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Forensic Treatment Center - South

Forensic Treatment Center - South, under various names, has served the public since 1869. It is a JCAHO accredited, inpatient psychiatric facility operated by the Missouri Department of Mental Health. The facility currently has 180 beds divided into four 25-bed wards and ten 8-bed residential cottages. We provide inpatient psychiatric and psychosocial rehabilitation services to adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses and Axis II disorders from the urban, suburban, and rural areas of eastern Missouri. Most clients have been adjudicated Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity while many others failed to regain competence to stand trial for charges against them.  We also provide inpatient psychiatric treatment services for Deaf people in the state of Missouri.

The Psychology Department consists of six psychologists who have varying interests and backgrounds. We are active participants in the ongoing development of treatment and treatment programs and have leadership roles in the units we serve.

In general, interns rotating at Forensic Treatment Center - South should expect to complete two or more assessments, participate in at least four weekly therapy groups, carry a caseload of three or four individual therapy clients and participate in multidisciplinary treatment team meetings. These expectations are flexible, based upon the needs and interests of the intern. The supervision available is intense and plentiful, with a minimum of two scheduled hours along with frequent informal opportunities for supervision and discussion.

While primary supervisors for this rotation are currently available only in the Forensic Responsibility Program, other learning and treatment opportunities are available with psychologists, and occasionally other professionals, in other programs.


Forensic Responsibility Program (FRP):  The two teams of this program provide services, usually using cognitive behavioral approaches, for one ward and two cottages.  Most clients are Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity, have a stable Axis I disorder (usually Schizophrenia), have a diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder, and a history of substance use disorders.  Many of the clients are sex offenders.  The transition of this program to the Risk-Need-Responsivity model, which began in July 2019, is likely to continue through the coming 12 months or longer.  As an intern rotating through this program, you can anticipate observing the process of program development as the transition progresses.  As part of a multidisciplinary team, you will provide traditional individual and group therapies, as well as have the opportunity to co-lead and lead cognitive behavioral groups for antisocial thinking.  You can learn about standard measures of risk for violence, sexual reoffending, and general reoffending and their application in treatment and discharge planning.  In supervision, you can expect discussion of the treatment of reluctant and resistant clients, maintaining professional boundaries, and issues in professional development as you make the change from student to professional practitioner.  


Additional Learning/Treatment Opportunities:

New Outlook Program:  This inpatient program is in the process of being redefined due to changes in the client population it serves. This is a co-ed program that treats clients with Cluster B personality disorders as well as mood, anxiety, psychotic, and neurodevelopmental disorders. Clients from the program might be available for individual therapy.  Interns may also choose to observe or co-lead groups with the program psychologist. Empirically supported treatment approaches are utilized with cognitive behavioral interventions being the most common. Cognitive behavioral treatment for psychopathy and Integrated Psychological Therapy for schizophrenia are examples of treatment groups that have been offered.

Transitional Rehabilitation Program:  The multidisciplinary team of this program provides psychological rehabilitation services to four cottages.  Most clients have been adjudicated NGRI and committed by the court for treatment.  They usually function at a high level, with stable psychiatric symptoms.

Risk Assessment Committee:  This committee will begin an expanding role in the hospital coincident with the changes to FRP.  Members of this committee are responsible for violence, sexual reoffending, and general reoffending risk assessments across the house.  Interested interns will observe administration and can have the opportunity to learn to administer standard measures of risk for sexual offending.  Observation of violence risk and general reoffending risk assessment is also available, although opportunities to learn administration of these measures might be limited.  You will also learn about writing risk reports that communicate clear, concise results that facilitate translation into clinical interventions and other risk management procedures.


CHERYL D. CANON, M.A., is a licensed Psychologist who works with the Cognitive-Behavioral Program.  She completed her B.A. and her M.A. in clinical psychology at Eastern Illinois University in 1979 and 1981 respectively. Presently, she works as a staff psychologist at SLPRC.  Professional interests include; treatment of sexual offenders, risk management, treatment and symptom management for major mental illness, sexual abuse detection and treatment, domestic violence, and stress management. She has experience in a variety of settings (Director of Psychological Services in a private I.D. facility). Other experience includes an emphasis on treatment and detection of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and marital therapy.  She also presented stress management workshops in industrial and corporate settings.

MARK A. FELCHLIA, Ph.D., is a licensed Psychologist, the Director of Psychology, internship Training Coordinator at SLPRC, and provides clinical services in the Forensic Responsibility Program and Deaf Services Unit.  As chair of the facility Risk Assessment Committee he oversees risk assessments done at the facility and staff training in risk assessment. He completed his M.A. at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in 1981 and Ph.D. in clinical psychology at St. Louis University in 1992. Clinical interests include the effect of involuntary treatment on the change process, the psychologist’s role working on multidisciplinary teams, and applying risk assessment findings in clinical decision-making.

CRISTA MONTGOMERY ORTBALS, Psy.D., is a licensed Psychologist for the New Outlook Program. She completed her B.S. in psychology and sociology from University of Dayton in 2003. She completed her master's and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology at Indiana State University in 2005 and 2009 respectively. Her clinical interests include holistic treatment planning, risk assessment, empirically supported treatment, and self-care and burnout.

LILY RAYMOND, Ph.D., is a licensed Psychologist and works with the Transitional Rehabilitation Program. She completed her B.A. from Notre Dame in 1984 and her Ph.D. from the State University of New York-Albany in 1991. She completed her internship here during the first year of the consortium model and was the first Post Doctoral Fellow in Forensic Psychology at St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center. Her clinical interests and activities include risk assessment for violence, participating on the Forensic Review Committee, providing therapy focused on prevention of future violence, and providing group and individual therapy for forensic clients with varying needs, diagnoses, levels of functioning, and criminal histories.

LISA PARKER SCOTT, Ph. D., is a licensed Psychologist and Team Leader in the Forensic Responsibility Program.  She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1997.  As the FRP ward Team Leader, she coordinates treatment planning and oversees implementation of all programming and treatment activities on the ward.  She also provides individual and group therapy to clients within the program primarily utilizing a cognitive behavioral approach with specialized training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and EMDR.  Her clinical interests include psychological trauma, personality disorders, risk assessment, spiritual issues in treatment, clinical supervision, and mindfulness approaches in treatment.