DSH - Patton: Psychology Practicum Program

Welcome to the DSH-Patton Psychology Practicum Page. Our program provides training to local doctoral students in APA accredited clinical psychology programs. It is an advanced, pre-internship training experience designed to help our trainees prepare for full-time predoctoral internships. The large majority of our former practicum students have gone on to acquire APA-accredited internships, and work across the country. The DSH-Patton training program (post-doctoral fellowship, predoctoral internship, and practicum training) is directed by Dr. David Glassmire, Ph.D., ABPP. The practicum program is directed by Dr. Sherin Singleton, Psy.D. The focus of our practicum program is the development of solid clinical skills in the context of a forensic psychiatric hospital.


  • Trainee must be currently enrolled in an APA accredited doctoral program in Clinical Psychology (Ph.D. or Psy.D.).
  • Coursework in the areas of psychopathology, statistics/test construction, intellectual assessment, and objective personality assessment must be completed prior to the start of the training year.
  • Trainees should have at least some prior experiences administering, scoring, and interpreting psychological assessment instruments outside of tests given exclusively for class assignments.
  • Trainees should have at least some prior experiences with severe and persistent mental illness.
  • Trainees must have excellent writing abilities.
  • As this is an intensive practicum with high expectations, our trainees must have the internal ability to manage multiple tasks and must be able to accept, internalize, and utilize feedback from supervisors in their work.
  • This is an advanced practicum and is best suited for trainees who are nearing internship (3rd year or higher).

We have two practicum training tracks, as follows:

Clinical/Forensic track: Student are involved in administering a wide range of psychological assessments, including objective and projective personality assessment, cognitive/intelligence testing, neuropsychological screeners, and forensic assessment instruments, as well as comprehensive clinical interviews. Student will also be required to write approximately 30 reports during the training year, at least 5 which are comprehensive batteries. Smaller testing batteries are structured in such a way that nearly every evaluation is considered to be an “integrated assessment” battery on the APPI. Students will co-facilitate one therapy group per week and will carry one individual therapy case throughout the year. Students may also be involved in other training opportunities such as writing/formulating behavior plans. Areas of focus for the training year include case conceptualization, diagnostic skills, integration of test data, report writing, and clinical work with the severely mentally ill.

Neuropsychology Track (FREE Program), English or Spanish Language Emphasis: The Neuropsychology Consultation Service (NCS) at Patton State Hospital is currently accepting two practicum positions for its Functional Rehabilitation and Educational Experience (FREE) program to start FALL 2023 (1 English-language track position and 1 Spanish-language track position). Students desiring training in neuropsychology may apply for one of the Neuropsychology Track practicum positions at DSH-Patton. The neuropsychology practicum within NCS is designed to provide training on how to be a clinical neuropsychologist within a forensic setting. It provides practicum students experiences in neuropsychological assessment, cognitive remediation, and how to be a neuropsychology consultant within the context of a forensic setting. The neuropsychology practicum student will primarily be training under the FREE program.

FREE is an innovative cognitive remediation program designed to meet the unique needs and challenges of individuals committed to the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) as Incompetent to Stand Trial. It is an intensive, manualized cognitive skills building program that is delivered in both group and individual formats that focuses on improving attention, memory, and problem solving. The trial competency skills building component focuses on learning the roles of various courtroom personnel, entering a plea, plea bargaining, and the trial process. Trainees gain experience in providing individual and group cognitive rehabilitation, competency restoration treatment, and neuropsychological assessments focused on informing treatment and measuring outcomes for patients involved in FREE. The FREE program provides services in both English and Spanish. Other than the language of service delivery, the manualized program and materials are identical across the two programs. Fluency in Spanish is required for applicants in the Spanish-language track.

The Neuropsychology Track positions require trainees to be at the hospital for 3 days per week for a minimum of 20 hours per week. Responsibilities of the Neuropsychology Track positions include, but are not limited to, producing written reports based upon assessment and test findings, co-facilitating a FREE group, holding a caseload of patients for one-on-one cognitively informed competency restoration treatment, evaluating patient progress, validity testing, and updating and managing the FREE program evaluation database. Trainees are responsible for completing a minimum of 17 integrated assessments of patients referred to the FREE program, including a standardized background interview, neurocognitive testing, and validity testing. Additional training opportunities for students in the Neuropsychology Track may be available depending on the needs of the hospital and availability of supervisors.

Supervision: Students will receive 1 - 2 hours per week of individual supervision, approximately 1 - 2 hours per week of group supervision/case conference, and 1 - 2 hours per week of didactic assessment seminar, depending on track:

The Clinical/Forensic track holds mandatory seminar and group supervision on Tuesdays from 8:30 am to 11:30 am.

The Neuropsychology Track (FREE Program) holds a weekly Neuropsychology Research and Theory seminar on Tuesdays from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm, and an optional Advanced Practice of Neuropsychology seminar once a month on Wednesdays from 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm.

Note. COVID restrictions and outbreaks may interfere with some training activities at times, when units are on quarantine. Every effort is made to provide the trainee with backup testing referrals, etc.

Application Procedures: We do not have any “captive” practicum positions. Although we are not a SCAPTP member, we follow their guidelines for early notification sites.

Students must receive approval from their graduate school’s Director of Clinical Training (DCT) to apply to Patton’s practicum program. Once approval is received from the student’s DCT, the following materials should be emailed to Dr. Singleton at sherin.singleton@dsh.ca.gov:

  • DCT approval to apply (copy of their email is fine)
  • Cover letter that includes why the trainee feels that the DSH-Patton practicum fits well within the context of the student’s overall training goals
  • De-identified sample assessment report
  • Curriculum Vita
  • Letter of Reference from a practicum (externship or internal practicum) supervisor

Applications Due Date: Applications will be accepted only between 1/2/23 and 1/13/23. Interviews will be held between 1/23/23 and 2/3/23. Notifications will be made on or before February 10.

Notification Date: Notifications will be made on or before February 10, 2023.

For application questions and submissions, please contact:

Sherin Singleton, Psy.D.
Senior Psychologist Supervisor (program 7)
Practicum Director