, E. & Gee, S. (2000), Development of a Training Program in Clinical Geropsychology. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 19: 113–117. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-6612.2000.tb00160.x

Hinrichsen, G.A., &  McMeniman, M. The impact of geropsychology training.  Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 33(3), 337-340. doi: 10.1037/0735-7028.33.3.337

Karel, M. J., Knight, B. G., Duffy, M., Hinrichsen, G. A., & Zeiss, A. M. (2010). Attitude, knowledge, and skill competencies for practice in professional geropsychology: Implications for training and building a geropsychology workforce. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 4(2), 75-84.

Knight, B. G., Karel, M. J., Hinrichsen, G. A., Qualls, S. H., & Duffy, M. (2009). Pikes Peak model for training in professional geropsychology. American Psychologist, 64 (3), 205-214.

Molinari, V., Merritt, S., Mills, W., Chiriboga, D., Conboy, A., Hyer, K., & Becker, M. (2008). Serious mental illness in Florida nursing homes: Need for training. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 29 (1), 66-83.

Pachana, N. A., Sofronoff, K., Scott, T. & Helmes, E. (2011). Attainment of Competencies in Clinical Psychology Training: Ways Forward in the Australian Context. Australian Psychologist, 46: 67–76. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-9544.2011.00029.x

Qualls, S.H., Segal, D., Norman, S., Niederehe, G., & Gallagher-Thompson, D. (2002). Psychologists in practice with older adults: Current patterns, sources of training, and need for continuing education. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 33, 435-442.

Wharton, T., Shah, A., Scogin, F. R. & Allen, R. S. (2013). Evidence to support the Pikes Peak model: The UA geropsychology education program. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 7(2), 139-144. DOI: 10.1037/a0032285.

References:

Jeste, D.V., Alexopolous, G.S., Bartels, S.J., Cummings J.L., Gallo, J.J., Gottlieb, G.L. et al. (1999). Consensus Statement on the Upcoming Crisis in Geriatric Mental Health. Archives of General Psychiatry, 56, 848-853.

Halpain, M.C., Harris, M.J., McClure, F.S., & Jeste, D.V. (1999). Training in Geriatric Mental Health: Needs and Strategies. Psychiatric Services. 50(9), 1205-1208.

Qualls, S.H., Segal, D.L., Norman, S., Niederehe, G., & Gallagher-Thompson, D. (2002). Psychologists in Practice With Older Adults: Current Patterns, Sources of Training, and Need for Continuing Education. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 33, 435–442.  Article available online.