Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship in Psychosis Treatment and Recovery

The University of Washington School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is recruiting a psychology postdoctoral fellow in Psychosis Treatment and Recovery. This fellowship position is co-sponsored by the University of Washington’s SPIRIT Lab (Supporting Psychosis Innovation through Research, Implementation, and Training) and Center for Mental Health, Policy, and the Law (CMHPL). Fellows will primarily be based out of Harborview Medical Center in downtown Seattle, Washington.

We are seeking a fellow who is invested in developing expertise in clinical service and research pertaining to individuals with Serious Mental Illness and justice system involvement. The postdoctoral fellowship is intended to provide intensive and specialized training in the conduct of research, training, implementation, and direct clinical care of individuals and families affected by psychotic disorders. Fellows will gain clinical experience in evidence-based psychotherapeutic interventions for psychosis (primarily Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for psychosis) and gold standard psychodiagnostic assessment of psychosis risk states through a novel tele-evaluation service. Postdoctoral fellows will receive supervised clinical training sufficient for licensure eligibility. In addition, the fellow will be exposed to forensic mental health rotations, lectures, and other learning opportunities and will make significant contributions to a forensically-focused research, QI, or other scholarly project during their training year.

Fellowship Type(s):
Clinical Fellowship, Research Fellowship

Over the course of fellowship, fellows will devote approximately 50% of their time to clinical training under the supervision Sarah Kopelovich, PhD. Trainees will receive comprehensive training in CBT for psychosis and will have the opportunity to administer CBTp on inpatient units, a Coordinated Specialty Care team for individuals and families experiencing a First Episode Psychosis, and an outpatient clinic for individuals with persistent psychosis. The fellow will also play a central role in a state-funded program offering a centralized telehealth assessment for practitioners across the state of Washington. Under the supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist, the fellow will be heavily involved in conducting comprehensive assessments for diagnostically complex cases. Fellows will have the opportunity to serve individuals with psychosis and their support systems in diverse settings, including inpatient psychiatric units, adult outpatient clinic, a First Episode Psychosis team, and/or a correctional setting.

This fellowship focuses on assessment and management of persons with serious mental illness, namely with psychotic disorders. Because persons with serious mental illness are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system, it is important that clinicians who work with persons with serious mental illness have familiarity and develop competencies related to forensic mental health services. This fellowship will provide dedicated exposure to forensic mental health to better address the health and justice disparities for persons with a serious mental illness.

Fellows will have opportunities to participate in elective rotations, lectures, and other learning opportunities in forensic mental health depending on their background and interests. Fellows will also complete a research or scholarly project related to forensic mental health.

Research/Scholarly Work
We are particularly interested in applicants with a strong desire to participate in research and have a portfolio of prior research activities. Fellows are expected to spend 20-40% of their time in research or other scholarly activities. Fellows will be involved in a research project, QI project, or dedicated scholarly project, developed with supervision. Fellows may be involved in more than one research or scholarly project during their fellowship year, but at least one project should focus on forensic mental health assessment, service delivery, treatment or other forensic aspects that relate to persons with serious mental illness. These research projects will be individually developed based on the interests, skills, and experiences of the fellow as well as funding and the availability of the Principal Investigators.

Besides dedicated research time, fellows will have weekly supervision and didactic instruction. Fellows will have opportunities to attend relevant didactic lectures on topics such as serious mental illness, therapeutic interventions for persons with serious mental illness, forensic mental health, research design, statistics, and professionalism. Fellows are encouraged to attend the Department’s Grand Rounds. Fellows will read academic and scholarly works for discussion with supervisors. Fellows are expected to be active participants, and to periodically lead a seminar or other talk.

Clinical and research supervision are provided by SPIRIT and CMHPL faculty; additional preceptors and job mentors are arranged by request.

Qualified applicants with a strong track record and interest in research will be considered for a 2-year fellowship.

Examples of Elective Rotations in Forensic Mental Health:

VA Mental Health and Justice Rotation
Supervisor: Jennifer Piel, MD, JD (
Dates: Friday afternoons, July – December
Description: This rotation aims to provide background and experiential opportunities for residents and fellows to learn about issues in forensic mental health. It is suitable for trainees who want a broader understanding of ways that the law intersects with mental health services in routine psychiatric practice as well as those with an interest in specialized training in forensic psychiatry. Forensic issues arise in all psychiatric settings. Through this rotation, participants will explore how to identify and respond to forensic issues in clinical practice; appreciate the breadth of the field; and understand how mental health clinicians contribute to the legal system. Examples of experiential activities include police ride-along, site visit to correctional facility, prepare simulated “expert witness” reports, and participation in a therapeutic court. The rotation culminates with a mock trial activity, where fellows will “testify as experts” in a mock case with mental health concerns.

Core objectives
• Explore issues at the interface of law and mental health
• Appreciate forensic issues in routine clinical practice, including violence risk assessment
• Become more familiar with how the law regulates psychiatric practice
• Appreciate points of intersection with the criminal justice system for persons with mental illness
• Complete mock “expert” reports and testimony in simulated expert witness exercises


Rotation in Forensic Research and Policy
Supervisor: Jennifer Piel, MD, JD (
Dates: Mondays, January – July (note: evening class component); fellows can do half-day or full-day research but should be available Monday afternoons for supervision; supervision can change to evening during the class component of the rotation.
Description: This rotation is aimed for trainees interested in learning more about topics in forensic mental health (or the intersection of mental health and the law). The rotation combines (1) dedicated time to develop a research, advocacy, or other a scholarly project under mentored supervision with (2) PBSCI-525, an interdisciplinary course in psychiatry and the law. The rotation is individualized to the skills and interests of each fellow. Fellows should note that the course component (PBSCI-525) runs from late-March to mid-June in conjunction with the University of Washington’s spring quarter, and the class meets on Mondays from 7-9:20pm. During this portion of the rotation, the course will account for 2.5 hours of the rotation and fellows will, accordingly, have personal time in the day. The course component will cover core principles in civil and criminal law related to mental health, research and policy ethics, research design, and mental health law. Potential research topics include civil competencies, criminal competencies, expert witness testimony, involuntary treatment, child custody, psychological harm, correctional psychiatry, criminal responsibility, suicide and violence risk assessment, sexual offenders, public policy and the law, among others.

Core objectives
• Explore issues at the interface of law and psychiatry
• Understand ethical issues in forensic research and policy
• Become familiar with research tools used in mental health and the law
• Become familiar with types of research design in forensic psychiatry
• Design and complete an individual research project with paper under supervision

More information can be found at: and

Postdoctoral fellow salary is consistent with National Institute of Health guidelines. The fellowship at University of Washington in Psychosis Treatment and Recovery will offer an annual salary of $50,994.

Senior Fellows (Job Class Code 0445) and Senior Fellow Trainees (Job Class Code 0442) are considered to be “in training” much like fellows (Job Class Code 0328) and fellows (Job Class Code 0439). They have many obligations and benefits of faculty, but they are non-faculty, academic appointments.

Fellows will work full-time and receive a full benefits package, including retirement benefits, vacation and sick leave. Fellows also have access to multiple training opportunities and educational resources during their fellowship year. Fellows will primarily be stationed on the campus of Harborview Medical Center, which is located in downtown Seattle in the First Hill neighborhood, adjacent to the vibrant Capitol Hill. Fellows will have flexible schedules and can craft a telecommuting schedule with their supervisors.

Applicants who have earned a PhD or PsyD in clinical or counseling psychology, have a strong interest in a career in academic psychology specializing in psychosis treatment, and have had previous training in cognitive behavioral therapy and/or other evidence-based treatments for individuals with serious mental illness are encouraged to apply. Culturally diverse and bilingual candidates are especially encouraged to apply. Postdoctoral applicants must be graduates of APA-accredited doctoral programs in clinical or counseling psychology, have completed an APA-accredited internship, and be U.S. citizens.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Applications will be processed in the order in which they are received.

Please send a curriculum vita with a cover letter and two letters of recommendation via email to