The specialization of forensic expert testimony in mental health has traditionally been precluded for counselors and dominated primarily by psychologists and psychiatrists. This chapter focuses on the applicable laws related to providing expert testimony and their impact on how counselors must prepare and present their findings in court. It outlines legal definitions and differences in deposing or discovery testimony versus trial testimony. Knowing the order and relevant issues involved at each procedural step becomes important regarding testimony preparation. A practical look at the specific skills counselors should have in order to effectively work in the forensic field is discussed next as well as specific strategies in preparing for and testifying in a courtroom. The growing need for forensic mental health evaluators plays a significant role in scientifically and methodologically providing the court with valuable knowledge in helping to render more informed decisions.
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The social justice counselor (SJC) is essentially a new breed of contemporary counselor who no longer works with blinders on regarding a narrowed vision of counseling that focuses on treating a client’s symptoms while ignoring any external contributing factors of client distress. This chapter describes social justice counseling, its emphasis, why it is needed, and why all counseling disciplines should stay abreast of the topic, its counseling strategies, and the premise as to why social justice needs to be considered in counseling. Social psychologists and sociologists have long studied the psychological ramifications of inequality regarding the reciprocal effect of individuals’ interactions with their environment. The chapter explores the economic, health, and psychosocial ramifications of inequality and oppression to provide counselors with insights regarding the worldview and daily lives of the poor and oppressed in American society.