Although this volume is written alluding to the forensic psychologist or psychiatrist, the strategies for the witness are readily applicable in most instances to all mental health professionals. Issues such as therapist bias, unconfirmed observations, and cultural and ethnic factors, are clearly relevant to all who provide mental health services. Furthermore, chapter 13 is devoted specifically to challenges that nondoctoral witnesses may face in testifying. Thus, this volume is recommended reading for psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, marriage and family therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, school counselors, and vocational rehabilitation counselors as well as graduate students, interns, residents, and trainees in these mental health disciplines. Attorneys will also find value in reviewing the samples of mental health expert witness testimony throughout this book.
This book is intended for educational purposes only and is not a rendering of legal or other professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is desired, the reader should seek the assistance of a competent professional with knowledge of the law. Names and situations depicted in various scenarios throughout the book do not represent actual persons or legal cases.
Mental health professionals with interests in forensic work have been helped by several books that have preceded this one. The voluminous work by lawyer-psychologist Jay Ziskin is well-known, especially to attorneys who, thanks to Ziskin, are now even more formidable in the courtroom when challenging mental health witnesses. Books by Theodore Blau, Stanley Brod:D sky, Michael Maloney, Gary Melton and his associates, Richard Rogers and David Shapiro are valuable resources, and we are grateful to these authors for many of the ideas included in this book. We want to thank especially our friends and colleagues, Howard Luke, Jack Annon, and Kenneth Nakano, for their encouragement and critique of our material. Finally, our efforts to complete this book could not have occurred without the support of our wives, Jean Tsushima and Demetria Leong-Anderson, and we want to acknowledge our appreciation to them.
William T. Tsushima Robert M. Anderson, Jr.