Deposing a Mental Health Provider in Civil Lawsuits Involving Sexual Abuse Allegations

Eric L. Nelson and Philip I. Kaushall*

ABSTRACT: Civil lawsuits involving sexual abuse allegations, including plaintiffs with recovered memory claims and/or malpractice claims by retractors, generally include depositions of mental health providers. Such depositions can provide valuable information to the attorney. Areas that should be covered are discussed and lines of questions suggested.

Attorneys in civil lawsuits involving sexual abuse allegations, including plaintiffs with recovered memory claims and/or malpractice claims by retractors, frequently must depose treatment providers. Information gained in deposition can sometimes lead to a resolution of issues and a settlement without the need for a trial. A deposition also provides information about eventual trial testimony and indicates the strength of the issues involved.

Examples of false allegations of child abuse are emerging (Nelson & Simpson, 1994; Ceci & Bruck, 1995). There is increasing awareness of the vulnerability of adults, as well as young children, to suggestive questioning and therapy. Triers of fact are viewing more skeptically testimony of witnesses who "recall" previously "forgotten" sexual, physical, or ritual abuse, especially when techniques such as hypnosis and age regression were used to elicit these "repressed memories." They are more aware of the risks of therapy where the goal is to remember and talk about the alleged abuse. Previously unexamined methods of treating alleged victims of abuse are also under scrutiny by the courts and by professionals themselves. In some cases, juries are returning verdicts in the six figure range against therapists for allegedly shaping the testimony of clients who claim abuse under the rubric of "repressed memory therapy" (Eric Nelson, personal communication with multiple plaintiffs and plaintiffs' attorneys).

We are providing a framework for the attorney questioning a mental health practitioner under oath and for the therapist who may be involved in a lawsuit. In today's litigious climate and with the growing skepticism about the validity of testimony regarding memories of abuse, practitioners may be required to substantiate their opinions, reports, and evaluations. One major issue may be whether a therapist "implanted" the abuse memories in the mind of the client.

These deposition questions focus on the education and training of the therapist, because issues of training and philosophy have come to the fore in this area. Some therapists maintain that no one would make up such things and that young children cannot talk about sexual abuse if it didn't happen. They believe they must validate the client's belief system wherever it leads, without critical evaluation of "memories" to determine their historical veracity. They reason that the client's ego must be restructured — built up by unconditional love and understanding — by the therapist who takes the role of the client's surrogate parent.

Traditional Freudian theory, on the other hand, demands that reality and fantasy be separated and distinguished from each other whenever possible. The goal is to move towards reality-based thought and away from inner-directed thinking. Other psychological schools — such as the cognitive-behavioral approach — further equip the open-minded therapist with effective and reliable treatment techniques to help a client adapt to reality.

Unfortunately, a salient factor in the current confused child abuse zeitgeist is the weak academic and scientific training of many therapists, often a result of meager emphasis upon experimental research in some masters and doctoral level programs (Dawes, 1994). Rigorous training in the relevant hard sciences — statistics and research design and experimental psychology — are missing or neglected. Mental health practitioners frequently ignore the available research and disregard it in their treatment efforts (Campbell, 1994). Many clinicians believe that scientific findings are less relevant than intuition and experience, despite empirical evidence that neither accuracy of judgment nor success as a therapist may increase with experience (Dawes, 1989, 1994; Garb, 1989) Thus, a lack of interest in empirical research (as opposed to what many academics would characterize as "pop psychology") leaves many therapists isolated from the expanding knowledge base of their profession.

Prior to the deposition, the working papers of the therapist should be discovered. The subpoena requesting records should be worded to include all papers — each and every set of records maintained, including "private files"; all material and testing, including raw test data; all magnetic media, including audiotape, videotape, and computer files; and any and all matter and material related to the plaintiff in the possession of the therapist. All too often record keeping by therapists is minimal (Kaushall & Evans, 1996).

