Adjunct Faculty

Laura Kirsch, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor



  • B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies, Cornell University, 1999
  • M.A. in Criminal Justice, George Washington University, 2000
  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology/Psychology, Policy and Law, University of Arizona, 2009
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Forensic Psychology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 2010

Courses Taught


  • Forensic Psychology (PSYX 382)
  • Psychology of Family Violence (PSYX 348)
  • Intro to Clinical Psychology (PSYX 378)
  • History and Systems of Psychology (PSYX 400)


  • Principles of Psychological Intervention (PSYX 531)
  • Psychological Evaluation II: Objective Approaches and Applications (PSYX 526) 
  • Teaching of Psychology (PSYX 501)

Research Interests

Presently, I am broadly interested in research involving the criminal justice system, including criminal behavior and intervention strategies for offenders. Past research focused mostly on sexual offending and psychopathy.

Selected Publications

Kirsch, L.G., & Fanniff, A.M. (2017). Treatment of sexual offenders. In J. Conte and B. Klika (Eds.), The APSAC handbook on child maltreatment (4th ed., p. 348-365). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Sharpe, C.A., Kirsch, L.G., & Packer, I.K. (2010). Procedures governing the disclosure of psychological reports and evidence in a pretrial competency hearing. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 38, 420-422.

Kirsch, L.G., Fanniff, A.M., & Becker, J.V. (2010). Treatment of adolescent and adult sex offenders. In J.E.B. Myers, L. Berliner, J. Briere, C.T. Hendrix, C. Jenny, & T.A. Reid (Eds.), The APSAC handbook on child maltreatment (3rd ed., pp. 289-306). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Becker, J.V., & Kirsch, L.G. (2008). Sexual and other abuse of children. In R.J. Morris & T.R. Kratochwill (Eds.), The Practice of Child Therapy (4th ed., pp. 411-432).  New York: Pergamon.

Kirsch, L.G., & Becker, J.V. (2007). Emotional deficits in psychopathy and sexual sadism: Implications for violent and sadistic behavior. Clinical Psychology Review, 27, 904-922. 

Kirsch, L.G., & Becker, J.V. (2006). Sexual offending: Theory of problem, theory of change, and implications for treatment effectiveness. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 11, 208-224.



  • American Psychological Association
  • American Psychology-Law Society
  • Montana Justice Initiative
  • Montana Psychological Association
  • Society for the Teaching of Psychology

Specialized Skills

I am currently a licensed clinical psychologist in Montana. My specialty is conducting mental health assessments for a variety of legal matters, including:

  • Fitness to Proceed/Competency to Stand Trial
  • Criminal Responsibility/Mental State at the Time of Offense
  • Violence Risk Assessment
  • Juvenile Transfer
  • Pre-Sentence Evaluations
  • Personal Injury


Professional Experience

I currently conduct court-ordered forensic evaluations at Montana State Hospital, in addition to maintaining a private practice as a clinical forensic psychologist and consultant in Missoula and Western Montana. Prior clinical work includes providing psychological assessment and treatment services at the Arizona State Prison in Tucson, the Pima County Juvenile Court, the Federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles, Worcestor State Hospital (MA), Bridgewater State Hospital (MA), and various court clinics throughout Massachusetts. 

I have led continuing education workshops for Master's and Doctoral level mental health providers on forensic topics, including report writing and expert testimony.