Dr. Dana Formon

Adjunct Psychology Instructor, Forensic Evaluator at the Central State Hospital, Virginia

TEACHES IN THE FOLLOWING PROGRAM(S)

Behavioral Health Psychology

Biography

Dr. Formon is a full-time forensic evaluator with the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS).  She is also involved in the training of predoctoral interns and postdoctoral fellows, and provides educational opportunities to Colorado’s multidisciplinary team of forensic service providers.  She is actively engaged in research of criminal and forensic issues, to include: offender rehabilitation, positive psychology within correctional environments, competency to stand trial, mental state defenses, and the impacts of burnout and vicarious trauma on evaluators.  She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in forensic psychology at CDHS, conducting evaluations of competency to proceed, sanity, mental condition, and violence risk.  Her predoctoral internship was with the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, North Carolina (Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons), where she also completed forensic evaluations in addition to providing general psychological services to general population inmates, and individual and group therapy to civilly committed sexually violent predators.  While Dr. Formon does work hard, she plays even harder, and can be found training for marathons and triathlons in her free time. 

Education

  • 2020 – Colorado Department of Human Services, Postdoctoral Fellowship in Forensic Psychology
  • 2019 – Sam Houston State University, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
  • 2015 – Sam Houston State University, M.A. in Clinical Psychology
  • 2013 – Drexel University, B.S. in Psychology
  • 2020 – Southeast Missouri State University, B.F.A. Dance Performance

Areas of Specialization

  • Forensic psychology
  • Psychological assessment
  • Prison psychology
  • Offender rehabilitation

Scholarly and Professional Achievements

Publications:
Torres, L., Patton, C. L., Formon, D. L., Hashimoto, N., Gray, T. (In press). Forensic assessment in the time of COVID-19: The Colorado Experience in Developing Video Conferencing for Evaluating Adjudicative Competency. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law.
 
Schmidt, A. T., Lindsey, H. M., Dennis, E., Wilde, E. A., Biekman, B. D., Chu, Z. D., Hanten, G. R., Formon, D. L., Spruiell, M. S., Hunter, J. V., & Levin, H. S. (In Press). Diffusion tensor imaging correlates of resilience following adolescent traumatic brain injury. Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology.
 
Pirelli, G., Formon, D. L., & Maloney, K. (2020). Preventing vicarious trauma (VT), compassion fatigue (CF), and burnout (BO) in forensic mental health: Forensic psychology as exemplar. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. doi: 10.1037/pro0000293
 
Yasuhara, K., Formon. D. L., Phillips, S., & Yenne, E. M. (2019). Development of a measure of mental health stigma including police behaviors. Psychiatry, Psychology, and Law, 26(4), 520-529. doi:10.1080/13218719.2018.1507845
 
Formon, D. L. & Henderson, C. (2018, Winter). A Survey of Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) treatment practices in juvenile treatment programs. New Jersey Psychologist, 68, 14-15.
 
Formon, D. L., Schmidt, A. T., & Henderson, C. (2018). Examining employment outcomes of offender and non-offender vocational program graduates. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 62(9), 2781-2800. doi: 10.1177/0306624X17735041
 
DeMatteo, D., Edens, J. F., Galloway, M., Cox, J., Smith, S.T., & Formon, D. (2014). The role and reliability of the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised in U.S. sexually violent predator evaluations: A case law survey. Law and Human Behavior, 38(3), 248-255. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000059
 
Formon, D.  (2012).  Bruises, costumes, auditions, and quick changes – Dancers as a subculture? The 33rdPhiladelphia, PA: Drexel Publishing Group.
 
Presentations:
Formon, D. L. (2021, March). Strengths-Based Offender Rehabilitation: The Good Lives Model. Invited lecture provided to masters-level students at Denver University. Denver, CO.
 
Formon, D. L. (2020, December). Introduction to Positive Psychology.  Invited presentation given to the CDHS Forensic Services Team. Pueblo, CO.
 
Formon, D.L. (2020, November). Practical Application of the Good Lives Model.  Invited presentation given to the CDHS Forensic Services Team. Pueblo, CO.
 
Formon, D.L. (2020, April). Introduction to Inpatient Psychological Care.  Invited presentation given to masters-level students at Denver University. Denver, CO.
 
In addition, Dr. Formon has presented research during the annual conferences of the American Psychological Association, and American Psychology-Law Society on 16 occasions.
 

Service to Carroll University and Profession

  • March 2019 - Present – Peer-Reviewer for Law and Human Behavior
  • June 2018 - Present – Peer-Reviewer for International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
  • June 2017 - August 2020 – Graduate Student Reviewer for Translational Issues in Psychological Science
  • May 2016 - May 2017 – Student Co-Extern for the Sam Houston Area Psychological Association
  • May 2015 - August 2017 – Comunications Officer for the American Psychology-Law Society Student Committee
  • September 2014 - September 2015 – Psi Chi Graduate Student Mentor

Honors and Awards

  • August 2018 – APA Division 18 (Criminal Justice Section) Dissertation Award
  • November 2015 – Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award Nominee
  • May 2015 – AP-LS Student Research Travel Award
  • April 2015 – Most Impactful Research, SHSU Graduate Research Exchange
  • August 2013 – AP-LS Undergraduate Paper Award (First Place)

What is your teaching style?

I consider my style to be highly interactive and energetic. Borderline eccentric, if you will. I think it’s easiest to learn, and therefore easiest to teach, when everyone is having fun and digging into every content area in class in a way that excites them and leaves them with more questions than when they started. 
 

Why do you do what you do?

I’ve been so fortunate to have so many wonderful supervisors and instructors during my formative training years, that it has inspired me to follow suit. Additionally, I am a huge psychology nerd and will welcome any and all opportunities to share my love of this subject with others. I love teaching students to think critically and constantly evaluate the veracity of things they read, hear, and see. It is what makes for good clinicians and good researchers, and it is they who will form the bedrock of the mental health profession! 
 

How do you make learning engaging?

I like utilizing content from unexpected areas: Podcasts, YouTube videos, pop culture, mainstream science reporting, etc. It reminds us that science and critical thinking opportunities are all around us! I also like to find ways to incorporate students’ unique interests into a course’s subject matter, because learning doesn’t only have to be about what the instructor thinks is fun or exciting. Additionally, I thrive on class discussions and group learning, because it helps to foster the skills students will someday need to be an active and contributing member to a clinical treatment or research team. I may also *accidentally* leave a picture or two of my dog in my presentations from time to time…
 

What should students know about you?

I wholeheartedly believe there is no such thing as a stupid question. Being a student (regardless of where you are at in life) is the time when you really can ask all the questions, test all the hypotheses, and make mistakes. That is your job as a student!  Developing the willingness to try something, or ask a seemingly silly question, is so important to your professional development in the long run. For this reason, I strive to create a safe learning environment where people can actively participate, think, question, and explore new ideas without having to worry about the voice in their head telling them they might be wrong. 
 
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