The 4 phases of forensic psychological expertise (and their characteristics)

These are the stages through which the expertise of a forensic psychologist develops.

Psychology professionals intervene in a wide variety of areas that go beyond psychotherapy. Forensic psychology is an example of this, since the work carried out in it, although indirectly related to mental health care, has its own entity within the labor and judicial world.

In this article, we will see what are the stages of forensic psychological expertise, a key process within forensic psychology.

The main stages of forensic psychological expertise

The fundamental tool that forensic psychologists have is the psychological expert report, an essential document in the forensic field. It is a document that includes relevant information for justice and also for some public and private entities; for example, whether or not a person presents psychological alterations or has presented them at some key moment in the past.

Thus, the psychological expert report is a legal, scientific, personal and non-transferable document that functions as an essential tool to resolve psychological issues in the judicial field, and also to provide the necessary information in investigations based on questions about the rights and obligations of women. parties involved.

But to prepare and use a report of this type well, the forensic psychological expertise must go through several stages. They are as follows.

1. First interview

The first phase of the forensic psychological expertise consists of a general analysis of the situation through an initial interview, in which psychologists carry out an evaluation of the case in its entirety, as well as the current situation and the feasibility of starting (or not ) forensic psychological expertise.

In addition to that, in this first phase, a first assessment of the documentation provided by the client is carried out and the confidentiality and data protection agreement is signed.

2. Evaluation and analysis of the documentation provided

In the second phase of the report, one or more in-depth expert interviews are carried out, unlike the previous phase, where the facts and causes that motivate the request for the report were analyzed, as well as the history of the person evaluated.

In addition, in this phase, the forensic psychologist performs an exhaustive analysis of the documentation provided by the client (estimating its validity taking into account the objective) and the pertinent psychometric tests are carried out, in order to standardize the information and draw scientifically valid conclusions.

In the second phase of the psychological expert report, the collaboration of other professionals can also be requested, including other forensic specialists and specialized criminologists.

3. Preparation of the report

Next, we move on to the report preparation phase, in which psychologist experts collect and put into words all the data obtained in phase 2, with the aim of reaching pertinent conclusions.

The report comprises the following phases.

3.1. Conclusions of the forensic psychological expertise

The first part of the report consists of a summary of the conclusions, which includes the most relevant ones so that the reader can identify the most important information at first glance.

3.2. Introduction, background and objectives of the evaluative psychological report

Next, the objectives and scope of the psychological report are presented, as well as a curriculum summary of the Cabinet that has prepared the document and of the team that has been involved in this task, if applicable.

This phase of the writing of the report also serves to locate the readers in the essential information and to present the necessary antecedents for the understanding of the situation.

3.3. Information sources, results obtained and signature

The last phase of preparing the report consists of a description of the documentation and other sources of information provided by the client, as well as the bibliography consulted.

In addition to this, this last section offers a discussion of the results obtained and the forensic conclusions and includes the signatures of the interested parties.

The 4 phases of forensic psychological expertise (and their characteristics)