All records should be reviewed by a forensic analyst or forensic psychologist familiar with the relevant issues (child abuse, memory, suggestibility, coercion, and so on) in order to evaluate the competence of the therapist and to explore potential lines of questioning to pursue. Any test interpretations in reports or case notes should be reviewed carefully by the forensic psychologist since the claims made by the therapist may not be supported by the actual test results (Underwager & Wakefield, 1995). This assistance can be invaluable.

The following questions are intended to assist an attorney who is questioning a therapist under oath. They will help establish the boundaries of expertise in a well-trained therapist or illuminate possible incompetence in a poorly-trained or nonresearch-oriented therapist. We are including questions to fit many different situations, thus not all suggested lines of questioning will be germane to each individual case. In general, the therapist will be expected to substantiate the theoretical and empirical basis for a treatment or intervention that may have resulted in or reinforced and supported allegations of abuse.

The following areas should be covered during the deposition of a mental health practitioner:

1. General qualifications/education of the therapist.

2. Specialty qualifications and knowledge of the therapist.

3. Timeline of therapist's involvement: how the client was referred, who made the referral, the circumstances, prior knowledge of the case by the therapist, ex parte communications, etc.

4. Conflicts of interest: role confusion, extraneous motivations, subjectivism, bias, etc.

5. In-depth detail regarding intake, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.

6. Methods used by the therapist to establish the "facts" of the case.

7. Extent of knowledge of relevant experimental research.

8. Awareness of and proper discharge of professional duties.

The suggested questions expand these major areas. Based on the individual circumstances, the attorney must determine which are appropriate and useful. If the deposition is to be used for trial testimony or if the purpose is to lock in the mental health practitioner's opinions, different questions may be asked than if this is a discovery deposition for the purpose of gathering as much information as possible about opinions, assumptions, and therapy.

General Qualifications and Education of Therapist/Evaluator

Where did you complete your undergraduate study?

 

What was your undergraduate grade point average?

 

Where did you complete your graduate study? [Check this out. Occasionally, mental health practitioners are found to have graduated from a diploma mill or to have exaggerated their credentials.]

 

What was your graduate grade point average?

 

What classes have you had in assessment and diagnosis?

 

What research projects have you designed and carried out?

 

Where did you do your internship/residency?

 

How long have you been licensed as a ___?

 

To what professional organizations do you belong?

 

How much continuing education have you had? What has it been in the past few years?

 

Have you ever had a complaint filed against you with the state board which licenses your profession, even if it was dismissed?

 

Have you ever had a complaint filed against you with the state board which licenses your profession, even if the outcome was sealed and is not public record?

 

Have you ever had a complaint filed against you with any agency, board, organization, employer, or agency where you volunteered related to your activities as a ___?

 

Have you ever been licensed to practice ___ in any other state or country?

 

Within the last three years, how often have you testified on cases referred by CPS?

 

How often have you testified on behalf of a person whom you believe to have been abused?

 

How often have you testified on behalf of persons who are accused of abuse?

 

How much of your practice is devoted to evaluations?

 

How much of your practice is devoted to treatment?

 

What professional presentations have you made?

 

What articles have you written and had published? Have these been in peer-reviewed journals?

 

Have you ever testified or given a deposition before? How many times have you testified under oath? How many times have you been deposed? What types of cases have you given testimony in?

Relevant Speciality Qualifications of Therapist/Evaluator

Have you taken any courses specifically devoted to the topic of diagnosing abuse or victimization?

 

Please name the course(s).

 

Please name where you took the course(s).

 

What was the length of the course(s)?

 

Who was the instructor(s)?

Extent of Knowledge of Experimental Research

If you are going to do a proper and comprehensive evaluation for abuse, what steps would you take before rendering conclusions or a diagnosis? [Obtain a free-flowing response only. Follow-up questions will be done later in the deposition.]

 

During your training and residencies, what classes did you take that taught you about scientific methodology and research design and quality?

