Dr. Susan Vaught



Place of Employment: Western State Hospital


Role with Internship: Internship Director





Dr. Vaught received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Mental Retardation Research from Vanderbilt University in 1991. She has been practicing since 1992, and she is licensed in the states of Tennessee and Kentucky. Currently, she is a member of the American Psychological Association.


In 1996, Dr. Vaught received the SEAAMR Richard B. Dillard Award For Research In The Field Of Developmental Disabilities. She serves as the Director of the Psychology Department at Western State Hospital, and she also provides clinical services to the hospital’s Multiple Medical Needs Unit. She is a clinical neuropsychologist, and identifies her theoretical orientation as Cognitive-Behavioral with strong Humanistic leanings. She works extensively with the hospital’s special populations (geriatrics, brain injury, developmental disability, severe or chronic medical illness, and death/dying issues). She has strengths in general psychological assessment and neuropsychological assessment, and greatly enjoys her work with older adults and people with developmental disability.



Dr. Vaught prefers to work with students who are eager to learn, interested in a variety of possible career paths, and willing to work collaboratively with supervisors to increase both basic skills and theoretical and applied knowledge. She uses an Integrated Developmental approach to supervision, and she believes it is important for pre-doctoral interns to receive direct training in leadership, to prepare them for supervisory-level positions following graduation.




When she’s not working, Dr. Vaught helps tend her small family bird farm, chases after an abundance of pets (including a parrot and peacocks), avidly watches college and professional football, and dabbles in photography. Prior to the advent of DVR (yes, she is THAT old), she often threatened to take vacation days for the duration of the Olympics. She is an avid reader of fantasy, science fiction, mystery, suspense, literary fiction, and non-fiction. Dr. Vaught is also an author, publishing fiction and essays for middle-grade, young adult, and adult readers through houses such as Bloomsbury USA, Random House imprints, and Simon and Schuster. You can read more about her books through her author’s website www.susanvaught.com



All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
-J.R.R. Tolkein