Conducting forensic mental health assessments can be quite detailed and complicated and different from clinical evaluations. Part of the complication relates to learning about varied aspects of the legal system and then determining how psychological guidelines and principles fit within this system. This week’s readings provide a number of excellent guidelines for use when conducting forensic psychological assessments. The guidelines were developed by forensic professionals with many years of experience and are meant to provide a standard for working in various sectors of the legal system.
In this Discussion, you will apply your knowledge and understanding of the American Psychology-Law Society Forensic Specialty Guidelines (AP-LS) pertaining to ethical issues within forensic psychology. You will consider the question: How do forensic psychology evaluations differ from clinical psychology evaluations? In addition, you will consider which of the guidelines you may find most professionally and personally challenging, and how you might responsibly and realistically overcome those challenges (for example, if you lived in a small town, you might experience challenges in avoiding dual relationships). You will also review your own state’s or region’s guidelines from your psychology boards to understand if there are differences between the expectations of forensic psychology professionals and clinical psychology professionals conducting assessments.
- Review the Learning Resources.
- Review state laws and case laws pertaining to ethical guidelines for forensic assessment utilizing the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology listed in your Learning Resources.
- Review your own state laws (or local laws if you are an international student) pertaining to forensic assessments and the differences between forensic and clinical professionals’ use of assessments.