 

What is the definition of experimental research? [Give the witness Webster's if (s)he needs it.]

 

What is the purpose of experimental research?

 

Does experimental research attempt to control for experimenter bias?

 

What is the reason that experimental researchers attempt to control for experimenter bias?

 

Does experimental research use statistical analysis?

 

What is statistical analysis? [Look for a response along the lines of controlling confounding variables, measuring for the effect of a variable, comparing a treatment group with a non-treatment group, measuring the strength of a result, determining if a result is significant, etc.]

 

With reference to experimental research, what is replication? [Look for a response along the lines of repeating an experiment under the same circumstances with a different sample in order to determine if the previous results happen again.]

 

What is the purpose of attempting to replicate an experimental study? [Look for a response along the lines of determining the strength of the results.]

 

Isn't it true that caution should be exercised when considering a new treatment which has not been tested, or has been tested very little?

 

[If yes] Why is that?

 

Isn't it true that, before a treatment is considered reliable and safe, it must be tested over and over, and be found to be experimentally replicable and statistically solid?

 

With reference to experimental research, what is a control group? [Randomly drawn from the same population as the treatment group; the only difference being that it doesn't receive the treatment.]

 

What is the purpose for using control groups in experimental research? [To have a baseline comparison group to measure the treatment group against.]

 

With reference to experimental research, what is a treatment group? [Randomly drawn from the same population as the control group, the difference between the two being that the treatment group receives the treatment in question.]

 

What is the purpose for using a treatment group in experimental research? [To see how it reacts to a treatment.]

 

In experimental research, how are control groups and treatment groups used together? [They are statistically compared.]

 

With reference to experimental research, what is a double-blind study? [Neither the administrators of the treatment, nor the receivers of the treatment know who is in the control group, and who is in the treatment group.]

 

What is the purpose for using double-blind studies in experimental research? [To control for bias by the administrators of the treatment; to control for placebo effects in the research subjects.]

 

With reference to statistics used to assess experimental research, what is a Type One error? [You reject the Null Hypothesis when it was true; e.g. the treatment wasn't significant and you failed to realize that, so you accepted the treatment as valid incorrectly. Seeing too much in the data. Falsely confirming your beliefs.]

 

With reference to statistics used to assess experimental research, what is a Type Two error? [You didn't reject the Null Hypothesis when you should have; e.g. you accepted the null hypothesis and believed the treatment was nonsignificant when in fact it really was significant. Seeing too little in the data. Falsely rejecting your beliefs.]

 

With reference to experimental research, what is a false positive finding? [A Type One error.]

 

What is descriptive research? [Does not use the scientific method; based upon observation and opinion.]

 

What is meant by the validity of a test?

 

What is meant by the reliability of a test?

 

How does experimental research differ from descriptive research that describes anecdotal clinical case studies?

 

Are the treatments or protocols suggested in descriptive writings experimentally tested for patient safety? [No.]

 

Are the treatments or protocols suggested in descriptive writings experimentally tested for reliability? [No.]

 

Are the treatments or protocols suggested in descriptive writings based on observations between treatment groups and control groups? [No.]

 

Are the treatments or protocols suggested in descriptive writings subject to statistical analysis? [No. If the witness says yes, point out that the lack of controls prevents statistical analysis.]

 

Have the treatments or protocols suggested in descriptive writings been subject to experiments which utilize double-blind precautions? [Impossible. There isn't a control group.]

 

Do descriptive articles and books use treatment groups? [The answer is yes; if the witness says no, call her/him on it. What are descriptive articles and books about, if not to describe the outcome of applied treatments? Descriptive articles, however, are without statistics.]

 

Do descriptive writings control for author bias? [Unlikely; cannot easily be determined.]

Methods Used By The Therapist/Evaluator To Establish the Factual Basis of the Client's Statements

Would you agree that many of the methods for obtaining objectivity which are present in experimental research are not present in descriptive books and articles?

 

What is a false positive diagnosis? [Accepting a diagnosis which isn't valid.]

 

What is a differential diagnosis? [The clinical indicators fit more than one diagnosis; noting each of the diagnoses.]

 

What is a rule-out diagnosis? [Usually an initial diagnosis in the form of a differential diagnosis, pending the acquisition of additional information or testing which can be used to rule out one or more of the differential diagnoses.]

 

Define the psychological concept of contamination. [Telling a subject what the status of another person is. It allows the subject to develop a similar story, based upon knowledge of the other person's story. Biasing someone's statements by providing them additional and possibly false information beforehand.]

 

Define the psychological concept of contagion. [Influence upon behavior often associated with a group; "group think," etc.]

 

Can a patient's beliefs be led by the expectations of a therapist? [Yes. There is ample evidence of this in the literature.]

 

What experimental articles have you read on diagnosing abuse or victimization?

 

What journals do you subscribe to?

 

What journal article(s) did you last read? When? What did you learn from it? [Probe for recall and understanding of what was read.]

 

What is the most recent descriptive article you have read on treating abuse or victimization? Who wrote it? What was the title? What was the article about?

 

What is the most recent descriptive book you have read on treating abuse or victimization? Why wrote it? What was the title? What was the book about?

Awareness of a Proper Discharge of Professional Duties

A little while ago I asked you what components you would use in a complete assessment for abuse/victimization. You listed the following: ___ [Read off his or her responses.].]

 

Is there anything you would like to add to the list?

 

Do you use a structured interview? Whose structured interview would you use? Do you have your own? [Get a copy.]

 

Do you obtain testing? What type of testing? What are your qualifications to administer testing? How often do you administer testing? Do you have any advance training in testing? Do you conduct your own testing? Do you score your own testing? Do you use an assistant? What is the name of your assistant? What are the qualifications of your assistant? Do you use computerized scoring? What computer programs do you use?

 

Do you videotape your sessions?

 

Do you audiotape your sessions?

 

Do you take extensive notes?

 

In the case of suspected abuse or victimization, do you obtain a medical evaluation?

 

Do you request pertinent records?

 

Do you interview key figures in the subject's life and circumstances to obtain other perspectives and more comprehensive information?

 

Do you obtain a consultation or second opinion before diagnosing a major issue such as abuse or victimization?

 

Is sexual abuse a diagnosis?

 

What is transference?

 

What is countertransference?

 

What safeguards do you use to guard against your own biases?

 

What safeguards do you use to guard against suggestion?

 

What safeguards do you use to guard against contamination?

 

What safeguards do you use to guard against contagion?

 

What safeguards do you use to guard against therapeutic expectation?

 

What safeguards do you use to guard against therapeutic influence?

 

What safeguards do use use to ensure that countertransference isn't involved in your therapeutic relationships?

 

What components of a thorough interview do you feel are dispensable if you are pressured by a time constraint?

 

What are the "indicators" of abuse? [Note to the attorney: The word "victimization" can be substituted for "abuse".] [Carefully note each one. If the witness refuses to provide a list of "indicators," ask how s(he) is able to measure for and find abuse. Ask if s(he) considers her/himself qualified to assess for abuse. Pursue this in great depth. For each "indicator" ask the following series of questions]:

 

Which experimental studies have established ___ as an indicator of abuse? [Do not accept anecdotal or descriptive literature.]

 

Did you find this "indicator" in the case of ____?

 

Did you rely upon this "indicator" in forming an opinion about ____?

 

[Note: The witness may state that (s)he learned these "indicators" in graduate school. If so, ask the following]:

 

What were the names of the courses in which you were taught these "indicators" of abuse/victimization?

 

What are the names of the professors who taught the courses in which you were taught these "indicators" of abuse/victimization?

 

What are the names of the text books you read in these courses, which taught you these "indicators" of abuse/victimization?

 

Who were the authors of the text books you read in these courses, which taught you these "indicators" of abuse/victimization?

