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Doing Forensic Psychology Evaluations - preparation points

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As a forensic psychology professional, you will most likely work within civil courts at some point; therefore, you must understand how to plan a prior (or, prior to) when conducting a forensic psychology evaluation. There are many methods for planning and conducting forensic psychology evaluations. However, certain steps are imperative and must be included in an evaluation to ensure that it is adequate. In this Discussion, you review forensic psychology evaluations applicable to the civil courts and learn how to plan for them. The "Keys to Evaluation Planning" document located in this week's Learning Resources provides information that is important to this and similar future assignments related to evaluation planning in criminal and juvenile courts.

an explanation of how you would plan for evaluation of the individual in the vignette you selected based on the information provided. Be very specific. Then explain what you think would be the most important aspects of that planning. Finally, explain what insights you have gained about evaluation planning.

Vignette 1

An attorney calls and tells you that her firm represents a textile company that makes men's suits. The company has a worker who has been employed there for 20 years, but he has been on long-term disability for 3 years due to the pain he experiences from carpal tunnel syndrome. More recently, the disabled employee has claimed to have additional problems with depression and panic attacks. The attorney tells you there were recent attempts to discontinue the employee's disability due to lack of medical necessity. The attorney requests an independent medical examination (IME).

Vignette 2

The treating psychologist of a police officer refers the officer to you for an evaluation. The police officer has been seeing the treating psychologist for work-related stress. The referring psychologist is concerned that the officer may present a risk of violence toward her supervisors, with whom she is very angry. The psychologist is not adept at evaluating such matters and thinks it may be a conflict of interest to be the officer's treatment provider and evaluator, thus prompting the referral to you to conduct a risk assessment evaluation on this police officer.

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Evaluation Planning: Forensic Psychology Court Vignette

According to Bartol and Bartol (2011) there are 3 main roles performed by forensic psychologists in court as follows - "competency evaluations, assessment of mental state at the time of the offense (sanity evaluations), and pre-sentencing evaluations." Of these, the forensic mental health assessments (FMHAs) are the most requested, especially the assessment that requires evaluating competency to stand trial, referred to as adjudicative competence. Bartol & Bartol (2011) advise that, "Research indicates that most competency evaluations are court ordered and that no more than one evaluation is performed, although some jurisdictions do require at least two evaluations." Often it is defendants with a history of mental disorders or those presenting signs that are evaluated ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) on the topic of preparing for a forensic psychology evaluation in a police psychology practice setting. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Forensic Psychology

To further understand the differences between competency and insanity, as well as the challenges of prosecuting mentally ill offenders, consider the following questions:


What do you think are some of the difficulties in prosecuting mentally ill offenders? (At least 250 words)


What types of questions would you ask a defendant to assess his or her competence to stand trial? (at least 250 words)

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