To maintain good standing in the program and complete the program, the program requires that all interns demonstrate an intermediate to advanced level of professional psychological skills, abilities, proficiencies, competencies, and knowledge in the areas of:
Theories and methods of assessment and diagnosis and effective intervention (including empirically supported treatments)
Theories and/or methods of consultation, evaluation, and supervision
Strategies of scholarly inquiry
Issues of cultural and individual diversity relevant to all of the above
This is accomplished by:
Demonstrating intermediate to advanced progress in the training competencies.
Not be found to have engaged in any significant ethical transgressions
Facility and Training Resources
Interns share a “bull pen” office with a desk, telephone, and computer terminal for each intern. Swing offices are utilized for individual patient sessions. On different rotations and in different clinic settings, interns may change offices. Training settings consist of large and small conference rooms, and group rooms.
Assessment instruments are available as needed including the MMPI-2 RF, PAI, Beck Depression Inventory, etc. Access to the on line library is available. Interns may utilize library resources at Tulane University or Lousiana State University Medical Center.
Administrative Policies and Procedures
Problem resolution and complaint procedures to ensure fellows have due process in addressing concerns are available and described in our Psychology InternshipTraining Manual which interns receive in the beginning of the training year.
Self Disclosure - The Southest Louisiana Veterans Health Care System's Predoctoral Internship does not require interns to disclose personal information in the context of their training unless the supervisor feels that such personal information is needed in order to evaluate or obtain assistance for a student whose personal problems are preventing the student from performing professional activities competently or whose problems are posing a threat to the student or others.
The following eighteen psychologists serve as primary supervisors and preceptors of interns. The following brief biographical sketches highlight the qualifications and interests of each faculty member.
Julie Arseneau, Ph.D. Staff Psychologist, PTSD Team. Counseling Psychology, University of Maryland-College Park, 2008. Dr. Arseneau completed her internship training in 2008 at SLVHCS and was invited on for a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical psychology at our site. She subsequently accepted a position within the PTSD program as the OEF/OIF/OND (Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn) staff psychologist. She is licensed in LA. Her clinical practice is heavily influenced by relational theory and feminist-multicultural frameworks. Dr. Arseneau's other professional interests include disaster-related trauma and acute stress reactions; gender and sexuality; feminist and culturally affirmative therapies; and mentoring. An emigree to New Orleans from The North, Dr. Arseneau spends much of her free time eating, speaking, and dancing like a local.
Michele N. Carroll, Psy.D. Staff Psychologist, Mental Health Clinic- St. John Community Outpatient Clinic. Clinical Psychology, Florida Institute of Technology, 1996. Dr. Carroll completed her internship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Consortium and a post-doctoral fellowship at Spain Rehabilitation (a hospital of the UAB system). She then became the Clinical Director and later the Executive Director of Region One Mental Health Center, a rural community mental health center located in the Mississippi Delta. She was also very involved in Mississippi state psychological issues and became the President of the Mississippi Psychological Association in 2007. Dr. Carroll is licensed in the States of Mississippi and Louisiana. Her clinical interests include rural mental health, suicide prevention, and anxiety disorders. In her spare time, Dr. Carroll enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her husband, two kids ,and two dogs.
Mercedes Carswell, Ph.D. Staff Psychologist, Substance Abuse Treatment Program. Clinical Psychology and Sport Psychology, Michigan State University, 2008. Dr. Carswell completed her internship at the Missouri Health Sciences Psychology Consortium (Truman VA) and worked in the residential substance abuse treatment program at the Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System prior to joining the SLVHCS staff in 2009. She is licensed in Florida. Her clinical interests include group therapy, assessment, and multicultural psychology. She is also a member of the hospital's multidisciplinary Palliative Care Team. While her theoretical orientation is primarily cognitive-behavioral, she is open to other case conceptualizations and interventions. In her spare time, Dr. Carswell enjoys traveling and attending many of the festivals and concerts in New Orleans. An avid football fan, you can usually find her watching Florida Gator games on Saturdays and NFL games on Sundays in the fall.