 

[Follow up questions, if the stage is set]:

 

At this time you are not able to cite experimental research which establishes the validity of some/all of the "indicators" of abuse/victimization which you rely upon. Is that correct?

 

Isn't it true that you cannot experimentally substantiate the "indicators" of abuse/victimization which you just listed for me?

 

Is it possible that the non-experimental "indicators" which you rely upon might lead to a false-positive conclusion of abuse/victimization?

Suggested Specific Questions Related to the Instant Case

Is it possible that the non-experimental "indicators" which you rely upon might have led to a false positive conclusion that [the client] ___?

 

What safeguards did you exercise in the matter involving _____, in order to protect against a false-positive conclusion or diagnosis?

 

What are the diagnoses that you have given ___?

 

[For each of them ask] What are the characteristics of persons with this diagnosis?

 

[For each diagnosis] What are ____'s symptoms that mean this diagnosis is appropriate for her/him? How do these diagnoses differ?

 

[If there is a diagnosis of PTSD, as is commonly found in sexual abuse cases, get the practitioner to specify the known, corroborated traumatic event or events that are the cause of the PTSD. This diagnosis cannot be given without a known event that is an "extreme traumatic stressor."]

 

Did you consider any differential diagnoses in this matter?

 

Did you put them in your notes? [Show me where, please.]

 

Did you consider any rule-out diagnoses in this matter?

 

Did you put them in your notes? [Show me where, please.]

 

Did you obtain any objective testing in this matter?

 

Did you consider obtaining a second opinion in this matter? [Why not?]

 

How was ____ referred to you?

 

How often did/do you see ______?

 

How long are your sessions?

 

When did you make the diagnosis of _____? After how many sessions?

 

What do you charge for therapy?

 

What is the total you have billed for sessions with ______ since the beginning? [Get copies of all of her/his billing records and insurance forms.]

 

With reference to ______, did you use a structured interview? Why not?

 

Did you videotape the sessions? [Why not?]

 

Did you audiotape the sessions? [Why not?]

 

Did you obtain testing? [Why not?] If yes, did you use an assistant? [Get details.]

 

Did you consider a medical evaluation? [Why not?]

 

Did you determine if there are pertinent records? [Why not?]

 

Did you interview key figures in ____'s life in order to obtain other perspectives and more comprehensive information? [Why not?]

 

What safeguards did you use to guard against your own biases?

 

What safeguards did you use to guard against suggestion?

 

What safeguards did you use to guard against contamination?

 

What safeguards did you use to guard against contagion?

 

What safeguards did you use to guard against therapeutic expectation?

 

What safeguards did you use to guard against therapeutic influence?

 

What are the objective factors or evidence to lead you to conclude that ____ occurred?

 

Do your case notes reflect every statement made during your sessions with _____? What was omitted? You don't remember, do you?

 

Did you review any notes you took before this deposition? Was that for the purpose of refreshing your memory? [If the witness reports a good or perfect memory]: Why would you need to review your notes, if you do not forget what occurs in your interviews and sessions?

 

What did you leave out of your notes with reference to ______? [You don't have a perfect memory. Therefore, you don't know, isn't that correct?]

 

Was ___ examined or treated for abuse/victimization in a group setting?

 

Was any other person present?

 

What safeguards did you take to prevent the other persons from influencing ___'s answers?

 

Did you explain to ___ the purpose of the evaluation or sessions? What did you say?

 

Did you provide any written material? What material did you provide?

 

 

Did you tell ___ you were examining her/him to see if anything unusual happened?

 

What facts and evidence were the basis of your conclusion that ___ occurred?

 

[If the witness lists "victimization" or "stress" as evidence that ____ was abused, ask the following four questions]

 

Is anxiety evidence of abuse or victimization? [If the witness answers "sometimes," have her/him estimate probability of anxiety as evidence of abuse on a 0 to 10 scale.]

 

Would you please cite the experimental studies that have proven that anxiety is evidence of abuse or victimization?

