WU Ethical Guidelines for Forensic Psychology Professionals Essay

Conducting forensic mental health assessments can be quite detailed and complicated and different from clinical evaluations. Part of the complication relates to learning about varied aspects of the legal system and then determining how psychological guidelines and principles fit within this system. This week’s readings provide a number of excellent guidelines for use when conducting forensic psychological assessments. The guidelines were developed by forensic professionals with many years of experience and are meant to provide a standard for working in various sectors of the legal system.

In this Discussion, you will apply your knowledge and understanding of the American Psychology-Law Society Forensic Specialty Guidelines (AP-LS) pertaining to ethical issues within forensic psychology. You will consider the question: How do forensic psychology evaluations differ from clinical psychology evaluations? In addition, you will consider which of the guidelines you may find most professionally and personally challenging, and how you might responsibly and realistically overcome those challenges (for example, if you lived in a small town, you might experience challenges in avoiding dual relationships). You will also review your own state’s or region’s guidelines from your psychology boards to understand if there are differences between the expectations of forensic psychology professionals and clinical psychology professionals conducting assessments.

To prepare

  • Review the Learning Resources.
  • Review state laws and case laws pertaining to ethical guidelines for forensic assessment utilizing the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology listed in your Learning Resources.
  • Review your own state laws (or local laws if you are an international student) pertaining to forensic assessments and the differences between forensic and clinical professionals’ use of assessments.


de Ruiter, C., & Kaser-Boyd, N. (2015). Forensic psychological assessment in practice: Case studies. New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Chapter 1, “The Forensic-Clinical Psychologist as Expert in Criminal Court” (pp. 1–18)

American Psychological Association. (2010). Ethical Principles of Psychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved from 


American Psychological Association. (2015). APA Ethics Committee statement — No defense to torture. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ethics/programs/statement/tortu…

American Psychological Association. (2016b). Membership in APA. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/membership/index.aspx

Note: Joining the APA is optional, but highly recommended.

American Psychological Association. (2016a). Guidelines for child custody evaluations in family law proceedings.

Hugaboom, D. (2002). The different duties and responsibilities of clinical and forensic psychologists in legal proceedings. The Review, 5(1), 27–32. Retrieved from http://fisherpub.sjfc.edu/ur/vol5/iss1/4

Silber, B. (2016). What’s the difference between forensic and clinical psychological evaluations? Retrieved from https://www.psychological-evaluations.com/post/201…

Weiner, I. B., & Otto, R. K. (2013). The handbook of forensic psychology (4th ed.). New York, NY: Wiley.

  • Chapter 3, “Accessing the Law and Legal Literature” (pp. 35–56)

Weiss, R. A., & Rosenfeld, B. (2012). Navigating cross-cultural issues in forensic assessment: Recommendations for practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 43(3), 234–240. doi:10.1037/a0025850.

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