Joseph Constans, PhD. Associate Chief of Staff, Research; Site Director, South Central MIRECC; Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Neuroscience Program, Tulane University. Clinical Psychology, Louisiana State University, 1993. Dr. Constans completed his pre-doctoral psychology internship at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. Dr. Constans is involved as a research supervisor for interested interns and fellows. Dr. Constans has a general interest in emotion and emotional disorders with a particular emphasis on stress-related psychopathology. His research interests concern understanding cognitive factors associated with emotion and emotional disorders and in developing computer-based cognitive training programs that could be used to treat psychopathology. More recently he has been studying the relationship between trauma exposure and violence perpetration and is interested in developing informatics-based approaches to screening for violence and brief violence prevention interventions. This research program has been supported by VA Merit Review, Department of Defense, and the South Central MIRECC.
Sheila Corrigan, Ph.D. Staff Psychologist, Slidell Community-Based Outpatient Clinic. Clinical Psychology, State University of New York at Binghamton, 1985. Dr. Corrigan completed her pre-doctoral psychology internship at the University of Mississippi/Jackson VAMC Consortium in Jackson, Mississippi with a specialty in Behavioral Medicine. She remained on staff at the University of Mississippi working in Behavioral Medicine until she moved to the SLVHCS in 1990. From 1990-2005, she worked in consultation-liaison at the New Orleans VA Medical Center. She has been stationed at the Slidell Community-based outpatient clinic since 2006. Dr. Corrigan is in a unique position to continue to work on her professional interests which include adjusting to chronic diseases, behavioral pain management, and lifestyle changes which include smoking cessation. Outside the SLVHCS, Dr. Corrigan has a husband and three children in college who keep her pretty busy. Any other additional free time or income that she may have, she spends taking care of an aging house and traveling.
Lisa-Ann Cuccurullo, Psy.D., Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator, Staff Psychologist, PTSD Team; Assistant Director of Clinical Training. Clinical Psychology, La Salle University, 2011. Dr. Cuccurullo completed her pre-doctoral internship and her postdoctoral fellowship, with an emphasis on PTSD treatment and research, at SLVHCS. She accepted her position as MST psychologist upon completion of her fellowship. Her clinical and research interests include sexual trauma, exposure based treatments, empirically supported treatments, cognitive behavioral therapies, suicide prevention, and personality disorders. She is a part of the VA Prolonged Exposure Initiative, as a national consultant, and currently is working with Dr. Franklin, as the Sub-Investigator of a VA Cooperative Studies Program project investigating PE and CPT. As a New Orleans transplant from Brooklyn, New York, she is an avid sports fan (Go Yankees!) and spends her time exploring NOLA culture. Dr. Cuccurullo lives on the parade route, during Mardi Gras season she can be found watching the parades and catching beads.
Laurel Franklin, Ph.D. Staff Psychologist; Evidence Based Psychotherapy Coordinator; MIRECC Site Leader; Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Tulane University School of Medicine; Prolonged Exposure National Consultant. Clinical Psychology, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, 2001. Dr. Franklin completed her psychology internship at the New Orleans VAMC (now SLVHCS) and a research postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital. She currently is licensed in Louisiana. Her professional interests are assessment of posttraumatic reactions; treatment of posttraumatic insomnia; and evidenced based treatments for PTSD. Dr. Franklin is currently the Site Investigator for the Cooperative Study 591, comparing Cognitive Processing Therapy to Prolonged Exposure. Other ongoing research projects include examining the effectiveness of CBT for posttraumatic insomnia delivered by telephone; using Imagery Rehearsal Therapy for posttraumatic nightmares with an olfactory component; examining symptom overlap on the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5; and how perceived readiness for psychotherapy affects outcome in patients with PTSD. Dr. Franklin is a member of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies, and is a board member for several peer-reviewed trauma journals. When not at work, Dr. Franklin enjoys keeping up with her five year old son. She is Board President of Funny Bones Improv, an organization that promotes healing though laughter to hospitalized children in New Orleans and Chicago. She loves Mardi Gras and parades with the Krewe of Muses.
