What are the roles of a forensic psychologist?

Stephen Collins Case

According to recent media reports, both the NYPD and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department are currently investigating Stephen Collins, an actor most well-known for his role on the T.V. show 7th Heaven, for alleged taped confessions in which he admits to inappropriate conduct with three (3) minors. This information came to light during divorce proceedings of Collins from his estranged wife. In this case study, you will explore the role of the forensic psychologist and its application to a real world situation. You will also look at the ethical dilemmas a mental health professional can face when dealing with the legal system.

Review the following articles regarding the Stephen Collins case:

  • “Stephen Collins’ wife alleges he had ‘secret life’ in court docs: ‘I believe there are other victims’”, located at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/stephen-collins-wife-alleges-he-had-secret-life-in-court-docs-i-believe-there-are-other-victims/
  • “A Guide to Psychology and its Practice: Confidentiality”, located at http://www.guidetopsychology.com/confid.htm

Write a three to five (3-5) page paper in which you:

  1. Determine whether or not the release of the taped therapy sessions violates the American Psychological Association’s Code of Ethics (refer to Table 12.1 in chapter 12 of the text). Next, discuss the likelihood of a lawsuit against the therapist and the media outlet that released the recording. Provide a rationale to support your position.
  2. Review the roles of the forensic psychologist as outlined in chapter 12 of your text. Next, select one (1) of the roles that you believe a forensic psychologist must play during the trial, if criminal charges against Collins are filed. Ascertain the importance of the role that you selected and suggest the main actions that the forensic psychologist must take in order to play the role that you selected.
  3. Discuss one (1) regulation that you feel the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) should make regarding the practice of recording patient therapy sessions in order to balance protecting the public with protecting patient privacy. Provide a rationale for your response.
  4. Use at least three (3) quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and similar type Websites do not qualify as academic resources.

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

  • Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
  • Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of the different elements and aspects of forensic psychology.
  • Brief and debate historic cases associated with mental health and forensic psychology.
  • Debate major ethical dilemmas facing mental health professionals.
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues related to forensic psychology.
  • Write clearly and concisely about topics related to forensic psychology using proper writing mechanics and technical style conventions.
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