EVMS Psychology Internship - Eastern State Hospital

Rotation Site: Eastern State Hospital (ESH)

Interns who match to the Adult Psychiatric Inpatient rotations will complete two major rotations that occur at ESH, each 6 months in length.


Rotation Names:

  • Acute Admissions & Pretrial Forensics
  • NGRI Forensics & Risk Management

ESH Director of Psychology and Pretrial Forensic Services: Kristen A. Hudacek, Psy.D., CSOTP

Supervisors: Maria Burke, Psy.D., Alexandra Price, Psy.D., ABPP, and Melissa Bennett, Ph.D.



ESH Photo

Located in Williamsburg, Virginia, Eastern State Hospital was founded in 1773 and is considered the first psychiatric facility in the nation. The Hospital is situated on 500 acres and consists of 300 adult and geriatric patients, located in two separate buildings on campus and staffed by 300 people. In general, clinical activities at the Eastern State Hospital can be summarized as follows:  Each intern at ESH will have opportunities to engage in inpatient treatment with acute and chronic severe psychiatric disorders across both civil and forensic populations, with particular focus on individual and group psychotherapy, psychological assessment, psychoeducation, treatment planning and principles of recovery, team building, milieu intervention, crisis management and behavior modification, and program development. Treatment at ESH is provided with the patient in partnership with a multi-disciplinary team comprised of a physician, psychologist, nurse, social worker, dietician, and activities therapist. Discharge or release planning begins at admission, and interns will be able to experience collaboration and aftercare planning with community services as well. Interns will have the opportunity to be part of a treatment team during their internship and learn how a psychologist functions as a multi-disciplinary team member.


During the Eastern State Hospital Internship Rotation in Inpatient Psychology, each intern completes two, six-month rotations including Acute Admissions and Forensic Services. This format provides a wide range of clinical and training experiences as well as supervisory experiences.  During the Acute Admissions Rotation, interns have the experience of assessing and treating individuals under voluntary or involuntary civil commitment, individuals who have been transferred from a jail for emergency psychiatric treatment, and individuals who have been court-ordered for evaluation of competency to stand trial and/or mental status at the time of offense. During the Forensic Rotation, interns have the experience of assessing level of risk and treating individuals who have been adjudicated as Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity (NGRI), remanded to the hospital for treatment, and are moving through the privileging and release process under Virginia law. Interns receive supervision during each six-month rotation from a licensed clinical psychologist with primary responsibilities on the specified unit.  Additionally, interns may have the opportunity to supervise doctoral-level practicum students from local graduate programs, under the supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist.  Other projects and assignments may evolve as warranted and will aim to address each intern’s personal interests whenever possible; to include exposure to geriatric populations, behavioral treatment planning, gender-responsive strategies, and trauma informed care approaches.