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Forensic psychologists

Specific areas of practice

Forensic psychologists are scientist-practitioners. They apply psychological knowledge, theory and skills to the understanding and functioning of legal and criminal justice systems, and to conducting research in relevant areas. They often work in criminal, civil and family legal contexts and provide services for litigants, perpetrators, victims, and personnel of government and community organisations.

Forensic psychologists are employed in a variety of areas, including:

  • Courts and other tribunals.
  • Mental health (both general services and forensic mental health services).
  • Corrections (adult and juvenile, prisons and community).
  • Child protection.
  • Family services (e.g., family violence counselling services, parent training programs).
  • Alcohol and other drug services.
  • Rehabilitation services (e.g., pain clinics, head injury services).
  • Police.
  • Academia, research and policy organisations.
  • Private practice.

Skills and competencies of forensic psychologists

  • Collecting and reporting (both in written reports and oral) evidence of a psychological nature for use in legal and quasi-legal proceedings.
  • Psychological assessment and report writing.
  • Psychological formulation and diagnosis.
  • Psychological intervention (psychoeducation; individual, group and family psychotherapies; rehabilitation).
  • Program evaluation.
  • Forensic interviewing.
  • Research.