Handbook of Forensic Assessment: Psychological and Psychiatric Perspectives

Handbook of Forensic Assessment: Psychological and Psychiatric Perspectives

Handbook of Forensic Assessment: Psychological and Psychiatric Perspectives

Handbook of Forensic Assessment: Psychological and Psychiatric Perspectives

Excerpt

As avid collectors of books on forensic mental health assessment for more decades than we may care to admit, we remain perplexed by two recurrent features of the genre: (1) an emphasis on research-based justification of forensic evaluations—at the expense of informing the reader how one actually conducts them; and (2) a discipline-specific focus on either psychology or psychiatry—at the expense of identifying the other’s unique and complementary contributions.

By contrast, John Wiley & Son’s Handbook of Forensic Assessment: Psychological and Psychiatric Perspectives adopts an overtly practicefocused and inclusive approach. For a comprehensive range of forensic applications in both criminal and civil cases, the reader will learn in each instance how the forensic evaluator engages in “preparation,” “data collection,” “data interpretation,” and finally “communication” of the results. Many will recognize these as the four broad stages encompassed by Professor Kirk Heilbrun’s wellestablished “Principles of Forensic Mental Health Assessment.” By addressing each of these stages in sequence on a chapter-bychapter basis, we respond to the question we hear most often from forensic clinicians at every stage of professional development: “How do I do this?”

Each chapter is written by both a psychologist and a psychiatrist in order to capture both disciplines’ goals and methodologies simultaneously. In the appendices, the reader will find several aids to making the most of this combined perspective, including a scientific glossary, a compendium of psychological tests, and examples of how a psychologist and a psychiatrist might address the same forensic inquiry either separately or in the context of a coauthored report. A glossary of legal terms is also provided.

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