Forensic Psychologist Opportunity
Western State Hospital
Staunton, VA


Western State Hospital invites applications for a Forensic Psychologist. The major duties and responsibilities of this position are to:

  • Conduct forensic assessments (e.g., Competency to Stand Trial and Mental State at the Time of the Offense) for defendants ordered to inpatient treatment.
  • Coordinate forensic evaluations throughout the hospital to ensure that they are completed in a timely manner.
  • Using expert knowledge of relevant policies and procedures, court orders, legal standards, and the professional literature, ensure that forensic services are in accord with standards.
  • Supervise forensic post-doctoral fellows in collaboration with the University of Virginia’s Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy.
  • Provide consultation to licensed psychologists, treatment teams, and other staff.
  • Actively collaborate with the judicial system, other facilities, community agencies, and the Office of Forensic Services at the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services regarding the needs of justice involved individuals.
  • Provide leadership in developing programs for justice involved individuals using expertise and advanced knowledge of the area.

Western State Hospital

Western State Hospital is a 246 bed, accredited, public, psychiatric hospital located in Staunton, Virginia where our new state of the art facility opened in November, 2013. We anticipate opening a new hospital wing in the Spring of 2020. The successful candidate will join a staff of 16 experienced and highly skilled licensed clinical psychologists. As a training site for many disciplines, opportunities exist to supervise clinical psychology graduate students, undergraduate psychology students, and other trainees. There are plentiful opportunities for continuing education in forensics and other areas relevant to the delivery of psychological services. Staunton is a vibrant town in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley within 45 minutes of major university towns. We hope that the high quality of life, collegial multidisciplinary professional staff, quality reputation, and working relationships with academic institutions will attract the psychologist we seek.

Minimum Qualifications, Salary, and Benefits

Education, experience, and certification required for entry into this position includes:  Ph.D or Psy.D. in Clinical or Counseling Psychology from an doctoral program accredited by the American Psychological Association.  License (or license-eligible) to practice clinical psychology in Virginia.  Advanced training and experience in forensic assessments (e.g., Competency to Stand Trial, Mental State at the Time of the Offense, risk assessments).  Experience providing psychological assessments and interventions to individuals with severe mental disorders.  Knowledge and understanding of psycho-legal criteria for competency to stand trial, mental state at the time of the offense, and persons adjudicated Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity.  Knowledge of group and individual treatment modalities for justice involved individuals. Knowledge of hospital, community, and agency resources for individuals involved in the criminal justice system.  Experience providing expert testimony.  Interest in providing consultation and training to the behavioral health and legal community. Salary is negotiable with the state’s excellent benefit package. 

Application Process

Applications will be accepted online only at addition to the online application, a cover letter, vita, and three letters or recommendation are required.  Questions regarding this position can be directed to Jeff Phillips, Ph.D., Director of Psychology, WSH, at 540-332-8435; by e-mail at or call Human Resources at (540) 332-8306.  EEO.