The term psycho-legal is used to describe the intersection between psychology and the legal system. Psycho-legal assessments are usually requested by an attorney or third party.
A psycho-legal assessment refers to the process where psychological knowledge is applied within a legal framework. Psycho-legal services focus purely on assessments and does not include any clinical treatment and therapy. The focus is on gaining a psychological understanding of a person, making a psychological diagnosis, or determining their psychological functioning at a certain point in time. This is achieved by administering various standardised psychological assessments and the use of clinical observations through the interviewing process. The psychologist’s professional opinion and recommendations can provide specific guidance on treatment options, prognostic questions, and the potential need for additional assessments. Due to the nature of this assessment, the information obtained, and opinion given is not of a confidential nature.
PSYCHO-LEGAL ASSESSMENTS ARE A 4 PART PROCESS:
Psycho-legal reports are compiled on the findings of the above four-part investigation.
Once the psycho-legal assessment has been completed and the psycho-legal report has been submitted, the report will be given to the client. This report can then be handed to the court for use during the court proceedings as evidence pertaining to the matter at hand.