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Instructing psychologists in family proceedings: the good, the bad and the unnecessary

Date:3 FEB 2022
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Sophie Crampton, 4BC

Mental health assessments can be very important evidence within family law proceedings, particularly public law proceedings. However, there is a lack of readily available information about the role of different mental health professionals, especially psychologists, and how to choose between different experts and specialities. This article outlines why psychological experts are useful in family proceedings and draws on guidance from the British Psychological Society to de-mystify the role of psychologists. This article sets out four steps to identify the right expert for your case, namely;

  1. Identifying whether an expert is needed.
  2. Deciding whether a psychologist is required.
  3. Identifying appropriate expertise.
  4. Choosing a specific person to instruct.

This article will also consider potential problems with psychological reports, including how and when inadequate reports should be challenged. Finally, this article provides tips for cross-examining expert psychologists. 

The full article will be published in the February issue of Family Law



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Read the full article here.