Note: The Course Project Grading Rubric is located in the Course Information area. Be sure to use the Course Project Grading Rubric to guide your work.
Assessments in forensic and clinical contexts differ significantly, both theoretically and procedurally. For example, clinical assessments generally include willing participants while forensic settings quite often do not. It is important for mental health practitioners to have a thorough understanding of the differences. Often the distinction between these two types of assessments is blurred, resulting in procedural, ethical, and practical complications for the client and the practitioner.
One area of particular concern is malingering, which may be more important in forensic assessment than clinical assessment. The American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) manual of mental disorders defines malingering as:
“the intentional production of false or grossly exaggerated physical or psychological symptoms, motivated by external incentives”
Clients might malinger in a forensic context for some type of gain or to avoid an adverse event. The stakes are often high in forensic contexts so it is critical that a good forensic evaluation include an assessment of malingering.
The assignment this week is Section 1 of your Course Project. You analyze differences between clinical and forensic assessments. You also analyze the influence of malingering in forensic settings.
To prepare for this Assignment:
Review the American Psychological Association (APA) Specialty Guidelines.
Read the Greenberg and Shuman article about the conflict between therapeutic and forensic roles.
Read the Rogers and Granacher excerpt concerning assessing malingering.
Think about the differences between clinical and forensic assessments.
Consider the role of malingering in forensic settings.
Read the Course Project Description located in the left navigation area. Each week, you develop and submit sections leading up to the project’s final submission in Week 5. Be sure to reference the Course Project rubric located in the Course Information area. You are required to have the instructor’s feedback incorporated into the completed Course Project that you submit in Week 5.
Submit by Day 7 an informative PowerPoint presentation consisting of 4–10 slides, designed for an audience of attorneys, based on your course project specifications. Your presentation should:
Clearly delineate the components of a clinical psychological assessment.
Clearly delineate the components of a forensic psychological assessment.
Provide a summary table of the differences between clinical and forensic. assessments to ensure the lawyers can discriminate between the two types of assessments and when they would use each one.
Include a list of malingering characteristics and analyze the influence of these characteristics on a forensic assessment outcome. Describe one measure that might be used to assess the possibility of malingering in a forensic psychological assessment.
For this assignment, Course Project Section 1, you will receive a grade as well as feedback from your instructor. The feedback will inform your work as you go forward in the course and create your final presentation. Be sure to include your instructor’s feedback in your final Course Project submission in Week 5.
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