Crossfire!: How to Survive Giving Expert Evidence as a Psychologist
1 Jan 2008
Australian Academic Press
As psychologists, we are highly trained mental health professionals. In the consulting room we are generally 'in control' and have a good feel for what is happening. However, in a court of law, it can be quite frightening as anything can happen. The vulnerability we feel in a courtroom is a professional vulnerability. This is because a psychologist can be made to think that his or her competence is on the line. This is not usually the case, but it is what it feels like. It is important for us to realise that in court it is our opinion that matters. But the process feels personal. This book is written to help you develop understanding and skills so that you can feel confident in presenting expert evidence. The format of the book is not simply to give you information, instead it is also structured to reflect the way psychologists can develop professional competence through supervision. You, the reader, will listen in on supervision sessions with Jason and Mary. The book includes practical suggestions and a focus on skills, as well as structured exercises to practise with peers. While it is not intended to be comprehensive, Crossfire!'s approach will touch on many of the issues that are important in the legal process. Its particular focus is enabling psychologists in Australia to feel confident in court.