Michelle Hamilton, Ph.D. Director of Training for the Psychology Internship Program and Staff Psychologist, PTSD Team, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Tulane University School of Medicine. Clinical Psychology, University of Southern Mississippi, 1994. Dr. Hamilton completed her pre-doctoral psychology internship at the New Orleans VAMC (now SLVHCS) in 1994 and began employment at the medical center directly after internship. She is licensed in Louisiana. Dr. Hamilton worked for several years on the inpatient psychiatric unit, the outpatient mental health clinic and most recently in the PTSD program. Her interests include using mind body medicine therapies, EMDR, ACT, and other alternative therapies with PTSD. Dr. Hamilton is passionate about everything New Orleans and can be found at various music, food, and art festivals on the weekends. She enjoys photography, travel, home renovation, and riding her scooter.
Shannon Hartley, Ph.D. Staff Psychologist, Ambulatory Mental Health. Clinical Psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2006. Dr. Hartley completed internship at the Medical University of Ohio and postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatric Psychology with the University of Louisville School of Medicine and Kosair Children’s Hospital. She then became employed by a private inpatient psychiatric facility in Birmingham, Alabama which served an inner-city population. She conducted psychological evaluations for children, adolescents, and adults. Upon moving to New Orleans, Dr. Hartley joined SLVHCS, conducting intakes for the PTSD program. In December 2013, she joined the Ambulatory Mental Health program. Dr. Hartley is licensed in Alabama. At the VA, Dr. Hartley works with a wide variety of diagnoses and presenting issues, she has a special interest in adjustment to chronic illness. She is also trained in Motivational Enhancement Therapy for Substance Use Disorder and enjoys conducting psychological assessments. Dr. Hartley was born and raised in Metairie, LA and enjoys everything about New Orleans culture, especially the food.
Baris B. Konur, Psy.D. Local Recovery Coordinator. Clinical Psychology, Regent University, 2005. Prior to completing his doctorate, Dr. Konur completed a one-year clinical internship with Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA with a focus on rehabilitation psychology and clinical neuropsychology within medical and psychiatric settings. Dr. Konur then completed a two year post-doctoral fellowship with the VHA National Center for Organization Development whose mission is to provide organizational assessment and consultation to VHA facilities nationwide. He is licensed in Ohio. These prior experiences have prepared him for his current position as Local Recovery Coordinator for the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System (SLVHCS). Dr. Konur participates in a variety of functions, including acting as coordinator and Mental Health liaison to the Mental Health Consumer Council, providing consultative services to mental health staff in areas of recovery, collaborating and partnering with community agencies, consulting with primary care staff on serious mental illness, as well as chairing the Disruptive Behavior Committee. Outside of SLVHCS, Dr. Konur enjoys offshore fishing, boating, golf and spending time with his family.
William R Hill, Psy.D. Suicide Prevention Coordinator. Regent University, 2006. Dr. Hill completed his internship training at Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews AFB, MD. He is licensed in Louisiana. Following internship, Dr Hill served as an active duty military psychologist. His primary theoretical orientation is cognitive-behavioral. His professional interests include suicide prevention and the integration of behavioral health into primary care. In his spare time he can be found studying the food and drinking customs of New Orleanians in their native habitats.
John E. Mendoza, Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, University of Georgia, 1973; licensed with specialty designation in neuropsychology and clinical psychology in Louisiana; Diplomat in Clinical Neuropsychology, American Board of Professional Psychology; Member, National Academy of Neuropsychology, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Tulane University School of Medicine . Assignments are neuropsychological assessment, clinical assessment and treatment, teaching and supervision. Research and professional interests include Neuropsychology, TBI in OIF/OEF veterans; Publication summary includes, 5 journal articles, 1 book (Clinical Neuroanatomy); 2nd manuscript in preparation (accepted for publication); 1 book chapter. Section editor for Encyclopedia of Neuropsychology. Outside the SLVHCS, primary passion is tennis.
