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Thank you for interest in employment with our facility. Atascadero State Hospital is a maximum security, Joint Commission-accredited forensic facility designed for the care and treatment of men diagnosed with a mental illness and either charged with, or previously convicted of, crimes. We are part of the California Department of State Hospitals and operate under the rules and regulations of the California Civil Service system.

Currently we are accepting applications from Rehabilitation Therapists specializing in Art, Music, or Recreation. The requirements for each of these specialties are as follows:

Art:                  Master’s Degree in Art Therapy or in Art with emphasis in Art Therapy, or registration with the American Art Therapy Association (or eligibility for such registration), AND completion of an approved clinical internship in art therapy.

Music:            Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy, or registration with the American Music Therapy Association (or eligibility for such registration), AND completion of an approved clinical internship in music therapy.

Recreation:   Bachelor’s Degree in Therapeutic Recreation or in recreation with an emphasis in therapeutic recreation, and certification as a Recreation Therapist Certified by the California Board of Parks or Certification as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist from the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (or proof of eligibility for such certification), AND completion of an approved clinical internship in therapeutic recreation.


For further information on requirements, please see the California Department of Human Resources State Specification at:


To begin the process, the Credentials Committee of the Department of Rehabilitation Therapy requires all applicants to submit the following materials: 

  1. A completed State application (STD 678) and copy of your resume. State applications may be obtained at .
  1. Two current (no more than six months old) letters of recommendation.
  1. Official sealed transcripts from your graduate program. 
  1. Verification of completion of internship on submitted transcripts or in the form of a signed letter from your internship site or academic advisor.
  1. Proof of Certification or eligibility with the appropriate specialty board; i.e., NCTRC CTRS for Recreation Therapists; CBMT for Music Therapists; and ATCB for Art Therapists, if applicable. 

All documents should be mailed to:

Department of State Hospitals – Atascadero

Employment Office

PO Box 7005

Atascadero, CA 93423-7005 

Once the Employment Office is in receipt of all these materials, they will be forwarded to the Credentials Committee for review. This review is sometimes a lengthy process taking from one to four weeks. After their evaluation, the packet is returned to the Employment Office to proceed with the scheduling of interviews.

If you have specific questions regarding the application process, please call the Employment Office at (805) 468-3384. If you have questions regarding the specific aspects of the position, please call Ladonna DeCou, Program Director of Rehabilitation Therapy Services, at (805) 468-2047.