DSHS WSH Psychologist -STAR Ward

US Government, Dept. of Social and Health Services

DSHS WSH Psychologist 

Western State Hospital is seeking a psychologist to join the team of our Specialized Treatment Assessment and Recovery (STAR) Program, designed to treat the underlying causes of violence using evidence-based practices.  

Hiring Bonus
$7,500 bonus. ($2,500 post new employee orientation; $2,500 post-probation period; $2,500 after 1 year post-probation period). Bonus is prorated for part-time employment. Minimum 6 month break in service for returning employees to qualify for bonus.

The STAR Program consists of two wards:  The 10-patient STAR Ward treats the most violent of the hospital’s civilly committed patients until they are stable enough to transfer to the 20-patient Step-up Ward.  The Step-up Ward continues providing targeted treatment to help patients successfully discharge to their home communities.  In addition to preparing Civil Commitment petitions and providing testimony as an expert witness, key components of the STAR Program psychologist’s duties include providing advanced individual evaluations, using extensive cognitive, personality and other psycho-diagnostic instruments to assist in determining the underlying causes of their violent behaviors. The diagnostic information is used to identify the most appropriate evidence-based treatment activities to address the violent behavior.
A well-trained interdisciplinary staff in a therapeutic milieu provides the treatment protocols created. This exciting program presents an incredible opportunity for a psychologist who is clinically strong, has exceptional communication skills, enjoys working on an interdisciplinary team, and is interested in learning and using evidence-based practices to facilitate the recovery of patients with challenging behaviors. The ward requires someone who is highly skilled in working with volatile patients and is able to translate clinical knowledge into practical treatment interventions that can be applied consistently within the milieu environment.  Previous experience working in in-patient and forensic settings is preferred for this challenging position.

Some of what you’ll do


  • Evaluations for civil commitment, conditional release, and less restrictive orders, establish a diagnosis and provide the court with petitions, affidavits, letters, or other required documentation.
  • Provide expert testimony in support of psycho-legal opinions regarding diagnosis, grounds for commitment, and placement readiness under direct and cross-examination, relying on established psychological principles, facts, and functional data.
  • Oversee a Psychosocial Rehabilitation Program
  • Provide in-service training when needed, formal and informal psychological consultation

Who should apply

Licensed Psychologist, Ph.D. or Psy.D. from an American Psychological Association accredited university psychology department or professional school of psychology and possession of a license to practice psychology in the state of Washington is required.
Questions contact Recruiter Tracie Kidd at 360-628-7870 or email Tracie.Kidd@dshs.wa.gov and reference 00299.

Per Governor Inslees’  Proclamation 21-14   (Download PDF reader)  state employees must be fully vaccinated. Your vaccine status will be verified. Please note medical or religious accommodation may be available, once an offer of employment is made.

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