Forensic Neuropsychology in Practice: A guide to assessment and legal processes

Overview

Clinical psychologists and psychiatrists are increasingly being asked to prepare reports for legal purposes. These might involve issues regarding the clients own mental state at the time they committed the crime, or it might involve the neuropsychological effects of an injury to a third party. In addition, they might be looking at issues regarding impulsivity, and the role of underlying disorders, such as ADHD and antisocial or borderline personality disorders. These topics are typically the preserve of the field...

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Overview

Clinical psychologists and psychiatrists are increasingly being asked to prepare reports for legal purposes. These might involve issues regarding the clients own mental state at the time they committed the crime, or it might involve the neuropsychological effects of an injury to a third party. In addition, they might be looking at issues regarding impulsivity, and the role of underlying disorders, such as ADHD and antisocial or borderline personality disorders. These topics are typically the preserve of the field of forensic neuropsychology, yet for many, this discipline is seen as a highly specialized one beyond the scope and skill of the clinical psychologist. This book fills a major gap in the literature by providing a practical reference text for clinical and forensic psychologists and psychiatrists who are working in these important areas of forensic consultancy, and who need a working knowledge of neuropsychological assessment and legal processes. Topics include: aggression and violence; learning disabilities and developmental disorders—such as autism or ADHD; epilepsy; amnesia; alcohol and substance misuse, and traumatic head injury. In addition, the book looks at expert testimony, malingering, and other ethical and professional issues. It will help practitioners deal with the clinical and neuropsychological problems in the field and negotiate the legal labyrinths involved in issues such as competency, fitness to plead and stand trial, mental capacity, and mitigation. With chapters written by leading practitioners and clinicians that provide a synthesis of key knowledge and best practice in their areas, this thought-provoking and pragmatic guide will be essential for clinical and forensic neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, and lawyers.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: This is the latest in what has been a recent explosion of books in the area of forensic psychology and neuropsychology. The unique feature of this book is the U.K. practice perspective.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide clinicians with current, empirically based information on various diseases and disorders relevant for neuropsychological practice.
Audience: The audience clearly includes clinical neuropsychologists already engaged in forensic practice or considering entering this field. The authors appear to have clinical training and research experience in neuropsychology, and to some degree forensics, but their full credentials were not listed. Previous publications by these authors have been on a wide range of topics, from Korsakoff's syndrome to ADHD, without a particular focus on forensic neuropsychology.
Features: The book focuses mainly on clinical syndromes ranging from ADHD to epilepsy to traumatic brain injury. The authors attempt to provide a thorough review of the literature on these syndromes and they get within reach of this goal, but at times they fail to acknowledge major methodological flaws from a scientific perspective. In some cases, the authors refer only to each other's research as support with no evidence of independent verification or replication. Thankfully, limitations in knowledge, assessment techniques, and outcomes are acknowledged in some chapters (e.g., ADHD). Other chapters are woefully outdated and patently incorrect. For example, the traumatic brain injury chapter incorrectly identifies brain injury severity according to posttraumatic amnesia, and the discussion of methods to determine injury severity is incomplete. There is no distinction in the neuropsychological discussion between concussion and moderate to severe brain injury. In addition, the recovery timeframes for concussion are based on archaic studies and methodologically flawed research. Furthermore, discussion of MMPI-2 validity scales is deficient, which is broadly relevant for forensic work. Refreshingly, the chapter on malingering is spot on in its conceptual and ethical discussion, pertinence of references, and currency of information. The case studies at the end of this chapter are quite illuminating.
Assessment: There are a few strong chapters in this book, but there are also notable errors and omissions that are inexcusable in a book purporting to be a resource for forensic neuropsychologists whose work will come under scrutiny in court. Readers would be much better served by Clinical Neuropsychology in the Criminal Forensic Setting, Denney and Sullivan (Guilford, 2008).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198566830
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2009
  • Pages: 362
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Suzy Young is Programme Leader of the Institute of Psychiatry's MSc. in Clinical Forensic Psychology and an Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Broadmoor Hospital. She has served as an expert witness in a number of high profile legal cases, including the Jill Dando case, the Billy Joe Friend case, the Albert Newman case. She has been involved in over a hundred legal cases referred by Defence solicitors, the Crown Prosecution Service, Customs Prosecution Service, the Police, the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the Home Office National Offender Management Service and directly by the Court. Her evidence has been influential in the Court of Appeal. Michael Kopelman is a Fellow of the of the British Psychological Society and a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists; he was a founder member of both the Memory Disorders Research Society and of the Society of Expert Witnesses; and he is a past-President of the British Neuropsychological Society and President-Elect of the International Neuropsychiatric Association. He has also served on the Board of the International Neuropsychological Society, 1999-2002. He has served on 12 editorial boards, including Brain, Neuropsychologia, and Cortex, and he has refereed for over 60 scientific journals. Gisli Gudjonsson has published about 300 journal articles, 50 book chapters, and six books. He pioneered the measurement of interrogative suggestibility and has published extensively in the areas of police interviewing, psychological vulnerabilities and false confession. He has acted as a consultant in a large number of cases for the police, prosecution, Criminal Cases Review Commission, and defence lawyers, and provided written or oral testimony in many high profile cases, including the Guildford Four the Birmingham Six., Judith Ward, Engin Raghip, Idris Ali, Donald Pendleton, Andrew Evans, Derek Bentley, Darren Hall, Peter Fell, John Flanagan, Patrick Nolan, the UDR 4 and Patrick Kane in Northern Ireland, and Raymond Gilmour in Scotland.

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