Therapeutic and Forensic Role Conflicts
Child Custody Evaluations Forensic Services

Therapeutic and Forensic Role Conflicts

Psychologists and other mental health professionals who provide therapy to patients involved in litigation are sometimes asked by attorneys to provide expert witness testimony. It may be appropriate for a therapist to testify when there are questions involving the nature of a patient’s symptoms, response to therapy, diagnosis, or prognosis. However, in other proceedings, such…

Children Who Resist Parental Contact
Child Custody Evaluations Forensic Services

Children Who Resist Parental Contact

Many referrals that we receive for child custody evaluations include allegations of parental alienation (also commonly referred to as ‘child alienation’). This is a serious allegation that requires thorough, in-depth examination to determine the reason(s) that a child is resisting or refusing contact with a parent. If there is a legitimate basis for a child…

Symptoms and Sexually Abused Children
Forensic Interviewing of Children Forensic Services

Symptoms and Sexually Abused Children

Determining whether a child has been sexually abused can be a challenging and complex process. Child sexual abuse is not an encounter that causes specific, unambiguous symptoms or behavioral problems common to every child victim. Other factors that may make a valid determination difficult include the limited vocabulary of young children, the absence of definitive…

Research on Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse
Forensic Interviewing of Children Forensic Services

Research on Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse

Prevalence of Sexual Abuse of Children Despite widespread agreement that sexual abuse of children is a serious problem, disagreement exists about its prevalence. The true scope of child sexual abuse is difficult to measure because of inaccuracies inherent in the methodology of empirical research. For example, incidence figures from child protection agencies include only cases…

Questioning Strategies for Forensic Interviews of Children
Forensic Interviewing of Children Forensic Services

Questioning Strategies for Forensic Interviews of Children

When children disclose sexual abuse it is common for them to undergo a forensic interview, often at a child advocacy center with a professional who has received specialized training in interviewing children. A forensic interview is a structured conversation that is designed to obtain information from the child about an event the child has experienced….