Frederic Sautter, Ph.D. Team Leader of Family Mental Health Program. Core Investigator of Family Research in the South Central MIRECC, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Tulane University Health Science Center. Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Specialization Family Therapy. University of Cincinnati, 1984. Dr. Sautter is licensed in Louisiana. After receiving his Ph.D. he continued a clinical practice working with families of the severely mentally ill, and developed a research program to examine the contribution of family and biological factors to the etiology of the chronic psychotic disorders. His early research on psychotic disorders was funded through grants from the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD). Dr. Sautter has recently developed a research program to develop couples and family-based treatments for PTSD. In 2007, Frederic received funding from the Special Clinical Initiative Projects of VA Central Office to develop a Family Mental Health Program at the New Orleans VA. He has since received funding from VA RR&D Merit Review to conduct a randomized clinical trial of his couple-based treatment for PTSD, called Strategic Approach Therapy. Dr. Sautter has recently started developing treatments combining his Structured Approach Therapy with an evidence-based parent training program ("Positive Parenting Program (Triple P)") to address parenting problems in returning veterans with PTSD. He is an avid Saints and Pelicans fan.
Karen Slaton, PhD. Health Behavior Coordinator, Team Leader: Primary Care Mental Health Integration, Pain Psychologist: Interdisciplinary Pain Management Program.
Clinical Assistant Professor, Departments of Family Medicine and Psychiatry, Tulane University School of Medicine. Counseling Psychology, The University of Southern Mississippi, 2000. Dr. Slaton completed a clinical psychology internship at Tulane University School of Medicine. After internship, she joined the faculty at Tulane in Family Medicine and Psychiatry where she remained until Hurricane Katrina. Prior to joining the New Orleans VA, Dr. Slaton maintained a private practice as the owner of Northshore Psychological Services and the Center for Wellness and Peak Performance. She is licensed in Louisiana. She is certified in Sports and Clinical Hypnosis and is Secretary/Treasurer for the New Orleans Society for Clinical Hypnosis. Dr. Slaton’s professional interests include behavioral medicine, mind-body medicine, health promotion and disease prevention, clinical hypnosis, performance enhancement and chronic pain. She is a fitness enthusiast and is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a Health Fitness Specialist. She is also a registered yoga teacher. In her spare time she is a fabric artist and builds homes with Habitat for Humanity. She enjoys live local music, professional football and hiking and kayaking with her husband. The weekends find her in bucolic Abita Springs passing the time with her pets Mathilda and Atticus Finch.
Madeline Uddo, Ph.D. Team Leader, PTSD Team, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Tulane University School of Medicine. Clinical Psychology, Louisiana State University, 1989. Dr. Uddo completed her pre-doctoral psychology internship at the New Orleans VAMC (now SLVHCS) in 1989 and joined the staff immediately following internship. She is licensed in Louisiana. In 1989 she and another psychologist started the New Orleans PTSD Program, one of the first 21 PTSD Programs funded within the VA system. Her primary interests include incorporating alternative therapies into treatment of PTSD. Dr. Uddo has served as the site participating investigator for several VA cooperative studies investigating effective treatments for PTSD. Dr. Uddo, a New Orleans native, enjoys spending time with her son, reading, and exercising.
Amanda S. Vaught, Psy.D. Telemental Health Staff Psychologist, PTSD Team. Clinical Psychology, PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium, 2012. Dr. Vaught completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Gulf Coast VA Health Care System in Biloxi in 2012. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship, with an emphasis in PTSD and trauma, at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System in 2013 and subsequently accepted a position at (SLVHCS) the same year. Her professional areas of interest are trauma, military sexual trauma, dual-diagnosis, and eating disorders. She has trained at four different VA Health Care Systems and is well versed on Veteran culture and working within a bureaucracy. Dr. Vaught is a transplant of many different places including Pennsylvania, California and Mississippi, but ultimately considers herself a Philadelphian! Thus, it is not uncommon to see her wearing green on Sundays and cheering on and/or booing the Philadelphia Eagles. Dr. Vaught enjoys traveling and spending time with friends or family. In her spare time she can be found at the New Orleans Zoo or walking her dog at Audubon park.
