Aug 9, 2019 by Foresight

What are the Challenges Faced when Appointing a Psychologist Expert Witness?

It is without doubt that the human brain is the most complex component to our being. For a psychology expert, researching, examining, and understanding cognitive function and consequential behaviour is all in a day’s work. More than that, throughout years of rigorous study and clinical experience, a psychologist will have acquired the skills and knowledge to recognise and treat people living with learning disabilities, behavioural disorders, and mental health problems.

For a solicitor, the appointment of a psychologist expert witness is often essential in ensuring not only fair trial, but the wellbeing of the individuals who will be affected by the court’s decision. Since the field of psychology is so highly specialised, instructing the best suited psychologist expert witness is crucial, and doing so comes with a number of challenges. As providers of the most targeted network of UK psychologist expert witnesses, we want to take a closer look at these challenges and how a solicitor may overcome them.

Determining the Psychology Specialism You Require

The instruction of a psychology expert witness can give significant weight to a case – when their knowledge and experience is relevant. Psychological assessment is required in a great number of cases and the circumstances of each will decide which specialism the appointed psychology expert witness should have. For example, in family law a solicitor may require a child psychologist expert witness whose clinical experience focuses on ages 3-15 years old. In another case, a clinical psychologist expert witness with particular experience in adult substance abuse and addiction may be more suitable. Should the court find that the psychologist expert witness does not have the relevant clinical experience and knowledge pertaining the case, they maychallenge or dismiss their involvement altogether.

Is the Psychology Expert Witness Really an Expert?

The title ‘psychologist’ is unprotected by UK law, meaning anyone can claim to be a psychologist without necessarily having the qualifications and knowledge we would assume. However, within the field of psychology are a number of titles which are protected by law and registered with the Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC). These are:

• Practitioner psychologist
• Registered psychologist
• Clinical psychologist
• Counselling psychologist
• Forensic psychologist
• Health psychologist
• Occupational psychologist
• Sport and exercise psychologist

Appointing a psychologist expert witness with one of the above titles is very important. The title, alongside records of their qualifications and recent clinical experience, confirms that the evidence provided from the psychological assessments and written into a comprehensive psychology report is accurate and can be used to give weight and direction to the solicitor’s case.

At Foresight Clinical Services, each psychology expert witness within our network is registered with the HCPC and has undergone rigorous checks of their CV, previous expert witness appointments, and published research.

A Psychologist Expert Witness to Meet Deadlines and Court Dates

Finding the best suited and reputed expert witness is only part of the battle. If the psychology expert witness has the relevant experience but is unable to meet your strict deadlines with their assessments and psychology report, your case will not benefit from the same substantial evidence that would otherwise be available. Likewise, a clinical psychology expert witness will often be required to give their expert opinion in court since their professional standing is recognised and respected there. By sharing their expert opinion, the court is able to make an informed decision which will take into account the wellbeing of the individuals involved. Therefore verifying the dates is crucial.

Finding a Psychologist Expert Witness with Foresight

The psychologist expert witnesses within the Foresight network are all ‘court ready’, meaning that their services are available as soon as you call. 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. Not only that, our experienced case managers are dedicated to helping solicitors find the best suited expert witness for their case.

If you require a psychology expert witness, get in touch with Foresight today.



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