Psychology Careers: How To Get A Job As A Forensic Psychologist

Psychology Careers: How To Get A Job As A Forensic Psychologist

Do you have interest in reading other people’s minds? Do you want to find out how criminals think and what can motivate them to commit such ruthless actions? If you are answering these questions in affirmation, then forensic psychology may be the right career path for you. Forensic psychology is a branch of psychology in which the science of psychology is applied to criminology and criminal justice system. To find jobs in forensic psychology, you will need to earn a master’s or doctoral degree in the field. Fellowship, internship or other course work will be an added advantage to your profile.

As a forensic psychologist, you will be working with witnesses, criminals and victims of crimes, evaluating their mindset based on detailed discussions with them. You will decide whether the person is capable of standing trial or not, or whether he or she can commit the crime at all or not. Once you have attained the required degrees and qualifications, you will be performing following actions being a forensic psychologist:

Discussing with people and assessing risks of re-offending, self-injury, suicide or high-risk behavior
Developing, reviewing and implementing appropriate rehabilitation or offender treatment programs, including drug & alcohol addiction treatment, anger management, and cognitive and social skill training
Carrying out research projects for evaluating contribution of certain service elements, group program developments and policy initiatives, such as investigating impact of bullying inside a prison environment or exploring drop-out rates of probation
Statistical analysis of forensic client profiling
Training forensic staff in areas of stress management and techniques of crisis negotiation
Preparing written formal reports
Attending court procedures, and giving expert witness testimonies
Advising mental health tribunals and parole boards
Giving consultancy to prison officers, hospital staff, police officers, social workers, judicial or legal representatives, probation officers or university faculty
Developing strategies to ensure continuous improvement of a service
Mentoring trainee forensic psychologists and psychological assistants

Some of the most sought after jobs in forensic psychology include:

In case management services: Being a case manager, you will be dealing with clients in communities or residential areas, who are in need of supervision or counseling. You will be helping them by solving their problems and conflicts, and providing them problem solving skills and advice to lead a successful and peaceful life.

In administrative services: As a clinical director, program director or manager engaged in administrative tasks, you will help agencies and companies by undertaking program coordination, training, staff coordination and staff supervision tasks. Such jobs in forensic psychology are available in mental health court settings, correctional settings, government agencies, non profit organizations and juvenile court divisions.

As clinicians: In such jobs, you will be involved in clinical processes like treatment and assessment of clients associated with criminal or civil justice system. In such services, you will be providing advice on family assessment, stabilization and reunion, crisis intervention, vocational assessment, domestic violence intervention, mental health intervention and therapeutic services for high risk offenders and sex offenders. In this field, you can either work in an agency, or undertake independent practice.

As trial and jury consultants: These jobs in forensic psychology involve giving consultation to juries and legal professionals about jury selection, strategies, responsibilities and decisions. Your work area will include reviewing case materials, making questionnaires, conducting researches, coordinating mock juror recruitments and developing analytical graphics.

In juvenile services: In such jobs, you will work with juvenile offenders, providing them therapy related to anger management, conflict resolution, substance abuse treatment, abuse victims counseling, relapse prevention and life skills training.

As researchers: This is one of the most popular career options for forensic psychologists. You may get a job in government, academic or non-profit organizations. You may conduct researches for developing different forensic assessment instruments, or may develop intervention programs.

As police psychologists: Such jobs in forensic psychology will need you to work with police force, and train them to act during crisis and carry out hostage negotiations. You will be actively involved in stress management, police training programs, personnel management and referrals of departmental personnel for specialized counseling and treatment.

Once you have investigated these jobs in forensic psychology, you can find them in courtrooms, prisons, mental health care facilities, communities and police departments. This can be a challenging field of career, but you will be rewarded if you do it with expertise.

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