Expert v. Treater Role
Often, psychologists may begin a case as a treater in a clinical setting and then they are asked to serve in a forensic role. A particular conflict arises when this occurs, and the psychologist must be careful not to occupy dual roles. Indeed, there is a clear distinction between the role of a treater and an expert. In clinical settings, a psychologist embodies the treater role and is an advocate for the patient. Conversely, the expert role requires full objectivity at all times, and the expert is an advocate of the facts which could be potentially damaging to the plaintiff’s (e.g., their patient) case. The APA Ethical Principles (2002) strongly advise against performing “multiple and potentially conflicting roles in forensic matters.” In order to protect against serving multiple roles, forensic psychologists should demand to only fulfill one of three possible roles: treater, trial consultant, or testifying expert. Greenberg and Shuman (1997) provide an extensive overview...
References and Readings
- Greiffenstein, M. F., & Cohen, L. (2005). Neuropsychology and the law: Principles of productive attorney neuropsychologist relations. In G. Larrabee (Ed.), Forensic neuropsychology: A scientific approach. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar