Forensic Psychology Fellowship – Western State Hospital

The Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and Western State Hospital (WSH) sponsor a yearlong fellowship in forensic psychology. Psychology applicants must have completed their doctoral degree and it is recommended (but not required) that the degree be from an APA-accredited institution (see below).*

The program has a large and diverse faculty with advanced training in forensic mental health. The fellowship is designed to promote a wide variety of experiences in mental health law, criminal and civil forensic practice, consultation, treatment of the mentally ill offender, and research.

Adult Forensic Psychology

The adult forensic program offers specific training in:
  • pre-trial evaluations of mentally ill offenders (including competency to proceed, mental state at the time of the offense, and risk assessments) in both inpatient and outpatient evaluation roles
  • rotation for evaluation of inmates in community detention facilities and other community locations 
  • assessment of insanity acquittees 
  • civil commitment evaluations
  • rotation with Special Commitment Center Postdoctoral Fellowship, assessing persons who have been committed as sexually violent predators
  • possible minor rotations with Center for Study and Treatment of Children (CSTC), and civil forensic settings 
  • consultation and education activities with community mental health services providers, attorneys, courts, and rehabilitation facilities
  • scholarly research activities and professional education
The program is administered through ​the resources of DSHS and Western State Hospital. Questions specific to this program should be directed to the program director, Ray Hendrickson, JD, PhD, telephone 253-761-7621; fax 253-512-5452.

Clinical Training Site
Western State Hospital (WSH) is a roughly 1,000-bed psychiatric hospital serving the western half of Washington State. The training site focus is on the WSH campus. The majority of the adult forensic psychology fellow’s time will be spent in the Center for Forensic Services (CFS), which has specialized wards for forensic evaluation, competency restoration treatment, and the treatment of insanity acquittees.
Fellows will also be involved in a rotation with the Outpatient Services Program, which is dedicated to conducting forensic evaluations in jails and in the community.  During the year, the psychology fellow will have the opportunity to affiliate with and supervise pre-doctoral interns from WSH's APA approved internship program and psychology pre-doctoral practicum/pre-intern students.

The forensic faculty provides weekly three-hour seminars over the academic year addressing the full range of forensic topics required by the APA for accreditation, and other supplemental forensic topics.  In addition, fellows are required to participate in a weekly psycholegal discussion group that reviews and discuses landmark cases and other essential readings in the field.

Fellows also have an opportunity to participate in training exercises (mock legal procedures) with law students from the Seattle University School of Law, or with practicing attorneys in the community.  When possible, fellows are also given the opportunity to gain direct experience providing testimony in criminal and civil court.  Additional ongoing educational opportunities are offered covering psychological assessment, developmental psychopathology, forensic report writing, and expert testimony.

Fellows complete a research project or a scholarly work under faculty supervision during the year. The fellow may join an ongoing project or choose to begin a project in his/her area of interest.

The fellowship program is located in wooded and attractive Steilacoom, Washington, in the South Puget Sound area. Steilacoom is located minutes from Tacoma, one hour from Seattle, two hours from Portland, Oregon, and four hours from Vancouver, B.C. The scenic Puget Sound and surrounding mountains offer unparalleled recreational opportunities.

Salary and Benefits

The stipend for the postdoctoral fellowship in psychology is $66,264 per year. Benefits include vacation leave, sick leave, educational leave, and medical/dental insurance.

Funding for the positions is in the budget of the sponsoring institution but a guarantee is not possible until the governor has signed the requisite budget bill.

Application Procedure

Entrance requirements:
  1. Graduation from an APA accredited doctoral program in psychology is preferred but not required.* If the candidate has not received the degree at the time of application, s/he must supply letters from the director of his/her training program and dissertation chair (when applicable) attesting that the candidate is expected to receive the doctoral degree before the fellowship start date.
  2. Completion of an APA accredited pre-doctoral internship program is preferred but not required. * A letter from the director of the program attesting that the candidate is expected to complete his/her pre-doctoral internship before the start date is required.
  3. Documentation that the above entrance requirements have been met.
  4. Statement of interest and career intent.
  5. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate studies.
  6. Three letters of recommendation.
  7. Curriculum Vitae (CV).
  8. Sample of three (3) completed and sanitized clinical reports (forensic clinical evaluation preferred). 
Application materials will be accepted and reviewed as early as September 1 in the year preceding the fellowship. Applications must be complete by midnight, December 31 of the year preceding the fellowship start date.

Contact Information
For more information or to apply contact the training directors listed above. Send all application materials to the directors of training. Dr. Ray Hendrickson, to the address, fax, or email listed below. Official transcripts should be mailed, unless the applicant uses the services of APPIC/APPA for applicant processes.

Ray Hendrickson, JD, PhD 
Western State Hospital
Center for Forensic Services
9601 Steilacoom Blvd. SW
Tacoma, WA 98498-7213
Phone: 253-761- 7621
Fax: 253-512-5452