 

Is stress evidence of abuse or victimization? [If the witness answers "sometimes," have her/him estimate probability of stress as evidence of abuse on a 0 to 10 scale.]

 

Please cite the experimental studies that establish that fact.

 

[Use the following two questions to query the witness regarding each and every "indicator" of abuse which (s)he listed in reference to the plaintiff/patient.]

 

Is ____ an indicator of abuse/victimization? [Repeat this question and the follow-up question below as many times as are necessary to cover each and every "indicator" of abuse which the witness listed previously.]

 

Please cite the experimental studies that establish _____ as an indicator of abuse/victimization.

 

What does the experimental research say about the type of treatment that should be used with someone with ____'s problems? [If (s)he says that the research supports what (s)he does, get specific references.]

 

Can a patient's symptoms, behaviors, and beliefs be influenced by the expectations of the therapist?

Examples of Questions for Therapists/Evaluators in "Recovered Memory" Therapy with Clients

Do you engage in recovered memory therapy? [If yes, continue with this section.]

 

Please explain your understanding of how human memory works. [Be prepared to ask additional questions to cover the areas of reception, encoding, short-term memory, transfer, long-term memory, recall, etc. You will probably need expert help to develop detailed lines of questioning should you need to pursue this topic in depth.]

 

Do you believe that early memories are accurately stored in the brain? Do you believe they can be retrieved accurately later in a person's life? [If (s)he says yes]: Describe the process by which memories are encoded, stored, and retrieved.

 

What is infantile amnesia? [Refers to the above. People seldom remember anything before approximately age 3, and little before age 5 or 6.]

 

Define the psychological concept of repression.

 

Do you believe that traumatic memories can be repressed?

 

Do you believe that traumatic memories can later be recovered in an accurate and uncontaminated form?

 

[If yes, and applicable]: You testified earlier in this deposition that before a treatment is considered safe and reliable that it needs to be experimentally replicated and statistically solid. Please cite the experimentally replicated and statistically solid studies which have verified the notion of repression. Provide me with the specific references.

 

Do you believe that _____ repressed memories of abuse by ____?

 

Please explain how _____ was able to repress memories of abuse by _____. What evidence of repression did you find? What facts led to your conclusion? Was it a hunch?

 

What scientific studies have you relied upon in concluding that ____repressed memories of abuse by ____? What articles (or books or "lists) have you relied upon in concluding that _____repressed memories of abuse by ____?

 

[If the therapist refers to "dissociation" rather than "repression," ask similar questions about dissociation.]

 

Do you believe it is necessary to recover detailed memories of childhood abuse if the patient is going to improve in therapy?

 

Do you believe that hypnosis is a worthwhile therapy technique? Why?

 

Do you believe that hypnosis helps people to accurately remember things they otherwise could not?

 

Do you believe that hypnosis enables people to uncover memories that have been dissociated or repressed?

 

Do you believe that memories of childhood abuse uncovered under hypnosis are likely to accurately reflect actual historical events?

 

To what age can a person go back and uncover repressed memories? Stated differently, can repressed memories by recovered from the person's eighth year? (Seventh? Sixth? Fourth? Third? Second? First? Before birth?)

 

Is age regression a worthwhile therapy technique? Why?

 

What experimental evidence supports your opinion that ____? [Review each of the witness's opinions about repression and memory recovery.]

 

Do you agree that the scientific research shows that, when hypnotized, people become more suggestible?

 

Do you believe that it is possible to suggest false memories to a patient who then interprets these false memories as true memories of actual events?

 

Did you believe that the memories ______ recovered during therapy of _____ represented actual historical events? [Follow up with specific questioning, for the purpose of gathering details that the trier(s) of fact will see as bizarre and improbable.]

 

What efforts did you make to determine if these memories were fantasy? [Consideration should be given to following up with extensive questioning for the purpose of establishing whether the witness made an effort to corroborate the memories, or if (s)he accepted them without question.]

