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Conceptual structures: Information processing in mind and machine. Reading

Although there are master’s level degrees in forensic psychology, all forensic psychologists must have either a PhD or a PsyD degree from an APA-accredited or Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)-accredited doctoral program. They must also have the equivalent of two years of organized, sequential, supervised professional experience, one year of which is an APA- or CPA-accredited predoctoral internship. Often there are other requirements as well. The candidate can apply for licensure and sit for an oral or written exam (depending on the state where the candidate will be practicing). Practitioners can also become board certified (as diplomates) by the American Board of Forensic Psychology.

Forensic psychology has grown in the past 20 years. It is a broad applied field that offers numerous opportunities to the practitioner. Forensic psychologists work in many different legal environments, writing reports, giving testimony, doing direct treatment or working with therapeutic communities. In his book “Trials of a Forensic Psychologist: A Casebook,” Charles Patrick Ewing gives a clear picture of what it is like to evaluate, write and give testimony in court on difficult criminal cases. In many of Stephen Ceci’s and Elizabeth Loftus’s studies, forensic concerns change the nature of how we conceptualize memory and miscommunication. Forensic psychology is definitely here to stay.