What Is Forensic Psychology?
Psychology encompasses a variety of concentrations, including the intersection of itself and the law. Forensic psychology is the application of psychology in matters of justice, civil and criminal. Someone working in this field can work in numerous professional settings and roles. Learn what forensic psychology entails below.
Forensic psychology is more than just figuring out the motivation of violent criminals. Professionals in this field may work with lawyers, offenders, victims, students, correctional agents, and more. Some may research how psychology influences the law and vice versa, carrying out studies in academic or governmental facilities. Regardless of where a forensic psychologist practices, many hold graduate degrees in psychology, law, or both. With a growing number of higher education institutions offering specialized forensic training programs, the number of working professionals is only set to increase.
Just as forensic psychology may be applied to a number of contexts, what a forensic psychologist actually does can vary greatly. The general foundation of forensic psychology is to understand the interplay of psychology and the law and, if possible, to lower the risk of dangerous behavior. Professionals may attend to the mental health of inmates, perform psychological screenings, or perform routine evaluations. They might also consult with prison, legal, and advocacy staff for future planning and preparation.
Forensic psychology also applies outside the prison setting. Attorneys often need forensic evaluations conducted, as well as opinions and recommendations provided, for their clients; police departments may need similar services for their employees and/or detainees. A psychologist in this field could be called upon to select jurors, determine a course of action in a domestic abuse case, or suggest sentencing parameters. These are just a few examples of where forensic psychologists might apply their skills.
Forensic psychology blends two fields, addressing critical issues in a variety of settings. With self-paced professional training at CONCEPT Continuing and Professional Studies at Palo Alto University, professionals in the field can earn a forensic psychology certificate and other relevant mental health training, developing invaluable skills and experience in the process. Learn more about our available online training programs.