Postdoctoral Fellowship in Forensic Psychology


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General Overview

The Washington Department of Social and Health Services Office of Forensic Mental Health Services sponsors a year-long fellowship in forensic psychology at Western State Hospital. The fellowship training program offers expertise in the area of forensic evaluation and assessment with an emphasis on preparing applicants for independent practice and board certification in forensic psychology. Forensic evaluators, and fellows under the direct supervision of a licensed psychologist, primarily provide pretrial evaluation services to inform local courts regarding a defendant’s capacity to proceed to trial and the defendant’s mental state at the time of the offense evaluations. Additionally, forensic evaluators participate in post-adjudication assessments of violence risk for individuals adjudicated as not guilty by reason of insanity.

Our fellowship is approved as a qualifying program by the American Board of Forensic Psychology to offer a waiver of the five-year experience requirement for forensic board certification applicants (approval period 2023-2028).

It is the strong belief of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Committee that advanced postdoctoral forensic training is essential for individuals who wish to pursue a career in forensic psychology. We believe the forensic psychology postdoctoral fellowship at WSH offers a unique opportunity to develop the high level of specialized expertise required by a forensic expert.

We seek to prepare professional psychologists to be highly competent and ethical forensic examiners capable of excellence in independent practice. Further, the fellowship program desires to prepare fellows for forensic board certification. To meet that end, one component of the fellowship is the study and application of relevant and current forensic literature as well as pertinent studies of legal precedents. We provide a multitude of training opportunities through didactic exercises, weekly case law studies, case conferences, literature reviews, and close supervision of all aspects of the completion of a variety of forensic cases.


The Fellowship offers didactic training designed for our fellowship and internship students, but that is also open to the general learning community. A calendar of topics is below with respective televideo links: