Portland 2018: Contemporary Issues in Forensic Psychology

Portland, Oregon
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Continuing Education Programs

Contemporary Issues in Forensic Psychology

Courtyard by Marriott Portland City Center, Meeting Room
Portland, Oregon

Full-Day Workshops
(7 Credit Hours per Workshop)

Title: Interviewing Children to Preserve Accurate Testimony
Presenter: David W. Thompson, PhD, ABPP
Date: Wednesday, November 14
Time: 8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.

This workshop covers the basic tenets of investigative interviews of children utilized in criminal and child abuse investigations. Participants will learn to recognize strengths and weaknesses of these interviews, and will explore techniques for presenting such information within legal contexts. Participants will learn the skills necessary to accurately interview children in a forensic context, and develop their ability to assess the quality of child investigative interviews and testify to those findings. While this workshop is designed to develop the participant’s skills for critically reviewing child investigative interviews, it is not designed to teach participants to actually conduct such interviews.

Persons attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Describe classic research studies related to child forensic interviewing
  • Identify three research-based approaches to child forensic interviews
  • Describe the critical components of a child forensic interview
  •  Identify the role of language development in the child forensic interview, with special emphasis on individual and cultural diversity
  • Identify the impact of interviewer bias in child forensic interviews
  • Identify and describe relevant case law related to child forensic interviews
  • Describe the concept of social framework testimony and how it differs from more commonly offered expert testimony 
David W. Thompson, PhD, ABPP, is a board certified forensic psychologist. He is in private practice in clinical and forensic psychology, and previously served as the Deputy Director of the Walworth County, Wisconsin Health & Human Services Department. Dr. Thompson conducts training for law enforcement and child investigative staff, and provides expert testimony concerning the interview and investigative processes.

Title: Forensic Report Writing
Presenter: Richart L. DeMier, PhD, ABPP
Date: Wednesday, November 14
Time: 8:45 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Writing crisp, helpful reports for courts requires psychologists to understand psycholegal referral questions, courts’ expectations, and their unique role in the process.  Research on report writing is reviewed, and practical guidance is extracted from themes in the existing literature.  Guiding principles for the organization and structure of a forensic report are reviewed.  Elements of good reports are highlighted, with a focus on general principles that can be applied to a variety of types of forensic reports.  Emphasis is placed on writing so one can be understood by the target audience.  Workshop participants will consider a variety of issues, such as differentiating between observation and inference, the role of diagnosis, and matters of personal and professional style.

Persons attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Articulate three purposes of a well-written forensic report
  • Describe how their approach to writing about issues of diversity may affect the way their work is received by the reader of the forensic report
  • List reasons to include alternative explanations in their forensic reports
  • Articulate a model for including psychological testing in a forensic report
  • Differentiate between fact, inference, and opinion
  • List definitions for psychological constructs in terms that are understandable to a lay audience
  • Analyze reading levels of their written work using Flesch-Kincaid scores 
Richart L. DeMier, PhD, ABPP, is a clinical psychologist who specializes in forensic assessment.  In 1994, he earned his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.  He became board certified in forensic psychology in 2001.  For 20 years he practiced clinical and forensic psychology at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, a major medical referral center within the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  In addition to his clinical duties, he spent 11 years as Director of Clinical Training for the facility’s APA-accredited predoctoral internship.  Since 2008, he has served as an examiner for the American Board of Forensic Psychology.  In that role, he reviews practice samples and serves as an oral examiner for candidates for board certification.  He is co-author, with Drs. Randy Otto and Marcus Boccaccini, of Forensic Reports and Testimony: A Guide to Effective Communication for Psychologists and Psychiatrists

Title: Comprehensive Parenting Evaluations
Presenter: Marsha Hedrick, PhD, ABPP
Date: Thursday, November 15
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

This introductory workshop covers the elements of a comprehensive parenting evaluation using a step-by-step approach.  Within that approach, there is a specific focus on ethical standards and avoiding licensing complaints, appropriate use of psychological testing, developmentally appropriate parenting schedules, domestic violence in this context, and sexual abuse allegations.

