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What is Forensic Psychology?

What is Forensic Psychology?

During the last years the interest in the Forensic psychology It has grown remarkably, mainly due to television series and programs such as "Criminal Minds" among many others, where experts in criminal profiles seem to have an almost psychic ability to develop personality and describe the behavior of murderers. But in reality the role played by Forensic Psychologists is not this, which leads to confusion about what their field of work is.

The main functions of Forensic Psychology

The collection, analysis and presentation of psychological evidence for legal or judicial purposes.

A Forensic Psychologist collaborates with the magistrates in carrying out evaluations and psychological-legal analyzes that are useful in the context of a trial.

For this reason a Forensic Psychologist You must have legal knowledge to carry out your tasks correctly and be able to work together with lawyers, prosecutors and judges. In this way, he can become an expert and testify as an expert in a trial, making his contribution to Justice.

In practice, the most frequent task of Forensic Psychologists is the psychological evaluation of individuals who are involved in one way or another with the legal system. Therefore, although it is necessary to have a training in law, the most important skills that a Forensic Psychologist are the knowledge of Clinical Psychology. That is, skills such as clinical evaluation, interviews, report writing, verbal communication skills (especially if an expert witness in court) and presentation of cases are very important in establishing the basis for the practice of Forensic psychology.

Other tasks they also perform are child custody assessments, competency assessments of the accused, counseling services for victims of crime, posttraumatic stress disorder assessment, and evaluation and implementation of intervention and treatment programs for criminals

One could say that one of the most "popular" evaluations of a Forensic Psychologist is the evaluation in legal cases of possible mental disorders of the accused. A person cannot be held responsible for a crime if he did not understand the size of his action and its consequences at the time of committing the criminal or criminal act.

The Forensic Psychologist must determine how the person is functioning at the present time, but also their mental state at the time of the crime. Therefore, much of the Forensic Psychologist's work is retrospective and you should rely on third-party information, collateral contacts and written communications (for example, statements made at the time of the crime), etc.

The Forensic Psychologist can also inform you about the treatment a convicted person should receive based on their clinical evaluations. In this way, the judge will have more tools to determine how to execute the sentence.

It is important to understand that Forensic Psychology can explain a person's behavior and offer that information to a court, but does not have the capacity or the power to defend, prosecute or prosecute an individual.