Psychology Internship Program

Fulton State Hospital (FSH) sponsors an exciting, challenging, and varied doctoral psychology internship. We are very proud of our training program and believe that we offer a variety of unique clinical training opportunities that will supplement your current training and provide a foundation for your future training and professional aspirations. We attempt to create an atmosphere for interns that will enhance personal and professional growth through a series of clinical rotations, didactic offerings, and opportunities for participation in special projects.

The discipline of psychology holds central importance at FSH. In fact, psychologists hold key administrative positions (i.e., CEO, Director of Treatment Services) and clinical roles (i.e., program coordinator, treatment team leader) that drive treatment throughout the hospital. FSH also has a program-based supervisory hierarchy wherein program supervisors have direct line authority for all clinical and direct care staff assigned to a program, which helps to ensure a high degree of fidelity to the various treatment models. Psychology interns are warmly welcomed into this pro-psychology atmosphere, and are valued contributors to our multidisciplinary treatment teams who provide frequent consultation regarding the professional psychology services they provide.

At FSH, we offer two internship programs, General Treatment program (program code 178311) and Forensic Evaluation program (program code 178312). Each program is organized into two, six-month major rotations with two, six-month minor rotations (i.e., Program Evaluation and Psychological Assessment).

For the General Treatment program, interns receive training in innovative, evidenced-based treatment and best practices within nationally recognized treatment programs targeting specific populations. Offered programs involve individuals with 1) intellectual/developmental disabilities, 2) severe mood and behavioral dysregulation (New Outlook Program for Behavior & Mood Self-Management), 3) moderate and long-term mental disorders with resultant symptoms and behavior challenges (Program for Recovery & Self-Motivation), 4) illegal/inappropriate sexual behaviors (Sex Offender Treatment Services), 5) civilly committed Sexually Violent Predators (Sex Offender Rehabilitation & Treatment Services), and 6) serious mental illness resulting in significant functional impairment (Social Learning Program).

For the Forensic Evaluation program, the intern begins her or his experience working with our Forensic Evaluation team, completing court ordered evaluations of criminal defendants.  The intern will gain experience evaluating Competency to Stand Trial, criminal responsibility, and risk of sexual and non sexual violence.  The intern will expand her or his knowledge of the Legal System and the interaction between the Courts and the mental health system, develop an advanced understanding of DSM diagnoses, and gain experience with both structured and unstructured psychological assessments within a forensic context.  The intern will be involved in writing reports sent to the courts and will have the opportunity to watch court proceedings and expert witness testimony.  The intern will also work closely with the Competency to Stand Trial restoration program at Fulton State Hospital, helping to run competency education groups and creating individualized interventions for challenging clients.  These activities make up one six-month major rotation. For the other six-month major rotation, the intern will be assigned to one of the treatment programs listed under the General Treatment track above. This offers the intern further clinical experience, forming a strong foundation for future professional development. In addition, the intern’s Psychological Assessment six-month minor rotation will be with the Forensic Evaluation team and will occur during the second six months of the internship.  During that experience the assessments will be forensic in nature, further refining the intern’s forensic evaluation skills. 

In addition, throughout the year, all interns will participate in a weekly seminar series covering a wide range of relevant topics, and in weekly program evaluation/research meetings with the hospital’s research team. Interns receive real world experiences in ongoing program improvement processes to enhance client service delivery. Interns have access to FSH’s extensive databases, which are used to inform clinical decision-making processes throughout the hospital. Many of the hospital’s investigations, which interns have participated in, have been presented at professional conferences and are published in refereed journals (see Scholarly Contributions).

FSH takes very seriously its commitment to diversity. Effort is made to recruit interns from diverse ethnic, racial, and personal backgrounds. As part of the internship year, interns participate and are valued members of the hospital’s Cultural Competence Council.

Lastly, a strong relationship exists between FSH and the University of Missouri departments of Psychiatry, Clinical Psychology, and Counseling Psychology. Not only do students from these programs receive training at FSH, including participation in collaborative research projects, but several staff psychologists have adjunct appointments in those departments. As part of its educational mission, FSH also serves as a clinical training site for students of other professions including psychiatry residents and fellows, music, occupational, and recreational therapists, pharmacy students, and social work interns.

For additional information, please contact Ericia L. Kempker, Psy.D., Director of Training ericia.kempker@dmh.mo.gov.

Thank you for your interest in our doctoral psychology internship program.