Specialisation within specialisation? Thoughts on the content of contemporary forensic psychology programs
Powell, Martine, Bartholomew, Terence and McCabe, Marita 2003, Specialisation within specialisation? Thoughts on the content of contemporary forensic psychology programs, International journal of forensic psychology, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 154-159.
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This paper provides details of, and the rationale for, a Doctorate of Forensic Psychology recently developed at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. The course prioritises training in psycho-legal issues with children and young people. In discussing this program, the presenters identify two issue that guided the development of the program. The first concerns the need to delineate forensic content from that in clinical programs, while still maintaining appropriate focus on the skills needed to work effectively in forensic settings. The second addresses the need for courses to acknowledge the marked diversity among forensic clientele and to develop competencies that lead to effective work practices with these sub-groups. In constructing the Deakin forensic program, it was noted that forensic psychologists required an increasing degree of expertise in the procedural and substantive aspects of the legal system. The authors propose that as forensic psychology gains momentum as a discrete area of expertise, there is an increasing need for practitioners to have a sound understanding of the legal institutions and practices they work under, as well as being able to apply specialist knowledge to particular sub-groups. This paper discusses these issues, and outlines how the authors sought to address them in their course curriculum.
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Field of Research
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
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