The blend of psychology and the legal system is often referred to as forensic psychology. Forensic evaluations involve using my mental health expertise to provide expert written reports and testimony for legal purposes.
Forensic psychology is a sub-specialty of psychology. A clinical psychologist may work in the area of forensics which may include completing forensic evaluations, determining risk of an inmate or offender, completing pre-employment evaluations, providing expert testimony, completing workers’ compensation evaluations, custody evaluations, or work for a child protective services agency.
A forensic evaluation is almost always court ordered or referred to my office by a defendant’s attorney, government agency, or business. A clinical evaluation is typically conducted at the client’s request or may be completed at the request of a child’s parents or guardians or an adult client may be referred by a psychiatrist, medical doctor, or other provider. A clinical psychological evaluation is being performed usually with the understanding the assessment will benefit them and are voluntarily requesting it.
I provide consultation services related to psycho-legal issues. For example, when an attorney’s client is met with an unfavorable outcome on a psychological evaluation, consultation may be needed in determining the next step. Consultation can focus on pointing out flaws in methodology, application of psychological testing, or evidence of bias.