Persons attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Describe how the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology and Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Family Law Proceedings shape the evaluation process 
  • Identify role conflicts and how to avoid them in these settings
  • Describe research related to short and long-term effects of divorce, effects of conflict on parent and child functioning, and various visitation schedules
  • Describe a strategy for selecting psychological instruments to use in parenting evaluations
  • Identify the advantages and disadvantages of various parenting schedules with different age groups
  • List elements characteristic of valid and invalid accusations of sexual abuse
  • Describe current thinking in the field regarding parental alienation and the problem with syndrome testimony 
Marsha Hedrick, PhD, ABPP, has been board certified in forensic psychology by the American Board of Forensic Psychology since 1998.  She is in private practice in Seattle and has conducted over 650 family court evaluations in Washington and Alaska.   Dr. Hedrick has served on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Forensic Psychology and is currently on the examination faculty for ABFP.  

Title: Expert Testimony
Presenter: Randy K. Otto, PhD, ABPP
Date: Thursday, November 15
Time: 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Conducting thorough forensic evaluations is not enough to impact legal decision makers and legal decision making.  Forensic examiners must be able to communicate to judges, juries and attorneys who they are, what they did, what they learned, and the opinions they formed when they write reports and testify.  Expert testimony is the focus of this 7-hour workshop.  As such, this program should be of interest to all forensic psychologists who testify in legal proceedings, regardless of their subspecialty.  Reviewed are general principles of effective communication in legal proceedings, research examining effective communication in legal proceedings by expert witnesses, specific strategies and skills to employ during direct examination, commonly-used cross-examination gambits and responses, and rules of evidence that can shape and impact testimony. Considerable use is made of case examples-using excerpts from trial and deposition transcripts as well as video recordings of mental health professionals testifying. If time permits, development and use of exhibits to supplement trial testimony will be discussed.

Persons attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Describe how various rules of evidence can affect how testimony is offered
  • List the general components of effective communication
  • Describe similarities and differences between testifying in a deposition and at trial, and the implications of these differences when testifying
  • Identify factors that can affect legal decision makers’ opinions about the witness’s credibility
  • Describe and employ strategies to communicate one’s specific expertise to the judge or jury
  • List and put into practice pre-trial preparation strategies that will facilitate effective expert testimony
  • Identify common cross-examination gambits and effective responses 
Randy K. Otto, PhD, ABPP, has been a faculty member at the University of South Florida (USF) since 1989, where he also holds appointments in the Departments of Mental Health Law & Policy, Psychology, and Criminology.  In addition to his time at USF, Dr. Otto has a practice that is limited to forensic psychological evaluation.  He is board certified in forensic psychology and clinical psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.  Dr. Otto’s research and writing focuses on forensic psychological assessment.  In 2014, a book on forensic report writing and expert testimony he co-authored with Rick DeMier and Marc Boccaccini was published by John Wiley and Sons.  In 2015, a book he co-authored with Alan Goldstein and Kirk Heilbrun on forensic ethics was published.  And, in 2017, the fourth edition of a book he co-authored with Gary Melton, John Petrila, Norm Poythress, Chris Slobogin, Doug Mossman, and Lois Condie, Psychological Evaluations for the Courts: A Handbook for Mental Health Professional and Lawyers, was released.

Title: Post-Divorce Issues and Parenting Plans that Stimulate Growth
Presenter: Marsha Kline Pruett, PhD, MSL, ABPP
Date: Friday, November 16
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

This presentation combines practical experience and research to provide a refresher on development across the span of childhood, with a particular emphasis on the role of the father and co-parenting among separated families. The focus of the workshop is children’s developmental tasks and hallmarks, developmental risks relevant to separation and divorce, red flags for child stress, and tips for co-parenting at each developmental stage. Information is provided about the latest thinking and research related to making parenting plan decisions (with overnights) in families with very young children and how to determine “the right time” for step-up planning. Finally, participants will examine “best interests” conundrums and consider complexities and contradictions inherent in making fraught co-parenting decisions.

