ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Psychology & Psychiatry

Training in Forensic Psychology Article Review

Updated on March 6, 2015

For my article review I chose to research the training of a forensic psychologist. To this end I chose to review the article titled: Formal training in forensic mental health: Psychiatry and psychology by Robert L. Sadoff and Frank M. Dattilio. “This article addresses the essential need for formalized education, training, and experience in the field of forensic mental health” (Sadoff & Frank M. Dattilio, 2012). The article discusses the history of forensic psychology and the fact that in the past many forensic experts have been lax about opining as experts in forensic forums without specific training in forensic matters. The article asserts that many people have called themselves forensic experts without obtaining formal training and experience. Formal training in forensic mental health: Psychiatry and psychology discusses the importance of formal education, training, and experience for those who pursue a career as forensic psychiatrist or psychologist (Sadoff & Frank M. Dattilio, 2012).

This article relates to the subject of forensic psychology by discussing the importance of formal education, training, and experience for those who pursue a career as forensic psychiatrist or psychologist (Sadoff & Frank M. Dattilio, 2012). According to the article the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has defined forensic psychiatry as “the psychiatric subspecialty that focuses on the interrelationship between psychiatry and the law (civil, criminal, and administrative law” (Sadoff & Frank M. Dattilio, 2012). A forensic psychologist’s or psychiatrist’s job could include the psychiatric evaluation of individuals involved with the legal system, specialized psychiatric treatment required for those incarcerated, and/or related education and research efforts (Sadoff & Frank M. Dattilio, 2012). In order for a forensic psychologist or psychiatrist to be able to practice forensic psychology he or she must have graduated from a forensic psychology program that offered advanced training that afforded sufficient opportunities for the resident to develop the knowledge, skills, clinical judgment, and attitudes essential to the practice of forensic psychiatry (Sadoff & Frank M. Dattilio, 2012). He or she must also have obtained clinical experience in: forensic evaluation, consultation to general psychiatric services, and treatment of those involved in the criminal justice system (Sadoff & Frank M. Dattilio, 2012).The training he or she received must also have focused on the “social and legal context for forensic work, both civil and criminal” (Sadoff & Frank M. Dattilio, 2012).

Formal training in forensic mental health: Psychiatry and psychology does not contain any form of research study. Instead the article uses statistics, data, and definitions from the Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL), the American Psychological Law Society (APLS), the American Board of Forensic Psychiatry, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The only instrument used to collect data for this article was surveys. The article does not discuss the surveys themselves, but rather the conclusions that were drawn as a result of the surveys. The article cites that the surveys of the forensic psychology training program “indicated a relative lack of depth and breadth of formal training programs in forensic psychiatry, with little or no field experience” (Sadoff, Thrasher, and Gottlieb, 1974). The article discusses the fact that many of the surveys done on forensic psychology training programs showed that most of the programs included numerous seminars and lectures, but few programs offered practical experiences in criminal areas of forensic psychiatry (Sadoff & Frank M. Dattilio, 2012). The conclusion reached in the article based on the results of numerous surveys of different training programs in forensic psychology was that forensic psychology programs were greatly lacking in areas of practical experience.

Robert L. Sadoff and Frank M. Dattilio used 22 references in Formal training in forensic mental health: Psychiatry and psychology. Robert L. Sadoff and Frank M. Dattilio used surveys, books, journals, and articles. Their list of references included: Board certification in forensic psychology and psychiatry: Separating the chaff from the wheat, the psychiatrist as expert witness, Crime and Mental Illness, Survey of teaching programs in law and psychiatry, and many other references.

The article Formal training in forensic mental health: Psychiatry and psychology by Robert L. Sadoff and Frank M. Dattilio is a reliable resource for any psychological paper. However it could be argued that this article is not entirely valid as it was written in 2012 and some of the information included in the article may be out of date. This article would be completely reliable and valid as a resource for a paper on the history of training in forensic psychology, but it would not be a valid resource for a paper on training in forensic psychology in 2014-2015.

The article itself was well organized; the article is split into six sections titled: introduction, psychology training and experience, licensure and board certification, vanity boards, conclusion/discussion. The different sections make it easy for the reader to find information without having to read the entire article. However that article itself is not what I would consider well written. The style of writing is somewhat choppy and there are no transitions between sections. The article also seems to discuss information from numerous sources without including new information. Formal training in forensic mental health: Psychiatry and psychology is a good summary of all of the information available on forensic psychology training up to 2012, but it lacks any new conclusions that would put it apart from other similar articles.

This article was greatly limited by the lack of new research, information, and statistics. The article could have been improved if the authors had included a third writer/editor with the purpose of make the article flow well. The first sentence in the article is: “The field of forensic sciences has burgeoned in the past four decades, including the science of questioned documents, fingerprinting and other scientific examinations in legal matters, particularly in criminal cases” (Sadoff & Frank M. Dattilio, 2012). This one sentence is meant to be the hook to draw the reader in, yet it falls flat and there is nothing to draw a psychology student in. The authors should have used a sentence that would make the reader desire to know more about the training of a forensic psychologist. The article could have been made more reader friendly with the use of transitions, expressions, and a good hook in the introduction. In its present form the article would be a useful resource in a paper on the history of training in forensic psychology, but it lacks the overall spark that would draw a reader in.

Sadoff, R. L., & Dattilio, F. M. (2012). Formal training in forensic mental health: Psychiatry and psychology. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 35(5-6), 343-347. doi:10.1016/j.ijlp.2012.09.010

Sadoff et al., 1974 R.L. Sadoff, J. Thrasher, D. Gottlieb Survey of teaching programs in law and Psychiatry. The Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (1974), p. 67

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    Click to Rate This Article