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An Introduction to Case Histories: Gathering Relevant Information

A thorough and detailed case history of your client is the most important part of a forensic evaluation. It provides the context for interpreting psychological tests as well as the rationale for relating client behavior to the legal questions to be explored.

The forensic interview may be the only source for baseline data. The interviewer should inquire about childhood illnesses, early fears, family migration, grade school achievement, dating experiences, job experiences, current health, prescribed medication, physical and mental health problems and treatments. The attorney should provide the psychologist with as much background material as he/she can obtain to buttress the forensic interview. This may include school records, medical charts, military records, employment records, and psychological records.

You must submit all data of importance to your client’s life history so that the investigator can be thorough in his/her evaluation. The investigator cannot address issues that are not contained in the material you present.

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