Solicitors will often decide to appoint a psychology expert witness in order to strengthen a case. With years of extensive study and clinical practice behind them, a psychology expert witness can fully understand and diagnose particular behavioural problems of an individual. Through this assessment they can identify an individual’s motivations or comprehend particular behaviours. A psychology expert’s professional standing is recognised by the court, meaning they can also give their independent opinion.
Choosing a psychology expert for your case can be a stressful and time-consuming task. When their role in your case is often crucial to ensure a fair trial, it is of great importance to find a psychologist whose expertise are directly associated to the case. As providers of psychology expert witnesses we want to share some useful pointers for how you can choose the most suited psychologist for your case.
Finding the right specialism of an expert witness psychologist can be complex. This is particularly the case in family law where issues are often multi-layered in psychological or social problems that have perhaps gone undiagnosed or untreated. It may be that a psychological evaluation has been called for by the court in a criminal or civil case. Additionally, it may be that the solicitor feels that performing one could be beneficial to the case by highlighting behavioural problems that up to now have not been recognised by the governing bodies who are not astute in psychological practices.
Within the umbrella headings of forensic, family, and clinical psychologist expert witness, there are further sub-specialties. It may be that you require a child psychologist whose clinical experience most recently and extensively centres on ages 3-15. Alternatively you may need an adult psychologist whose expertise is in substance misuse, for example. When researching your psychology expert, be specific.
‘Psychologist’ is not a title protected by UK law; that means technically anyone can claim to be a psychologist. However within psychology there are a number of titles which are protected and can be depended upon to a far greater extent to strengthen your case. The following titles are protected by law, and registered with Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC):
• Practitioner psychologist
• Registered psychologist
• Clinical psychologist
• Counselling psychologist
• Forensic psychologist
• Health psychologist
• Occupational psychologist
• Sport and exercise psychologist
Beyond their professional status, it is essential to also scrutinise the psychology expert’s CV, where you should expect to see a full record of qualifications and registration with professional bodies such as British Psychology society and the HCPC. You may also consider asking for sample reports to be provided, and proof of relevant published research in recognised journals and/or recent professional clinical experience in the specialist areas of your case. Where the psychologist expert witness has previously acted as such, you can ask for references or to speak to the lead solicitor of their latest instruction. In doing so, you can validate the psychologist’s claim to professionalism and dedication to your case.
Your time is valuable, and as stretched as can be. At Foresight, we understand this. That is why we made it our mission to develop an extensive network of the UK’s leading accredited psychology expert witnesses who not only meet the British Psychology standards, but exceed them. As a client of Foresight you have access to the entire pool of psychological witnesses, and can always draw advice and skills from these psychology professionals who have the highest levels of educational achievements in their field. We will supply you with the most relevant CVs from our highly qualified and experienced psychology experts, at which point you can far more efficiently choose the best psychologist for your case. We pride ourselves on a fast turnaround without the loss of quality or integrity. That means if you need a psychology report produced quickly, you can let us know and we will be able to meet your deadline.
If you need a specialised psychology expert for your case, get in touch for a free consultation with one of our case managers.