For the past 25 years I have been providing psychological assessment reports for solicitors around issues such as:
- To what degree is the client’s mental condition a result of the index accident?
- What is the contribution of the clients pre-existing psychological problems to their response to the index accident/event?
- Is the client suffering from a psychological disorder and how much can this be attributed to a criminal event (such as a robbery where the client was held hostage)?
- Was the client’s failure to give a breathalyser test the result of a panic attack?
- What is the prognosis?
- Can you provide advice on the possibility of psychological therapy for the client and how much improvement might be expected from a course of therapy?
These and many other questions can be addressed and a useful depth of psychological understanding provided. I see clients at my office in Talbot Woods, central Bournemouth in a pleasant and re-assuring setting. Clients sometimes bring relations or friends to support them and it is my usual practice to involve them initially, but then ask them to wait as I interview the client in more depth. For young people they may need their parent to stay with them during the entire interview.
The interview is often in-depth and quite long (up to 2 hours). It is important to develop a good relationship with the client, with breaks for refreshment and comfort breaks. I also ask clients to fill in a battery of psychometric assessment scales, which they normally complete without problems in the interview, but if it is difficult for them, I can assist them or give them the assessments to complete at home.
The in-depth interview, psychometric assessments and a careful reading of the accompanying documents allow me to produce a detailed and often insightful understanding of their issues and problems.