Persons attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Identify the roles that temperament and attachment theory play in residential decisions post-separation and the limitations in family law applications 
  • Evaluate paternal involvement and co-parenting post-divorce family dynamics and consider these as unique and overlapping contributions to child development across diverse family structures
  • Identify risk and protective factors that are relevant to parenting plans with overnights for young children and how these factors can be used in combination to guide decisions
  • Evaluate factors for parenting plan decisions in the context of diverse family values, lifestyle options, and socioeconomic frameworks
  • Describe how developmental issues can impact parenting plan considerations for all ages of children
  • Describe conditions that support or suggest delay in “stepping-up” parenting plans with the less-seen parent
  • Describe competing priorities and dilemmas related to stability vs. change in child development that can be affected by parenting plan decisions
Marsha Kline Pruett, PhD, MSL, ABPP is the Maconda Brown O’Connor Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Smith College School for Social Work.  She is board certified in couple and family psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.  She has been in private practice for over 25 years, specializing in couples counseling and co-parenting consultation, parenting coaching, legal case development for attorneys, mediation, as well as intervention design and evaluation.  She has a national and international reputation for the development of preventive interventions in courts and family-focused community agencies. She has published numerous articles, books, and curricula on topics pertaining to couple relationships before and after divorce, young children and overnights, school consultations, and child outcomes.  She is the immediate Past President of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).  

Title: Cultural Considerations in Forensic Psychology
Presenter: Michelle R. Guyton, PhD, ABPP
Date: Friday, November 16
Time: 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

This workshop provides a review of the impact of culture, ethnicity, and language on forensic interviewing, assessment, and diagnosis. Cognitive psychology, as it relates to implicit bias and decision-making, is also discussed. The focus is on understanding this literature, how it relates to forensic practice, and expanding skills for conducting forensic mental health evaluations with diverse individuals. Topics include cultural expressions of psychopathology, interviewing strategies, working with interpreters, and ethical considerations.

Persons attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Classify patterns of overrepresentation within the criminal justice system for individuals from non-dominant cultures
  • Demonstrate how models of cognitive processing link to implicit bias
  • Describe cultural expressions of psychopathology
  • Identify professional resources that can facilitate understanding of an examinee’s culture and heritage
  • Enumerate strategies for working effectively with language interpreters
  • Identify how to consider culture and at what stage of the legal process based on referral question
  • Identify and respond to ethical conflicts that arise when psychologists evaluate people from cultures and backgrounds different from their own
  • Identify and use APA guidelines to assist when evaluating individuals from the non-dominant culture
Michelle Guyton, PhD, ABPP is a licensed psychologist and certified forensic evaluator in Oregon at Northwest Forensic Institute, LLC (NWFI). She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology at Sam Houston State University and her doctorate at the University of Utah. She came to Oregon in 2005 where she completed residency training at the Oregon Department of Corrections. Dr. Guyton was a faculty member at the School of Graduate Psychology at Pacific University in Hillsboro, Oregon for ten years.   She and her students conducted research examining violence risk assessment, inmates’ adjustment to prison, and forensic assessment instruments. Dr. Guyton is the director of the Oregon Forensic Evaluator Training Program and is the training director for NWFI’s postdoctoral fellowship and practicum student programs. Dr. Guyton volunteers with the American Academy of Forensic Psychology to provide continuing education programs throughout the United States. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, riding her bike, and watching little league baseball.

Title: Parenting Coordination: Working with High Conflict Families
Presenter: Robin M. Deutsch, PhD, ABPP
Date: Saturday, November 17
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

This introductory workshop provides an overview of this hybrid professional role, the psychological dynamics of high conflict families including children’s adjustment, the functions of a parent coordinator, and issues appropriate for the parent coordinator.  Professional guidelines, and legal and ethical issues are highlighted, along with the nuts and bolts of informed consent, drafting agreements, and decision-making.

Persons attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Describe the hybrid role of the parenting coordinator and differentiate it from other roles
  • Identify the psychological dynamics of high conflict families
  • Identify the qualifications and abilities needed to be a parenting coordinator
  • Examine parenting coordinator functions and practices
  • Identify sources of authority for parenting coordinator practice
  • Identify ethical challenges of parenting coordination
  • Describe specifics of writing agreements and drafting decisions 
Robin Deutsch, PhD, ABPP, is the Director of the Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law at the William James College (www.williamjames.edu/cffc). She is board certified in couple and family psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.  For 25 years she was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, most recently as an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology. Dr. Deutsch is a parenting coordinator and is board certified in couple and family psychology.  She provides consultation and expert witness services on boundary violations, ethical issues, child and adolescent development, complex custody issues, and custody and parenting evaluations.   She is a founder of Overcoming Barriers, an organization that provides family-centered services for families in conflict.  She has published extensively on issues related to attachment, alienation, co-parenting after divorce, high conflict divorce, parenting plans, and parenting coordination, and is the co-author of 7 Things Your Teenager Won’t Tell You: And How to Talk about Them Anyway  and co-editor of Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems (Oxford, 2016).  She was on the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and the APA task forces that developed guidelines for parenting coordination.

