Proper and Improper Uses of Therapists in Child Custody and Access Disputes

The Family Court and attorneys regularly assign community therapists to provide information concerning a child’s visitation. Apparently judges and attorneys think that is what therapists are there for. These assignments usually involve reimbursement by a third party payor (i.e., health insurance).

This practice blurs the lines between clinical and forensic roles, often involves therapists who have not determined the legal custody, not seen both parents, and who may have no training in court-involved therapy. This situation poses serious danger to therapists and creates situations where therapists are providing biased information in the already fraught legal situation.

These two power point presentations (PDF) describe the issues and proffer solutions to both courts and practitioners to insure quality and ethical practice.

2009 – HPA Symposium Swimming with Sharks

2017 – Proper and Improper Use of Therapists in Child Custody and Access Disputes


R-PAS Materials for Case Comparison: Methamphetamine Psychosis vs. Schizophrenia

Here are the R-PAS protocols and response sheets for the two cases reported in Acklin, M. W. (2016). The Rorschach in Multimethod Forensic Assessment: Conceptual Foundations and Practical Applications. B. Evans & R. Erard (Eds.). New York: Routledge. Meth Psychosis_R-PAS_11_12_2014 Schizophrenia_R-PAS_10_14_2013


Cognitive Impact of Sleep Problems

Poor sleep is pervasive in Americans. Sleep problems are commonly encountered in psychotherapy patients. A recent meta-analysis examined the cognitive impact of sleep apnea, a common problem in adult men and women. Most people do not sleep enough, many patients practice poor sleep hygiene, with adverse effects in their daily functioning, mood, and morale. Sleep […]


Shoddy Reliability of Forensic Evidence II: Systematic bias and judgment errors in forensic mental health evaluations

A new study hot off the press addresses “typical judgment errors” in forensic mental health reports (Iudici, Salvini, Faccio, & Castelnuovo (2015).The Clinical Assessment in the Legal Field: An Empirical Study of Bias and Limitations in Forensic Expertise, Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1831. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01831). Content analyses of forensic mental health evaluations revealed distortions in […]


Shoddy Reliability of Forensic Evidence I: Bite-mark forensics

Today’s NY Times (“Lives in Balance, Texas Leads Scrutiny of Bite-Mark forensics”; 12/13/2015) reports on the recent exoneration of a man imprisoned for 28 years, based on shoddy forensic bite-mark evidence. The ongoing crisis in forensic evidence and expert testimony–reflected in admissions that crime labs (including the FBI) use sloppy methods and unreliable science continues […]


Fatal Injury Caused by a Ram (Ovis Aries) Attack

The Journal of Forensic Science presents fascinating case studies of forensically-relevant pathology, crime scene analysis, and behavioral science. This study documents the death of an 83-year old Croatian man killed by a 4 year old, 120 kg ram. Cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries. The article emphasizes the rare but not insubstantial dangers […]


APA Torture Investigation Final Report

Attached in PDF and shown below is the complete text of the REPORT TO THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION: INDEPENDENT REVIEW RELATING TO APA ETHICS GUIDELINES, NATIONAL SECURITY INTERROGATIONS, AND TORTURE, dated July 2, 2015.  


Steady Progress in Neurolaw_Latest from the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience

Readers may be interested staying abreast of this cutting edge work. You can subscribe to the Neurolaw News. June 8, 2105 This message brings news about: A) Recent or Forthcoming Neurolaw Publications B) Neurolaw Media & News Clippings C) Conferences & Speaker Series D) Other Developments Recent or Forthcoming Neurolaw Publications 1. Melina R. Uncapher, […]


Dr. I. Dror’s keynote presentation at the 2015 APLS meeting in San Diego

The confluence of three decades of cognitive science and forensic decision-making is a very hot field of inquiry. Dr. Dror is a prominent researcher into decision-making in the forensic sciences and provides a sobering view of the state of forensic science and why this situation has been described as a “crisis” by the National Research […]


Significance of Combining Evaluations of Competency to Stand Trial and Sanity at the Time of the Offense

Chauhan, P., Warren, J., Kois, L., & Well-beloved-Stone, J. (2015). Psychology, Public Policy and Law, 21, 1, 56-59. This study examined the impact of conjoint CST and MSO evaluations on forensic examiner opinions. Readers are undoubtedly aware that contextual information may have a significant influence on examiner decision-making especially under conditions of uncertainty. The authors […]