Dr. McLawsen provides psychological evaluations that guide legal decision-makers. Her practice focuses on evaluations for immigration, criminal, and civil matters. She is committed to providing evaluations that reflect best practices and incorporate evidence-based clinical formulations.


Dr. McLawsen is licensed to practice psychology in the State of Washington. Additionally, she is a Registered Psychologist in British Columbia, Canada.


Dr. McLawsen graduated from Stanford University in 2002, earning a BA in psychology in three years, focusing on neuroscience. She earned her PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, one of the country's most respected forensic psychology programs. Dr. McLawsen's doctoral thesis examined how different states implement sex offender civil commitment laws.


Dr. McLawsen completed a pre-doctoral internship at Western State Hospital, which emphasizes forensic assessment. She then completed an initial postdoctoral fellowship focused on forensic assessment and violence risk assessment, administered through the University of Washington’s Mental Illness Research and Training Institute. She completed a second postdoctoral fellowship at the DBT Centre of Vancouver, which emphasized clinical assessment, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and other evidence-based treatments.

Professional experience

  • IMA Solutions. Dr. McLawsen conducts independent comprehensive psychological evaluations to address a wide range of referral questions posed by attorneys, insurers, and employers. Dr. McLawsen's evaluations include diagnostic formulations, psycholegal analysis, and -- when relevant -- evidence-based treatment recommendations and recommendations regarding workplace accommodations.

  • Pierce County Competency Panel. Dr. McLawsen was one of a handful of psychologists contracted by Pierce County to assess capacities relevant to criminal defendants' competence to proceed to trial. Until the bill authorizing “the Panel” sunsetted in July 2019, she regularly evaluated criminal defendants at the Pierce County Jail and provided reports to Pierce County Superior and District Courts.

  • Western State Hospital. Dr. McLawsen is a former forensic evaluator for one of Washington State's two psychiatric hospitals. Her work focused on providing forensic psychology evaluations for use in civil commitment proceedings, competency hearings, and assessment of "not guilty by reason of insanity" matters. Dr. McLawsen provided evaluations to courts on a weekly basis and testified in scores of cases.

  • Washington State Special Commitment Center. Dr. McLawsen provided sexual violence risk evaluations for individuals detained on McNeil Island and in assorted secure transition facilities. Evaluations focused assessing future risk for sexual violence. This experience, along the focus of her doctoral thesis, informs Dr. McLawsen's assessment of subjects in Adam Walsh Act immigration matters.

  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Centre of Vancouver. Dr. McLawsen performed diagnostic assessments along with individual and group therapy. This therapy experience strengthens Dr. McLawsen's ability to provide accurate diagnostic formulations and to recommend state of the art, evidence-based psychological treatment.

University affiliations

  • Clinical Instructor, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

  • Clinical Associate, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Colombia

Dr. McLawsen's full profile is available here.