Episode 3: Career Paths in Military Psychology: Navigating Professional Roles and Lived Experiences

Join Dr. Patricia Zapf as she interviews experts Dr. Deonte Williams and Nicholas Grant on their career paths and professional roles as Military psychologists. 

Episode 3: Career Paths in Military Psychology: Navigating Professional Roles and Lived Experiences

Episode 3 | Career Paths in Military Psychology: Navigating Professional Roles and Lived Experiences

"Career Paths in Military Psychology: Navigating Professional Roles and Lived Experiences" explores the world of military psychology with Dr. Deonte Williams and Dr. Nicholas Grant. Our guests dive into diverse topics, including career paths in military mental health, service impact, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and unique challenges within the military mental health landscape. Gain insights to the intricacies of military service and psychology, and understand the evolving landscape of mental health in military settings.

Join us on an inspiring journey with 'Talking Mental Health Careers' brought to you by Palo Alto University and CONCEPT, its Division of Continuing & Professional Studies

About Our Host

Dr. Patricia A. Zapf, Ph.D. is Vice President for Continuing & Professional Studies at Palo Alto University (PAU). Prior to coming to PAU she was a professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York (CUNY) for 16 years, during which time she was instrumental in the development of a new doctoral program in clinical psychology with an emphasis in forensic psychology and served as the program’s first Director of Clinical Training. Prior to her time at CUNY, she was on the psychology and law faculty at the University of Alabama. In 2009, Dr. Zapf founded CONCEPT Professional Training with the mission of elevating the level of practice in psychology and related professions. In 2018, Dr. Zapf brought CONCEPT Professional Training to Palo Alto University to further its mission of continuing and professional studies in partnership with Palo Alto University.

Dr. Zapf is a past President of the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS; Division 41 of the American Psychological Association). In 2006, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the science and profession of forensic psychology, she was named a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and a Distinguished Member of the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS). She has served on the board of directors for the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services, as an associate editor for Law and Human Behavior, and as editor of the American Psychology-Law Society book series, as well as the International Perspectives on Forensic Mental Health book series. She has published 9 books and manuals and over 100 articles and chapters, mainly on the assessment of criminal competencies and forensic evaluation.

About Our Guests

Guest 1 | LT Nicholas Grant, PhD

LT Grant currently serves as the Group Psychologist for Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific where he oversees the psychological care for the Sailors assigned to all surface ships homeported in Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. His leadership roles include Department Head of the Embedded Mental Health Department and Mental Health Advisor to the Commander. Additionally, he serves as faculty in the Tripler Army Medical Center Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Residency Program, supervising an interservice clinical rotation serving surface warfighters. In 2022, LT Grant was selected by the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations’ 21st Century Sailor Office as a Fellow in the International Career Advancement Program. 

LT Grant completed his first tour at Naval Medical Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) San Diego from 2019 to 2021 where he served as the Division Officer of the Mental Health Unit of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. In addition to this role, he co-led the base’s Psychological Health Committee. He additionally served as the chair of the Grand Rounds Committee for NMRTC San Diego’ Directorate of Mental Health and co-chair of the Naval Medical Forces Pacific Transgender Care Team. In the fall of 2019, LT Grant deployed to the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN during its time in the Fifth Fleet. He served as the lead for a Mental Health Augmentation Team which spent the final three months of the ship’s record-breaking deployment supporting the crew. In the spring of 2020, he deployed again, this time serving as lead mental health clinician aboard the USNS MERCY during its defense support of civilian authorities mission to provide hospital relief to Los Angeles in response to COVID-19. 

LT Grant commissioned into the US Navy via the Navy Psychology Licensed Direct Accession program in 2019. He is a native of Southern California and prior to joining the Navy, he worked as a Clinical Psychology Subject Matter Expert at the Defense Health Agency’s Psychological Health Center of Excellence and as  a clinical researcher in the Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences supporting research on military suicide prevention. 

Guest 2 | CPT Deonte Williams, PhD

Capt Deonte Williams is a Clinical Psychologist at Aviano Air Base Italy. In 2021, he received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Palo Alto University in Palo Alto, CA. He completed his pre-doctoral clinical residency at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center (WHASC), Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, and is a previous recipient of the United States Air Force Health Professions Scholarship Program in 2018.  

Capt Williams specializes in trauma treatment and has an added focus on treatment focused on couples/intimate relationships. His clinical experiences similarly include working with adults with a wide range of clinical presentations, including neuropsychological assessment, mood disorders, and behavioral-health-related conditions. His graduate-level clinical experiences included advanced practicums within the Palo Alto VA Healthcare System, where he focused on outpatient mental health, neuropsychological evaluation, inpatient care, and clinical research on opioid use within the veteran population. His primary research interests include personality factors and habits related to romantic relationship outcomes in young adults as well as the impact of stress/anxiety on human performance in stressful environments. Additionally, he hosts a weekly radio podcast titled The DNA of Love with Dr. Williams, where he uses humor and anecdotal personal experience to highlight research-informed aspects of healthy dating behaviors in hopes of helping listeners find the one they're meant to be with. New episodes are posted weekly on Spotify at DNA of Love with Dr. Williams. Follow on Instagram @DNA_of_Love for weekly show updates and video snippets of each episode.

Episode Resources

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