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1: legal requirements

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Question One The services provided by a forensic psychology professional must be documented in a professional manner. In addition, the documentation must provide enough detail that provides for judicial examination as well as “ adequate discovery” by other parties. The documentation carried out by a psychology professional consists of letters, correspondence, notes, consultation remarks, audio and video recordings as well as any other materials that may be used to record information (Committee on the Revision of the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology, 2008). For example, a forensic psychology professional must record the responses of a client in enough detail to make them admissible to a court of law as evidence.
In addition to the above, the documentation provided by forensic psychology professionals needs to be carried out in a professional manner that is consistent with the applicable laws. The documentation must also conform to the ethical standards set by the EPPCC Standards (Kalmbach & Lyons, 2006). Any kind of documentation carried out by a forensic psychology professional must be confidential and privileged. The storage of such documentation must be carried out in a fashion that ensures its integrity.
Question Two
Documentation of psychological services is required by most legal systems. The psychology professional must ensure that the documentation is done in a confidential manner. The information extracted from the client is privileged. Such information could cause harm if it is misappropriated. In order to prevent such problems, psychology professionals are required to store information in a manner that makes it inaccessible to other people. Psychology professionals are recommended to use the guidelines given by the American Psychological Association (APA) for protection of information (Committee on Professional Practice and Standards, 2003).
In case that a client dies during counseling or after it, the information stored in relation to that client must be kept in record by the psychology professional. However, the psychology professional is not allowed to share that information with any other party for any reason even after the client has been dead for a number of year.
Question Three
Psychology professionals need to document their clients in all instances. However, the scrutinizing documentation required in the forensic psychology line of work is arguably greater. The professional psychologist needs to document the responses of clients for personal use inside the clinical setting. There is hardly any need or stipulation to produce such information for evidence such as in a court of law. This means that the psychologist can document the client just enough for reference while ensuring that no details become public.
In contrast, the forensic psychologist has to document a client in sufficient detail to produce the documentation before a court of law and before the parties contesting the case. All documentation carried out by a forensic psychologist has to be confidential and can only be released to a legally approved forum such as a court or legal counsel (Committee on Ethical Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists, 1991). However, the documentation needs to be standardized and in detail to be used as evidence for deciding legal issues.
Committee on Ethical Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists. (1991). Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists. American Psychological Association.
Committee on Professional Practice and Standards. (2003). Legal Issues in the Professional Practice of Psychology. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 34(6) , 595-600.
Committee on the Revision of the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology. (2008). Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology (Fourth Draft). American Psychological Association.
Kalmbach, K. C., & Lyons, P. M. (2006). Ethical Issues in Conducting Forensic Evaluations. Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice 2(3) , 261-290.

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