What is forensic psychology?


Forensic psychology has had many major figures shape its development and evolution over the years. One such figure was L.R.C. Haward , who began writing on the subject of forensic psychology in the 1950’s and in 1981, he wrote Forensic Psychology, which defined forensic psychology in his terms Haward defines forensic psychology as, “that branch of applied psychology which is concerned with the collection, examination and presentation of evidence for judicial purposes.”  Haward also became associated with the Oz Magazine obscenity trial of the 1960’s because he was an expert witness.  Haward was important to the development and evolution of forensic psychology in Great Britain because he wrote about issues in forensic psychology before the British Psychological Society even created what is today called the Division of Forensic Psychology.

Training in forensic psychology can be extensive and time consuming for an individual, so if a person gets a little lazy or feels that the training is too exhausting to handle, than a career in forensic psychology is not the correct one.  Education can also be a limitation because of the many degrees and years of study needed to qualify becoming a forensic psychologist.  Another limitation that education could place on me becoming a forensic psychologist is the number of universities and colleges that offer forensic psychology as a program for study. Why is this a limitation? The reason this is a limitation is because forensic psychology is the “new kid on the block”, so to speak in psychology and only now, is it being recognize as a possible career choice.

Overall, the best way to handle these limitations is to do your homework on what universities and colleges offer forensic psychology as a program to study. Another way to handle these limitations is to apply to an internship program with a clinical psychologist who has experience with forensic psychology. Learning from someone with experience in forensic psychology will help with your training and education. Finally, do not let these limitations get to you. Always try to keep a positive spin on everything.



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