13Jan 2022 by
In response to your peers, think about your ideas of competence and if they differ. Do you think this plays into the field professionally? Do you think it impacts the weight of an evaluation?
My Colleague post #1: Forensic psychology requires high ethical standards with a focus on issues such as clarification of roles, confidentiality, intended use of tests and actions and practices that meet legal standards and general practices for which they are trained. Kalmach and Lyons (2006) The new ethics code for the APA, (1992) list seven major issues of concern about forensic assessments, appropriate graduate training, competence in the use of standardized tests, using tests that fit the task, using tests that fit the individual, administering tests correctly, using computers appropriately in forensic assessment, and assessing and reporting factors that may affect the meaning of test findings. American Psychological Association (1992)
Forensic evaluations often will involve consideration of aspects of human behavior that are not normative and may be quite disturbing. In cases involving potential legal dispositions that are contrary to strongly held personal convictions (e.g., capital punishment), To perform forensic evaluations competently it is necessary to approach assessments with as much clinical impartiality as possible. Where such objectivity appears compromised, the forensic evaluator may consider whether to abstain from participating in the forensic evaluation. Kalmach and Lyons (2006)
Forensic psychology requires high ethical standards with a focus on issues such as clarification of roles, confidentiality, intended use of test and actions and practices that meet legal standards and general practices for which they are trained. Kalmach and Lyons (2006) Paying special attention to various issues including confidentiality, clarification of roles, informed consent and competence. Kalmach and Lyons (2006). Professionals who choose to participate in the legal symposium should ensure that their performance meets both the standards of general practice for their profession, and those pertaining to the forensic specialty.
Evaluations, must be based on sufficient data including a personal examination unless it is not practical. Tests used for evaluations must be reliable and validated. Also, the strengths and limitations of the test data must be discussed. Evaluations that are not valid or reliable are potentially harmful to the individual and can create a climate of mistrust and incompetency and could bring legal ramifications. One essential practice that can lead to ethical issues if that of informed consent. Psychologists obtain informed consent for assessment, evaluations, or diagnostic services, as described in Standard 3.10, Informed Consent, except when (1) testing is mandated by law or government regulations; (2) informed consent is implied because testing is conducted as a routine educational, institutional, or organizational activity (e.g., when participants voluntarily agree to assessment when applying for a job); or (3) one purpose of the testing is to evaluate decisional capacity. Informed consent includes an explanation of the nature and purpose of the assessment, fees, involvement of third parties, and limits of confidentiality and sufficient opportunity for the clients/patient to ask questions and receive answers. American psychological association (2010) To every rule there is an expectation and for the forensic practitioner the exception, occurs when an evaluation is mandated by law or court-ordered evaluations. Because the client is ordered to participate in the evaluation he or she is not there on a voluntary basis, and is not consenting to the evaluation. In order to ensure trust and confidence in the process these clients do deserve to be told about the evaluation process. Van Heyningen, (2017) When psychological services are court ordered or otherwise mandated, psychologists inform the individual of the nature of the services, including whether the services are court ordered or mandated and any limits of confidentiality, before proceeding. The American Psychological Association Code of conduct, 9.03(a) explains the nature and purpose of assessment including fees, third party involvement, limits of confidentiality and informed consent.t. In the case of court ordered evaluations it is not imperative that the examinee fully understand the disclosure provided however, in order to avoid acting unethically every effort should be made to facilitate that understanding. If it is clear, that the defendant does not understand the disclosure, this should be noted in the final report. In the event that a defendant has refused to participate, the forensic psychologist might want to consult with the examinees attorney to facilitate his or her cooperation. Where there is neither a court order nor a statutory mandate for the evaluation, informed consent is generally required. In cases where the examinee is not competent to provide such consent, counsel should be consulted regarding the possibility of consent by an authorized third party. Kalmach and Lyons (2006) Special consideration must be provided for those who cognitive limitations prevent them from being able to consent or understandable (e.g. mental retardations, mentally ill individuals or juveniles) To ensure trust in the process and prevent harm or misunderstanding informed consent must be a priority before the evaluation begins and must be clearly understood by both forensic practitioner and person undergoing the evaluation to prevent the client from feeling discriminated against. The timing of informed consent as it happens at the beginning of the evaluation is critical to how the evaluation goes, the evaluators attitude, confidence (presence) and communication skills will set the tone for how successful the evaluation will go.
According to the APA dictionary competence occurs when one develops a repertoire of skills, especially as it is applied to a task or set of tasks. And (in law), the capacity to comprehend the nature of a transaction and to assume legal responsibility for ones actions. I think one can develop competency through developing strong communication skills, maintaining objectivity, developing and using critical thinking skills, paying special attention to details and developing compassion and empathy. And being culturally sensitive. It is equally important for the forensic practitioner to have a good develop strong understanding of his. Her field of specialty and what fields outside that might apply to his/her field like sociology, law, criminology, to stay current on what is going on in his/her specialty and in general psychology and to develop a working relationship with others with whom he or she can exchange and share ideas. Competency has a huge effect of an evaluation. Knowing what assessments to use could mean the difference between being diagnosed with a specific disorder or being deemed insane. I would not want to undergo an evaluation that could alter my life with an evaluator who did not know everything about the assessments he/she was administering or how to explain the scores. I believe that the evaluator needs to be up front and honest about why I am taking this evaluation, who else will see it and what the results could mean. These skills can be developed through getting a good education, having strong mentorship, knowing where and how to get support and having a high standard of ethics and applying all these to your practice.
Kalmach, K.C. and Lyons P.M., (2006) Ethical issues in conducting forensic evaluations
Van Heyningen, J., (2017) Ethics for psychologist: The importance of informed consent
For psychological services https://nationalpsychologist.com
My Colleague post #2: A major ethical issue that could arise when conducing forensic evaluations is the issue of informed consent. When conducting a forensic evaluation, informed consent is often not legally required (Kalmbach & Lyons, 2006). Informed consent is required unless the evaluation is court ordered and/or statutorily required (Kalmbach & Lyons, 2006). When going through the countless ethics classes and research classes required, consent is always needed. So to see that it is not legally required makes me feel uneasy, because of it be instilled in every part or my being from the beginning of time (bachelors degree). Instead of obtaining consent, the individual who is being evaluated is given a discloser.
To be competent means to have the necessary education, training, and experience in order to do a job correctly and successfully. In order to be considered competent, the individuals who is being considered as an expert should demonstrate some combination of the following: education and training, reading ad research in the area of specialization, supervisory hours with relevant experience, relevant work experience, and publication of scholarly works in area of specialization (Kalmbach & Lyons, 2006). It is vitally important to be competent any field. Especially in the psychology professional field. It could impact an evaluation in a positive and/or negative way. If an individual works inside their level of your competency and have the integrity to do the job correctly, the impact should be positive and could help the case. If they go above their level of competency or dont have the competency, the impact could be negative and do more harm than good for the case. I believe that becoming competent begins with education and training and works its way up through the years. Specializing in a field and mastering it through work, education, supervision and training.
Kalmbach, K. C., & Lyons, P. M. (2006). Ethical issues in conducting forensic evaluations. Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice, 2(3,SpecIss), 261290.
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