Crossfire! How to Survive Giving Expert Evidence as a Psychologist

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Australian Academic Press, 2008 - Psychology - 100 pages
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As psychologists, we are highly trained mental health professionals. In the consulting room we are generally ‘in control’ and have a good feel for what is happening. However, in a court of law, it can be quite frightening as anything can happen. The vulnerability we feel in a courtroom is a professional vulnerability. This is because a psychologist can be made to think that his or her competence is on the line. This is not usually the case, but it is what it feels like. It is important for us to realise that in court it is our opinion that matters. But the process feels personal. This book is written to help you develop understanding and skills so that you can feel confident in presenting expert evidence. The format of the book is not simply to give you information, instead it is also structured to reflect the way psychologists can develop professional competence through supervision. You, the reader, will listen in on supervision sessions with Jason and Mary. The book includes practical suggestions and a focus on skills, as well as structured exercises to practise with peers. While it is not intended to be comprehensive, Crossfire!’s approach will touch on many of the issues that are important in the legal process. Its particular focus is enabling psychologists in Australia to feel confident in court.

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Jason is Forced to Attend Court
Jason in Supervision
Mary as an Expert Witness Supervision Session 1
Mary is in Court
Mary in Supervision Session 2
Different Barristers Same Tricks
A Judgment Understanding the Legal View of Expert Evidence
A Complaint is Made Against Mary
Towards Excellence
A Practice Report for Peer Supervision

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About the author (2008)

Bruce Stevens has been working in the field of forensic psychology since 1993, and has provided evidence in court over 300 times. In 1995 he founded the Canberra Clinical and Forensic Psychology practice, and he has supervised over 50 psychologists in training. He has lectured at both the University of Canberra and Australian National University. Bruce currently holds both research and teaching positions at Charles Sturt University and is a member of the College of Forensic Psychologists and the College of Clinical Psychologists of the Australian Psychological Society.

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