Suggestibility and Theory of Mind (ToM) in Clinical and Forensic Settings

Suggestibility and Theory of Mind (ToM) in Clinical and Forensic Settings


1 Hour | 1 CE (CEU)


Program Description

This webinar on Suggestibility and Theory of Mind (ToM) in Clinical and Forensic Settings is presented by Dr. Jerrod Brown.

Suggestibility is the predisposition to adopt the inaccurate views of others as fact when recalling memories. This phenomenon can present a host of problems in mental health (e.g., assessment and treatment) and criminal justice (e.g., false confessions and wrongful convictions) settings. Although the research is not conclusive at this point, one potential risk factor for suggestibility is low levels of theory of mind (ToM), particularly among youths. This is the ability to understand the mental states (e.g., emotions, intentions, and knowledge) of other people and, in turn, use this understanding to inform decisions and actions in social situations. The links between suggestibility and ToM may be traced to their shared origins in cognitive (e.g., executive function) and situational (e.g., social contexts) variables. The serious consequences of suggestibility in mental health and criminal justice settings warrant advanced training among the professionals that work in these contexts.

Intended Audience

This webinar is relevant for mental health professionals and legal professionals who want to understand how suggestibility can impact a defendant’s competence-related abilities, including those working in forensic, clinical, criminal justice, health care, social service, and educational settings. This webinar is for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

Upon completion of this webinar, participants should be able to:

  • Describe suggestibility and theory of mind
  • Describe the differences between the warning signs, risk factors, and etiologies of suggestibility and theory of mind
  • Describe appropriate screening and assessment practices for those with suggestibility and/or theory of mind issues
  • Describe how suggestibility and theory of mind issues can impact interactions with the criminal justice, forensic mental health, and legal systems
  • Describe the current state of research on suggestibility and theory of mind and identify pathways forward for research

About Dr. Jerrod Brown

Jerrod Brown, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor, Program Director, and lead developer for the Master of Arts degree in Human Services with an emphasis in Forensic Behavioral Health for Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota. Jerrod has also been employed with Pathways Counseling Center in St. Paul, Minnesota for the past sixteen years. Pathways provides programs and services benefiting individuals impacted by mental illness and addictions. Jerrod is also the founder and CEO of the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS) and the Editor-in-Chief of Forensic Scholars Today (FST). Jerrod has completed four separate master’s degree programs and holds graduate certificates in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Other Health Disabilities (OHD), and Traumatic-Brain Injuries (TBI). Jerrod has published numerous articles and book chapters, and recently co-authored the book Forensic Mental Health: A Source Guide for Professionals (Brown & Weinkauf, 2018) with Erv Weinkauf.

Webinar Outline

  • Discuss link between suggestibility and ToM
  • Review Consequences of suggestibility
  • Discuss Criminal justice settings

Continuing Education Credit

This Distance Learning Recorded Webinar is a Home Study Training Program. To earn CEs you are required to complete all course materials, quizzes, and the evaluation. No partial credit is available. A score of 70% is required to proceed; you will be able to re-take any quiz on which you score less than 70%. Participants will earn 1 CE hour upon completion of these requirements. Each participant will be able to download and print the CE certificate upon completion of the final evaluation.

Board Approvals: APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC. Click here for state and other regional board approvals.

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