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Health Team

Forensic Psychology

Posted July 3, 2013

There are many fundamental aspects that are essential to ensuring a fair trial in today’s justice system. In both criminal and civil cases Forensic Psychology is used in a variety of ways, from offering consulting services to legal teams, to serving as expert witnesses during trial, or providing individual assessments. Forensic psychologists come from a range of academic and professional backgrounds and are often involved in many areas and stages of the justice system including family court, juvenile detention, civil court, and court-ordered evaluations.

The Forensic Services Department at Carolina Partners in Mental HealthCare offers these professional consultations and expert witness services around North Carolina.

The clinicians at Carolina Partners handle cases involving neurological, psychiatric and/or behavioral health issues with a wide range of specific expertise. This range of expertise is vital when considering a forensic psychologist. Depending on factors that vary from case to case, legal teams might need a psychologist with experience in more than one area. In most cases of expert testimony, it is important to find a forensic psychologist who is knowledgeable in both theoretical and applied contexts. Courts often require the expert testimony of a psychologist with years of experience treating patients if the trial involves an individual diagnosed with an officially recognized psychological disorder.

Carolina Partners newest addition to its forensic team is Sandeep Vaishnavi, MD, PhD. Dr. Vaishnavi’s area of expertise includes: Traumatic Brain Injury, Neurodevelopment Disorders, Dementia, ADHD, and more. He is triple board certified in Neurology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuropsychiatry.

Including these areas of expertise, common issues that forensic psychologists evaluate include personality disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, mental acuity, anger-related issues, and anxiety disorders. Among these areas Carolina Partners is proficient in Family Court, counseling to families referred by the court, Civil Court, Criminal Court, and evaluations of juveniles.

Court-ordered evaluations are one of the most common ways in which forensic psychologists are involved. During these court-ordered evaluations, the forensic psychologist conducts a battery of tests with the individual, depending on the standards of their profession as well as their own professional discretion. In a criminal case, the forensic psychologist will use the assessments to create a profile of the individual and determine whether they are psychologically able to stand trial. If so, they will then determine whether any psychological or neurological issues are present that would be mitigating or aggravating factors during trial. In a civil case, the forensic psychologist often conducts similar assessments but with the intention of determining liability rather than criminal intent or responsibility.

In all ranges of court cases, Forensic Psychology is vital to a fair trial. Exceptionally highly qualified professionals with a wide range of specific expertise, education, training and experience are available to help, especially with the most difficult of cases. Contact us for more information about the Forensic Department at Carolina Partners in Mental HealthCare.

Carolina Partners in Mental HealthCare is an advertising partner of WRAL.com, but each article is intended to be educational and informative in nature. 

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