Title: Assessing Children and Parents with Intimate Partner Violence and/or Child Abuse Allegations in Family and Dependency Proceedings
Presenter: Robert Geffner, PhD, ABPP, ABN
Date: Saturday, November 17
Time: 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

This workshop focuses on assessment strategies for use with children and parents in cases in which there are allegations of domestic violence and/or child abuse.  Suggestions for assessment and differential diagnosis are presented along with the importance for treatment planning.    The procedures, assessment, and ethical practice for child custody disputes when there are allegations of child maltreatment and/or exposure to domestic violence are discussed. Distinguishing between abuse, high conflict, alienation, estrangement, and rejection are emphasized for child custody cases.  Prevalence rates of false allegations of child abuse in divorce, dependency, and custody disputes are discussed.   Guarding against overt and subtle biases is also emphasized, and ethical issues are discussed.

Persons attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Identify and employ effective strategies for working with children who have alleged abuse or have been exposed to domestic violence
  • Describe three assessment techniques for children involved in family court or dependency cases
  • Describe three assessment measures for parents involved in family court or dependency cases and explain why they are useful
  • List three myths often help by practitioners in the family court system
  • Describe two ways to make a decision to refer or continue to collect data about domestic violence and child abuse in child custody cases that avoid bias
  • Identify important data sources to consider when considering allegations of abuse
  • Identify three of the most common ethical violations engaged in by psychologists when conducting family court or dependency evaluations 
Robert Geffner, PhD, ABPP, 
ABN is President and Founder of the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT).  He is board certified in couple and family psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.  He was a Professor of Psychology at UT-Tyler and is now a Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology at Alliant International University in San Diego.  He edits four professional journals, including the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, Journal of Child Custody, and Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma. He is board certified in Clinical Neuropsychology by the American Board of Neuropsychology, and he is Board Certified in Couple & Family Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. He is a licensed to practice psychology in California and Texas, and he has lectured internationally for over 35 years on the subjects of child abuse, domestic violence, trauma, child custody, and the long-term effects of adverse childhood experiences. He has presented over 500 keynote addresses, workshops, and seminars and is a founding member and Past President of the American Psychological Association Division of Trauma Psychology.  

Half-Day Workshops
(4 Credit Hours per Workshop)

Title: Advanced Issues in Parenting Coordination: Working with High Conflict Parents
Presenter: Robin M. Deutsch, PhD, ABPP
Date: Sunday, November 18
Time: 8:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

This advanced half-day workshop assumes familiarity with the parenting coordination process and focuses on the most challenging clients and issues including working with parents with  personality disorders and families where children resist/refuse contact.

Persons attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Identify effective techniques to employ when working with clients with personality difficulties
  • Identify role differences in psychological and legal management of difficult clients
  • Describe the dynamics of families in which children resist/refuse contact with a parent
  • Describe how Parenting Coordinators can work with families where children resist/refuse contact with a parent
Please see Dr. Deutsch's bio above.

Title: Ethics in Forensic Practice
Presenter: Michelle Guyton, PhD, ABPP
Date: Sunday, November 18
Time: 8:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

This half-day workshop uses a case-based approach with active discussion to consider various ethical issues as they pertain to forensic clinical psychology. Ethical principles from psychology and psychiatry are explored and applied to different cases.

Persons attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Identify main ethical imperatives across forensic clinical cases
  • Apply ethical principles to a broad range of forensic clinical cases
  • Describe and apply an ethical decision-making model
  • Consider the intersection of ethics and cultural issues in a variety of forensic clinical work 
Michelle Guyton, PhD, ABPP, is a licensed psychologist and is board-certified in forensic psychology. She practices in Oregon at the Northwest Forensic Institute. Dr. Guyton specializes in forensic and correctional psychology and conducts a variety of forensic evaluations including competency, criminal responsibility, mitigation, risk assessment, and fitness for duty. She also provides consultation and education services for state and other agencies and attorneys in capital cases. Dr. Guyton is the Director of the Oregon Forensic Evaluator Training Program which provides ongoing education for all psychiatrists and psychologists who perform competency and insanity evaluations in the state. Dr. Guyton is the postdoctoral training director at Northwest Forensic Institute. Before developing a full-time forensic practice, she taught for ten years at the School of Graduate Psychology at Pacific University. 


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