The Ethical Dilemma of Playing Both a Therapeutic and a Forensic Role: the Difference Essay

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The Ethical Dilemma of Playing both a Therapeutic and a Forensic Role: The difference
Amal Long-Labaar
Argosy University
Professional & Ethical Issues in Forensic Psych
Dr. Andria Hernandez
April 20, 2013

There are specific differences between forensic psychologists and counseling psychologists/therapists. Not just the obvious differences such as the forensic psychologist being retained by the courts, prosecution, or defense, and the counseling psychologist performing therapeutic treatments and sessions to help the client/patient heal, but other ethical differences that enable the forensic psychologist to disclose his/her finds to the entity that has retained him/her to assess, interview and test the
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While the same information for the therapist is usually based on information from the client being treated with little scrutiny of that information by the therapist. They are not in the position of confrontation; they allow the client to process and reflect until they are ready to tell the truth. It is a defense mechanism when a client lies about certain events, when they build trust and comfort with the therapeutic relationship; they usually open up and tell the truth. 7) The amount of structure in each relationship. The forensic relationship is more structured and so too is the evaluator. The therapeutic structure is less structured and more open for the client to feel comfortable and safe. 8) The nature of the relationship and degree of adversarialness for the forensic psychologist relationship with examinee is frequently adversarial, where the therapeutic relationship is a helping one and rarely adversarial. 9) The goal of each professional is for the forensic psychologist to advocate for the results and implications of the evaluation for the benefit of the court. The therapist/counseling psychologist attempts to benefit the patient/client by working within the therapeutic relationship. 10) The impact on each relationship of critical judgment by the expert psychologists. The forensic psychologist’s relationship is evaluative and