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JACKSONVILLE, FL, March 05, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Professional Development Resources, a national provider of accredited continuing education units for psychologists, social workers, counselors, speech-language pathologists, and occupational therapists, has announced a new addition to its CE curriculum for health professionals: Forensic Psychology - Archives from The National Psychologist, Part 1. The course is authored by a variety of writers who specialize in forensic psychology. The course was produced jointly with The National Psychologist.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), forensic psychology is the professional practice by psychologists, when they are engaged as experts and represent themselves as such, in an activity primarily intended to provide professional psychological expertise to the judicial system. These psychologists work as professionals within the areas of clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology or another specialty recognized by the APA. Specialized knowledge for the practice of forensic psychology is required in three areas. These are:
- Clinical (e.g., diagnosis, treatment, psychological testing, prediction and intervention measurement, epidemiology of mental disorders, ethics)
- Forensic (e.g., response style, forensic ethics, tools and techniques for assessing symptoms and capacities relevant to legal questions)
- Legal (e.g., knowledge of law and the legal system, knowledge of where and how to obtain relevant legal information).
"Psychologists who would like to establish a specialty practice in forensics must receive specialized training in the field," says Leo Christie, PhD, president of Professional Development Resources. "They cannot simply announce to the world that they are now forensic psychologists. Specialty guidelines set forth by APA in 2011 require that candidates demonstrate unique skills and understand the nature of the legal system, the complexity inherent in assuming forensic roles in a legal matter, the demand for objectivity in testimony in a legal proceeding and recognition of the limits placed on testimony when psychologists operate as witnesses."
There are many opportunities to work in forensic psychology. Examples include a solo or group practice, clinical or trial consultation, correctional psychology in a jail or prison, city, county, state, and federal law enforcement, court evaluation, workers' compensation claims, policy making and consultation in mental health centers or state hospital work. One of the most important concepts to note is that a good forensic psychologist is a good psychologist, seeking the most accurate answers to difficult questions, utilizing all available data, keeping diversity in mind, providing trauma informed services, understanding the ethical, legal and clinical implications and striving to protect human rights.
A related issue is the question of what does NOT constitute forensic psychology. Psychologists increasingly are testifying in courtrooms. While this is good for the profession and a reflection of how the legal system respects what we have to say, it can be very risky. Those who testify need to be aware of the limits of their skills and have respect for the established reality that forensic psychology requires a unique skill set. While testimony in court is clearly a forensic service, it does not constitute the practice of forensic psychology. Treating psychologists who find themselves testifying in court can provide valuable information to the trier of fact without making recommendations that violate the boundaries created by their clinical services or by placing themselves in a professional dilemma.
The new Professional Development Resources online CE course Forensic Psychology - Archives from The National Psychologist, Part 1 includes nine archived articles dealing with various aspects of forensic psychology. Topics include: "Creating a forensic subspecialty;" "Veterans treatment courts quickly expanded;" "Providing mental health services in corrections;" "Mental health again is issue in gun control debate;" "Florida adopts Daubert standard for expert testimony;" "Ethics, psychology and the prison mess;" "Forensic psychology IS a specialty;" "The violence carousel keeps going around and around;" and "Forensic opportunities abound." This course is intended for psychotherapists of all specialties.
About Professional Development Resources, Inc.
Professional Development Resources is a Florida nonprofit educational corporation founded in 1992 by licensed marriage and family therapist Leo Christie, PhD. The company, which is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) - as well as many other national and state boards - has focused its efforts on making accredited continuing education units more cost-effective and widely accessible to health professionals by offering online home study coursework. Its current expanded curriculum includes a wide variety of clinical topics intended to equip health professionals to offer state-of-the art services to their clients.
Leo Christie, PhD, CEO
Professional Development Resources, Inc.
Professional Development Resources, Inc. is a Florida nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. Our mission is to provide busy health care professionals with accredited continuing education units on topics that are vital to contemporary clinical practice. In addition to our staff, we have a Professional Advisory Board consisting of accomplished professionals representing disciplines for which we offer our CEU credits. We are located in Jacksonville, Florida. Federal Tax ID 59-3138625.
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