PSY 496 Final project

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PSY 496 Final Project



Hi. My name is XXXXXX, a psychology student at Ashford University, taking Bachelors of Arts Psychology, as well as a clinical research coordinator, at on the job Phlebotomy Training. I am 29, a wife and a mother of three. I have two girls, 13 and 10, one boy who is 2. My prior experience in psychology includes being a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Oklahoma Clinical Research Center, Oklahoma City. I worked here since January 2014 to November 2014, where the Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) comprises an essential part of the research team. I was working under the Private Investigator (PI) in conducting the study in accordance with the federal hospital regulations. I am also in love with fitness and wish I could just help everyone get to their fitness goals. I love to see when people reach their goals and the excitement on their face when they are happy with themselves from the inside out.

Literature review

The topic I have chosen for my final project is forensic psychology, an area that I have deep interest in and possibly may pursue later on in my career. The article “Research Areas of Emphasis in Professional Psychology” has mentioned this topic as being one of the few that have received nearly the same degrees of emphasis, possibly reflecting that this is a topic with relative importance in practice (Piotrowski, 2012).

Forensic psychology, according to Fulero & Wrightsman (2009) is any application of the psychological theories, methods, research and practice to a task that is faced by the legal system. This definition is a broader view of what most of us may term as forensic psychology as the process of a clinical psychologist trying to investigate the nature of a crime, or in trying to solve a crime. Forensic Psychology is basically the application of the psychology profession and science to the issues and questions that relate to the legal system and the law. The word “forensic” is derived from the Latin word “forensis,” which means “of the forum,” a place where the ancient Rome law courts were held. In a time where crime is on the rise, forensic psychologists become more relevant, since they are mostly used in trials (especially criminal trials) to determine whether the mental state of the defendant’s meets required legal standards. This helps when the individual is about to take a plea, because any defendant has to take a plea when he/she is in good mental shape. Its relevance also comes in when the defendant has to be assessed on his ability to go through the trial process, considering how tiresome, arduous and emotionally strenuous for someone who is mentally ill. We live in a time of so many mental illnesses, and the study of forensic psychology is so handy in making sure that the rights of everyone are observed, and that every trial is as fair as possible.

Literature review

The objective of a study by Douglas, Ogloff, & Hart (2014) was to test the reliability of the interrater and the validity that is related to the criterion of structured judgments that are at the risk of violence made by using the HCR-20 violence risk assessment scheme. This is an application of the professional judgment model of violence risk assessment that is structured so as to asses 20 key factors of risk in 3 domains, which are historical, risk management and clinical. The questions that were sought to be answered were: a) can HCR-20 scales, items, and particularly the structured final risk judgments be done with acceptable interrater reliability? b) Are HCR-20 scales, items and particularly the structured final risk judgments related in any way with future violence? c) What is the validity of the structured final risk judgments, with respect to the arithmetic combinations of HCR-20 item ratings? Literally tens of legal and clinical settings call for the assessment of violence risk and management by the mental health professionals. One example of that is the release from forensic psychiatric hospitalization, which is the setting that the study utilizes in the setting. The method used in the study was very simple, where the HCR-20 was supposed to be completed for a sample population of 100 forensic psychiatric patients, and who by reason of a mental disorder had been found not guilty and were subsequently released back to the community. The violence in the community was then determined from several file-based sources. The results of the study indicated that the Interrater reliability of a structured final risk judgments of low, high or moderate violence risk that was made on the basis of a structured professional judgment model was generally acceptable (weighted kappa=.61). The structured final risk judgments were very predictive of the post-release community violence, resulting to moderate to large effect sizes. The event history analysis showed that the final risk judgments that were made with structured professional judgment model added some incremental validity to the HCR-20 that was used in an actuarial (numerical) sense. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of the study support the model of the structured professional judgment of risk assessment and the HCR-20 specifically and suggest that if clinical judgment is made within a context that is structured, it can contribute in very meaningful ways to the violence risk assessment. The results of this study provides very reasonable support for the decision-making scheme of a structured professional judgment model of risk assessment and are not consistent with the position that clinical decisions about violence risk are perforce unreliable and invalid. However, subsequent studies should in future consider using the model of a structured professional judgment actually prevents subsequent violence. This is the goal of the structured professional judgment model, which is also emerging as a conceptual theme in the field of forensic psychology. field more broadly. The intentions of the model of a structured professional judgment is to guide clinicians to arrive at a risk level, through the consideration of the present risk factors, the attendant risk management and intervention strategies that will reduce these factors as well as the salience for the individual in mind.

In the peer-reviewed article “Legal and Criminological Psychology,” Youngs & Canter (2012) were responding to concerns raised by other forensic psychology researchers about personal narratives of the individual offenders and the link they have to identity and self-concepts. The concerns were also related as well to the explorations of someone’s personal life stories, instead of the narratives of the actual crimes that Youngs and Canter’s (2011) focused on as their main theme in the study. Therefore, this article seeks to elaborate the different focus and as well help completely diffuse and respond to many of the concerns that have been brought about by other researchers, and even goes further to reveal further possibilities for the development of the narrative approach within the confines of forensic psychology.

