Patricia A. Zapf, PhD

Patricia A. Zapf, PhD

Dr. Patricia A. Zapf, Ph.D. is Vice President for Continuing & Professional Studies at Palo Alto University (PAU). Prior to coming to PAU she was a professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York (CUNY) for 16 years, during which time she was instrumental in the development of a new doctoral program in clinical psychology with an emphasis in forensic psychology and served as the program’s first Director of Clinical Training. Prior to her time at CUNY, she was on the psychology and law faculty at the University of Alabama. In 2009, Dr. Zapf founded CONCEPT Professional Training with the mission of elevating the level of practice in psychology and related professions. In 2018, Dr. Zapf brought CONCEPT Professional Training to Palo Alto University to further its mission of continuing and professional studies in partnership with Palo Alto University.

Dr. Zapf is a past President of the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS; Division 41 of the American Psychological Association).  In 2006, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the science and profession of forensic psychology, she was named a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and a Distinguished Member of the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS). She has served on the board of directors for the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services, as an associate editor for Law and Human Behavior and as editor of the American Psychology-Law Society book series, as well as the International Perspectives on Forensic Mental Health book series. She has published 9 books and manuals and over 100 articles and chapters, mainly on the assessment of criminal competencies and forensic evaluation.

In addition to her research, she serves as a consultant to various criminal justice and policy organizations and has a private practice in forensic assessment. She has conducted over 2500 forensic evaluations in both the United States and Canada and has served as an expert witness in a number of cases. Dr. Zapf is the author of Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment: Evaluation of Competency to Stand Trial; editor of Forensic Assessments in Criminal and Civil Law: A Handbook for Lawyers; and Editor-in-Chief of the APA Handbook of Forensic Psychology. She served on the National Judicial College’s Mental Competency—Best Practices Model panel of experts and travels throughout the United States and Internationally to train legal and mental health professionals on best practices in forensic evaluation.

Dr. Zapf has published 8 books and manuals and over 85 articles and chapters, mainly on the assessment and conceptualization of criminal competencies. She was appointed Fellow of the American Psychological Association and Distinguished Member of the American Psychology-Law Society in 2006 for outstanding contributions to the field of law and psychology for her work in competency evaluation. In addition to her research, she serves as consultant to various criminal justice and policy organizations and has a private practice in forensic assessment. She has conducted over 2500 forensic evaluations in both the United States and Canada and has served as an expert witness in a number of cases, including the competency hearing of Jose Padilla.

Dr. Zapf is the author of Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment: Evaluation of Competency to Stand Trial; editor of Forensic Assessments in Criminal and Civil Law: A Handbook for Lawyers; and Editor-in-Chief of the APA Handbook of Forensic Psychology. She served on the National Judicial College’s Mental Competency—Best Practices Model panel of experts and travels throughout the United States and Internationally to train legal and mental health professionals on best practices in forensic evaluation.