Understanding When a Forensic Psychiatrist is Needed

There may come a time and point in your life where you realize that you are in need of a specialist who has studied forensic psychiatry. The thing about forensic psychiatrists is that they are not only trained in the field of psychiatry, they are also doctors as well. In addition to all of the schooling that they go through to become a medical doctor and psychiatrist, they also have extensive experience surrounding the legal system and the questions that are asked during court proceedings. A forensic psychiatrist may work for himself or herself or for a practice, but they are not in practice to help people on a regular basis as far as therapy sessions. They are more focused upon doing mental health or forensic evaluations requested by either the court systems, different institutions, etc.Image result for Understanding When a Forensic Psychiatrist is Needed

Different Determinations

While they do specialize in a broad range of services and determinations, they have the ability to work on wills, help or refuse medical treatment, the competence to dispose of property, etc. In particular custody cases they may pose a somewhat of a child’s advocate to ensure that their particular wishes and needs are being met. Evaluating people’s history is what they really look into and they are there to fully understand the history, events that have transpired, and the best plan of action as far as all parties involved are concerned.

Criminal Cases

As far as criminal cases are concerned. A forensic psychiatrist may be called upon to discern whether a person is perjuring himself or herself under oath. While many people know, there are not that many times where defendants do not win their sought after ‘not guilty pleas of insanity’ but this is where a forensic psychiatrist would really be able to help out the case. Specializing in body language, understanding people to the fullest.

The Overall Evaluation

The evaluation that is conducted by a forensic psychiatrist utilizes techniques and methods that clinical psychiatrists use. In addition to those techniques though a bunch of information is gathered from other sources and pieced together in order to decide what is really going on with the individual that is being evaluated.

Other Areas of Practice

There are additional areas in which forensic psychiatry is utilized which are but not limited to:

  • Child trauma/sexual abuse
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Contractual capacity
  • Evaluations of criminal insanity
  • Head and brain trauma/injuries
  • Claims of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Claims of police brutality
  • Boundary violations
  • Employment and emotional disputes surrounding the workplace

When law and psychiatry combine and meet in the middle, you will come to forensic psychiatry. There is a fine line between when a person of this caliber is required and nine times out of ten, it will be because the court or an institution ordered some type of evaluation. Serving as expert witnesses on the stand and consultants for both criminal and civil attorneys, their say holds a lot of weight by judges, juries and government officials.


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