Forensic psychology is the interaction of the law and psychology. This can include providing assessment and therapeutic services. Therapy typically involves providing services to individuals who are court-ordered for therapy. Assessment work includes evaluations for the court systems.

Forensic psychologists conduct psychological evaluations based on referrals from attorneys and the courts system. When completing an evaluation, the focus is on the referral question. For example, does the defendant adequately understand the legal process so to properly aid in his or her defense? At the time of the crime, was the defendant suffering from a mental illness that impeded his or her decision-making abilities? Can a defendant’s symptoms of his or her mental illness or life circumstances act as potential mitigating factors? Has a past incident caused long-term trauma to the individual? These referral questions will determine the kind of evaluation that a psychologist will conduct with a defendant.

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