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The goal of Forensic Psychology is to generate a product such as a forensic report or a testimony to provide information to the consumers, namely the attorneys, judges, jurors, or the hiring law enforcement agency to assist them in decision-making related to a law or statute. Forensic Psychology Services differ from clinical psychological services in several important ways.

The role of the Forensic Psychologist is to help the court and the attorneys without regard to the potential benefits to the defendant. In clinical settings as differentiated from forensic settings, the role of the therapist is to help the client. This distinction is perhaps the most important difference between Forensic Psychology and clinical psychology. Based upon this distinction, the Forensic Psychologist does not maintain a doctor-patient relationship with the defendant or legal client. Furthermore, in clinical psychology the role of the professional is to diagnosis and to treat. In Forensic Psychology, the role of diagnosis is generally less critical. Rather, in Forensic Psychology diagnoses are based on statutes which define the relevant behaviors of concern to the court.

Finally, therapists rarely question the truthfulness behind the patient’s statements. However, in Forensic Assessments, the motivation to consciously distort, deceive, or to respond defensively is readily apparent. Consequently, forensic Psychologists cannot take the word of the client unquestioningly. All information must be corroborated by seeking multiple sources of information.

To find out about the specific Forensic Psychology Services offered by Dr. Alberta, click on the SERVICES link in the navigation bar.