Alumni Success

Works at Correctional Facility Completing Mental Health Screenings and Providing Therapy

Molly Meier Hendrickson
2015, Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology
Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University | Schaumburg
Clinical Psychologist at Wexford Health Solutions

“Developing professional relationships with professors and developing a mentor relationship was very important for my career path. The classes, instructors, and support from the clinical training department allowed me to be well prepared to work successfully as a clinician in a range of settings.”

Works at Correctional Facility Completing Mental Health Screenings and Providing Therapy

Dr. Molly Meier Hendrickson is a clinical psychologist within the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). While she was uncertain at first that she’d pursue corrections as a career path, Hendrickson discovered that it offered diversity in assessing and treating an array of disorders and clinical presentations. “I currently work at Stateville Correctional Facility, a maximum security adult male prison, where I complete mental health screenings, mental health evaluations, provide individual therapy and provide crisis intervention,” she stated. Hendrickson will help to rebuild IDOC’s pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship programs.

She’s also a contract psychologist one day a week for the Northwestern Medicine Transitional Care Clinic, assessing and treating patients with extensive histories of trauma. “I am at the clinic each Friday, serving as an integrated part of the medical team that treats patients who come through Northwestern Medicine's emergency department and are uninsured or poorly insured,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson chose to attend the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University | Schaumburg because of the faculty’s strong reputation in clinical and research work. “I appreciated being able to develop professional, and ultimately collegial, relationships with professors and my mentor, Dr. Kammie Juzwin,” she said. “Developing relationships with the professors allowed me to gain experiences, such as my research lab, that were outside of my practicum training. While the research lab was not part of the required curriculum, I gained invaluable experience that ultimately lead to me presenting at four international conferences and winning an international award.”

During her graduate training, Hendrickson focused on diversifying her clinical training experience. “My first practicum site focused on providing comprehensive psychological testing for adults, adolescents, and children and I provided evaluations for parents trying to obtain custody or visitation rights with their children” she said. “I then moved on to a therapy practicum at Dixon Correctional Center, a medium security adult male prison, where I conducted approximately six different group therapies, provided individual therapy and completed initial mental health intakes on offenders.” Her third practicum was at the Racine Youthful Offender Correctional Facility, a medium security prison for young males. “I [also] conducted pre-employment psychological evaluations for law enforcement, fire, correctional and dispatch candidates.”

To expand her experience beyond corrections, Hendrickson chose a pre-doctoral internship at the Huntington Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center in West Virginia. “I gained experience in providing comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations on a poly-trauma team, and was also part of the trauma recovery program (PTSD treatment), substance use disorder team, home-based primary care team (geriatrics and veterans unable to leave their home) and psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery center (serious mental illness),” she added. Hendrickson completed her post-doctoral fellowship at Primary Care Psychology Associates in Chicago. “I was primarily located at Northwestern Medical Clinics in downtown Chicago, and provided individual therapy, exam room consultations, consultations to the physicians and comprehensive psychological evaluations.”

Her first job was with Primary Care Psychology Associates. “[As a staff psychologist], I led weekly seminars for their interns and practicum students,” she said. Her career highs include presenting at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in 2015 on the topic of identifying differences between law enforcement candidates with and without military experience. “I was able to present this data at the same conference that President Barack Obama attended and spoke at,” she stated. “Researchers in the police psychology field who viewed my presentation in 2015 nominated me for the Early Career Police Psychologist Award and Scholarship, which I won and received at the following conference in 2016.” Hendrickson was asked to participate in Experience in Care & Health Outcomes (ECHO) Behavioral Health Training Series, which was developed by University of Chicago to educate physicians and medical staff in Chicago and the suburbs on how to meet the behavioral health needs of their patients.”

Hendrickson recommended that current students diversify their training, be open to traveling to far away training sites, customize every cover letter, and don’t be afraid to apply to sites that they think they may not be accepted to. “I didn't have any Veterans’ Affairs experience prior to my internship, but was able to get an American Psychological Association-accredited VA training site for internship,” she added. “I attribute this to the time I spent tailoring each cover letter to the specific site, explaining why I was a good fit and why I had experience that matched their training program goals. This was confirmed for me by my training staff once I began internship when they told me my specific cover letter and interview is what had them rank me highly despite my lack of VA experience.”

Hendrickson is actively involved in the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Society for Police and Criminal Psychology and American Psychology-Law Society. “I have been involved in Booster Club volunteering for Roosevelt High School's football team and Wendell Phillips Academy High School's football team, both located in underprivileged neighborhoods within Chicago where some of the players are homeless or live in shelters,” she said.

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