Forensic psychology: Is it the career for me?

Posted on September 16, 2014

Forensic psychologists are licensed clinical psychologists who specialize in applying psychological knowledge to legal matters, both in the criminal and civil arenas. They hold graduate degrees in psychology, most often a PhD or a PsyD.

Forensic psychology is a subdiscipline of psychology. It has its own professional organizations, training programs, and research journals. Forensic psychologists are found in academia, public service, and the private sector.

Forensic psychologists assist in a wide variety of legal matters, including:

- mental state examinations of criminal defendants (insanity, competency to stand trial, etc.)

- child custody/family law

- violence risk assessment

- civil law (personal injury cases)

- social science research (e.g., explaining a scholarly topic such as memory research to a jury)

- mediation/dispute resolution
- jury selection

... and many more

Becoming a successful forensic psychologist requires, at minimum, the following: solid clinical psychology training and experience firm grounding in scientific theory and empirical research (understanding of scientific validity, research design, statistics, and testing) critical thinking skills thorough knowledge of social and cultural issues legal knowledge (including mental health law, case law, and courtroom procedures) excellent writing skills strong oral presentation skills ability to maintain one's composure under stress...

Click on the link below to learn more about forensic psychology and whether this is the career for you.

Category(s):Mental Health Professions

Source material from In the News