Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Home page

Graduate Practica

Practicum Opportunities

Western State Hospital is divided into two centers:

  • The Psychiatric Treatment and Recovery Center, and
  • Center for Forensic Services

Licensed Psychologists work in varied capacities including group therapy, milieu therapy, psychological and neuropsychological assessment, program evaluation, forensic evaluation, civil commitments, mental status examinations, research projects, treatment team and clinical leadership positions, and much more.

Students will complete 16-20 hours per week on site. The site supervisor will provide one hour of supervision per week. Supervision may also be done by pre-doctoral interns. The practicum program has a degree of flexibility in allowing prospective graduate students to match placement and duties with professional goals and interests.

Practicum rotations are available year round at the hospital, graduate students should start looking at placements in the winter or spring and are invited to consider whether the hospital is a good match for their academic, clinical, and professional needs.


Student Requirements

Successful practicum candidates are enrolled in an accredited graduate university program emphasizing training in clinical counseling, or forensic psychology. The student will have completed at least one course in basic principles of therapy and at least one course in ethics.

All practicum students will be expected to complete Blood Borne Pathogens training, sign an Oath of Confidentiality, sign a Practicum Contract, take a TB test, and complete the assault prevention response training offered by the hospital.  This is not a paid position. Practicum students will complete their hours on the hospital campus.


How to Apply

A graduate student in psychology must send a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae, and a letter from the training director indicating readiness. Send completed materials to:

Larry Arnholt, Ph.D.
Practicum Liaison
Western State Hospital
9601 Steilacoom Blvd. S.W.
Lakewood, WA 98498-7213
253-756-2576