Forensic training and practice

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diplomate, forensic, internship, postdoctoral, specialty, training


The recognition by the American Psychological Association (APA) of Forensic Psychology as a Specialty is a significant landmark for the field. This recognition has resulted from the development of a substantial body of professional literature and specialized knowledge. The foundation for these advances was laid in the decades of the 1970s, with the establishment of the American Psychology-Law Society (later recognized as Division 41 by APA) and the American Board of Forensic Psychology (which subsequently became a specialty board of the American Board of Professional Psychology). This chapter describes the state of the field in terms of both practice and formalized training. The areas of practice within both Forensic Psychology (application of clinical specialties) and Legal Psychology (application of experimental specialties) are described. Current training paradigms, including graduate education, internships, postdoctoral fellowships, and continuing education activities, are discussed. Since this training is not yet formalized, recommendations are made for developing an integrated model of training, consistent with the recognition of Forensic Psychology as a Specialty. This model will continue to emphasize the importance of a basic, broad-based clinical foundation for practice. In addition, an argument is made for the need to develop an agreed-upon standard for “Diplomate” status.