Joseph O. Vigil, Ph.D. Staff Psychologist in Substance Abuse, PTSD Team, Adjunct Instructor, Department of Rehabilitation Counseling, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. Counseling Psychology, The University of Memphis, 2003. Dr. Vigil completed his pre-doctoral psychology internship at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System in 2003, and he completed his postdoctoral hours working for a private practice in the New Orleans area in 2005, where he also served as a consultant/expert witness in regional torts. Dr. Vigil holds an additional license in Louisiana as a vocational rehabilitation counselor and specializes in rehabilitation psychology assessment and counseling. He is also a member of the American Psychological Association. When not at work for SLVHCS, Dr. Vigil mostly spends time with his children and family. He also enjoys playing and coaching soccer, as well as personal training, when not actively advancing awareness and research for classic Late Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (or Batten Disease).
Jessica Walton, Ph.D. Staff Psychologist, SUD/PTSD Team. Clinical Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology, College of Psychology 2011. Dr. Walton completed her pre-doctoral psychology internship and postdoctoral fellowship with an emphasis on PTSD treatment and research, at SLVHCS. She accepted the position as SUD/PTSD psychologist upon completion of her postdoctoral fellowship. Her professional interests are evidenced based treatments for PTSD; cognitive behavioral psychotherapy; treatment of posttraumatic insomnia; exposure-based treatments; and clinical research. She is currently a Co-Investigator and study therapist on a research project examining the effectiveness of Prolonged Exposure (PE) delivered via traditional telemedicine and iPhones to veterans diagnosed with PTSD. Dr. Walton is also a member of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies. A New Orleans native, Dr. Walton enjoys playing beach volleyball and is an avid New Orleans Saints fan (Who Dat!).
We currently maintain five intern positions, which may be filled by either Clinical or Counseling Psychology students. Our former interns have gone on to work in VA medical centers, private practices, mental health units in the military, university medical centers, state hospitals, community mental health clinics, counseling centers, and Universities. Many of our recent interns have chosen to pursue postdoctoral training in specialty areas including Health Psychology, PTSD, and research.
Below is a list of recent trainee classes and the doctoral programs they attended.
Florida State University
Western Michigan University
University of Kentucky
University of Southern Mississippi
Louisiana Tech University
University of Southern Mississippi
Georgia State University
The city of New Orleans is a cosmopolitan community. One of the oldest and most fascinating cities in the United States, thousands of visitors enjoys its unique attractions throughout the year. The famous French Quarter has been declared a National Landmark as have other areas of the city, and the beautiful homes of the upper and lower Garden District reflect the genius of the architects who designed them. At Jackson Square, where the French Quarter meets the Mississippi, one can see paddlewheels, ferries and tugboats side by side. New Orleans is famous as a birthplace of jazz music, which is played at a wide variety of venues in the city, and a rich diversity of all musical styles abounds. If one enjoys live theater and the ballet, Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, and the New Orleans City Ballet draw enthusiastic audiences. The Mardi Gras tradition is very much alive, and the beautiful parades preceding the Lenten season are described as the greatest free show on earth. Carnival is soon followed by the French Quarter Festival and the internationally acclaimed Jazz & Heritage Festival. The New Orleans area is known worldwide for its French, Creole and Cajun cuisine, as well as the famous seafood of the Gulf Coast Region. Recreational activities such as university and professional football, e.g., the annual Sugar Bowl is held in New Orleans. In view of the New Orleans SLVHCS, the Louisiana Superdome is the largest enclosed stadium in the world (and how about those Saints?? Who Dat!). For those who love the outdoors, Louisiana is a sportsman's paradise, with good fishing and hunting, and beautiful Lake Ponchatrain is available for boating. Rental properties of varying types and locations are readily available at moderate rates. A semitropical climate with rare freezes and lush vegetation makes New Orleans an inviting place for the internship year.