Clinical Assessment in Forensic Settings
The above cross-examination is typical of what a forensic expert witness can expect to face when testifying to the conclusions about a person’s behavior being consistent with what is expected for someone with a particular type of mental illness. If you only used a standard clinical evaluation as your data source, which may be appropriate in an initial clinical interview to develop a treatment plan, a forensic examiner is at a disadvantage. If you also administered several clinical tests to assess for mental illness, the forensic examiner can more effectively deal with the obvious question of the client’s inconsistent behavior, such as outright lying or pretending to feign psychopathology. However, if you also review documents such as police reports and witness statements that describe the client’s behavior at the time of the incident, then you can make statements that support your opinion. The more data sources you have, the more credible is the forensic opinion.
KeywordsCriminal Case Criminal Responsibility Personal Injury Legal Question Forensic Setting
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