 

Did you encourage ____to accept these recovered memories as true? [If applicable]: Did you do so without carefully checking for corroboration which established the memories as possibly true? Why did you do that?

 

If these memories are not, in fact, true, wouldn't it be potentially harmful for you to attempt to persuade ______ that they are true?

 

Do you believe that the ultimate test of your treatment is that your client is happier afterwards?

 

What are "indicators" of abuse/victimization in a person who doesn't have a memory of it?

 

What experimental studies can you cite to validate the "indicators" which you rely upon in diagnosing unremembered abuse/victimization in people.

 

Do you charge on the basis of whether a case wins or loses? [This is unethical, at least for psychologists.]

 

What is your financial arrangement with ______?

 

Have you been paid yet?

 

Who paid you?

 

How much were you paid? [Get copies of all billing records and insurance forms for the client.]

 

Have you ever expressed an opinion that abuse occurred, and subsequently the trier of fact determined that abuse did not occur? [You mean to say that every time you testify the case wins?]

 

Do you ever rely upon intuition in determining if a person was abused/victimized?

 

Did you take a class on intuition in graduate school? Elsewhere?

 

Are you certified to make intuitive judgments?

 

What steps do you take to prevent false positive diagnoses based upon your subjective intuition?

 

Do you use your experience as the basis for your opinions?

 

Was ___ happier after treating with you?

Professional Duties

As a practitioner, do you have a duty to remain current with experimental research that is relevant to your practice and to use treatment methods that are based on scientific evidence?

 

As a practitioner, do you have a duty to do no harm?

 

As a practitioner, do you have a duty to always tell the truth in records? In opinions? In testimony?

 

As a practitioner, do you have a duty to control for bias?

 

As a practitioner, do you have a duty to be properly trained?

 

As a practitioner, do you have a duty to remain current on experimental research as it relates to your area of evaluation and/or treatment?

 

As a practitioner, do you have a duty to properly diagnose?

 

As a practitioner, do you have a duty to consider differential diagnoses?

 

As a practitioner, do you have a duty to sufficiently test in order to confirm or disconfirm an initial diagnosis?

 

As a practitioner, do you have a duty to obtain a second opinion?

 

As a practitioner, do you have a duty to consider alternative hypotheses?

 

As a practitioner what is your ultimate duty to your client? [To make them better, etc. How do you know when they are better? When they are happier?]

References

Campbell, T. W. (1994). Psychotherapy and malpractice exposure. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 12(1), 5-41.

Ceci, S. J. & Bruck, M. (1995). Jeopardy in the Courtroom (Hardcover). Washington DC: American Psychological Association.

Dawes, R. M. (1989). Experience and validity of clinical judgment: The illusory correlation. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 7, 457-467

Dawes, R. M. (1994). House of Cards: Psychology and Psychotherapy Built on Myth (Paperback). New York: The Free Press.

Garb, H. N. (1989). Clinical judgment, clinical training, and professional experience. Psychological Bulletin, 105, 387-396.

Kaushall, P. I. & Evans, M.A. (1996). Protecting the therapist in court: Video recordings of therapy sessions in potential child abuse cases. California Psychological Association Division of Professional Practice Briefings. No. 140.

Nelson, E. L. & Simpson, P. W. (1994). First glimpse: An initial examination of subjects who have rejected their recovered visualizations as false memories. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations 6, 123-133.

Acknowledgment

Special thanks to William B. Craig, Esq., Michael S. Evans, Esq., Marie LaSala, Esq., and Skip Simpson, Esq. for their constructive review of this manuscript.

* Eric L. Nelson is a forensic analyst in private practice in San Diego. He is a counterintelligence specialist in the Marine Corps reserve.

Philip I. Kaushall is a clinical and forensic psychologist and qualified medical evaluator in California.

They may be contacted by writing P.O. Box 7865, Ocean Beach, CA 92167.  [Back]

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