The methods employed in this latter study was based on the fact that the focus on the accounts of an offender regarding a particular crime gives in to the development of the Narrative Role Questionnaire (NRQ), which is in essence a standard pro forma, that deals with the part a person may think they played in the act of committing a crime. These are the roles that act as a summary of the offence narrative of the criminal. The Multivariate analysis of the Narrative Role Questionnaire (NRQ) further clarifies the specified narrative themes that Youngs (2011) had explored in depth in the initial article. The Multivariate analysis is very handy because its functionality is based on the principle of multivariate statistics that involves observing and analyzing at a time more than 1 statistical outcomes variable. In its design and analysis, this technique is mostly used to perform trade studies across many dimensions, while putting into consideration the effects of all the variables on the responses of person of interest. As a result of the study, the examination of the NRQ components indicated that the offence narratives had envelope many processes that are psychological, including thinking styles, affective components, and self-concepts. This allows the narrative themes that were identified by Youngs and Canter to give us the basis for a rich hypotheses about how identity and the dynamics of personal stories interact. The outcome, as well as the four criminal action narratives also offer to us a foundation for the understanding of the particular different and detailed styles that are common in offending action, as well as the immediate and direct processes that usually act in a way so as to instigate and shape them. As a conclusion to this article, the developments that come up in our understanding of the offence narratives usually generate very fruitful research questions that act as a bridge to the concerns of the applications of investigative and correctional on narrative theory. This is a very useful article in the field of psychology, and more specifically in the forensic psychology field, where I have a growing interest in. It is for sure a helpful article to read and study, because it has got profound insights on the practice of forensic psychology.

The “Guidance for Improving Forensic Reports: A Review of Common Errors” is a study that employed a national sample of forensic reports, that had been criticized by a panel of forensic mental health professionals and practitioners, who served as reviewers for American Board of Forensic Psychology. This study by Grisso (2010) describes all the discrete types of faults that the reviewers encountered in the forensics reports, then converts them to prescriptive statements that will guide the writing of forensic reports. The study also tries to identify the problems with report-writing that are most frequent in this current sample. The study used 62 reports that were written by 36 forensic psychology professionals. All the professionals were candidates in the evaluation process that was national, for becoming a diplomate in forensic psychology through the American Board of Forensic Psychology (ABFP). A diplomate is an equivalent to board certification. Part of the process required them to submit two reports as “practice samples” for review. The 62 forensic reports in the sample constituted of all of the reports that were reviewed by ABFP from January 2007 to June 2009 and could not be used in the final step of the candidacy, the oral examination, because they were not approved. Some candidates had all the two reports disapproved, while others had one report approved and one disapproved. The reports that were approved to be used in the examination were not included in the sample. The 36 candidates whose reports were not approved comprised of 39% of the total number of candidates whose samples were reviewed at the study period. (That does not include a final “fail” rate for the practice sample review process of the ABFP, because many of those candidates later re-submitted new samples that were then approved to proceed to the oral examination.). Since the ABFP retains all the records of all the candidates’ practice sample reviews, all the non-approved cases that were within the time frame were located, as well as the feedback letters sent to the candidates. The feedback letters that were obtained were the source of data used for this study. Each discrete problem or fault that was described in the letter and was identified for each of the one or two non-approved reports to which the letter referred, and the faults were tallied across all of the reports that were non-approved. This produced a non-redundant list that represents the domain of all the faults that were mentioned by the reviewers, as well as the tally of the frequency with which every fault was mentioned across all reports. The review produced exactly 30 discrete factors that were raised by the reviewers of the forensic reports. Part of the prescription, which initially came out like a fault in the study includes providing accurate and correct information on the person’s identity and dates of evaluation. They also prescribe that any forensic report should be organized in a logical manner and in a way that assists the reader’s understanding. Finally, Grisso (2010) suggests that when reporting a test data, one should identify scores and offer explanations for their normative meaning, and one should not describe them as attributes of the examinee.

Expert Opinions

The topic I have chosen is forensic psychology, which is an area I have a deep interest in and possibly may pursue later on in my career. The article “Research Areas of Emphasis in Professional Psychology” has mentioned this topic as being one of the few that have received nearly the same degrees of emphasis, possibly reflecting that this topic with relative importance in practice (Piotrowski, 2012).

For this discussion I have chosen to review the websites for the American Art Therapy Association, the American Dance Therapy Association, and the American Music Therapy Association. The titles alone reveal a common theme amongst the three professional organizations represented in the websites; therapy through the arts. These types of therapies seek to help a person cope with their life challenges by means other than simply discussing their grievances. Though each of these therapies utilize an art form, they are each uniquely different. For instance, “art therapy is a mental help profession in which clients…use art…and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem” (American Art Therapy Association, 2014), “dance/movement therapy (DMT) uses movement to “further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual” through movement…”(American Dance Therapy Association, 2009), and “Music therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals” (American Music Therapy Association, 2014). So even though the method of art is different, each of these methods encourages the individual to find their health through artistic self-expression.

I think when asked “How would a professional in your organization contribute to the treatment of depression” a professional from the American Art Therapy Association would tell us that they have their clients draw/paint the way that their depression makes them feel, the way they feel when they are not depressed/what makes them happy, etc. I think that a professional from the American Dance Therapy Association would say that they would introduce the world of interpretive dance to a patient who is depressed. Having them dance a scene in which they go from happy, to depressed, and then overcome depression with happiness/contentment; they would do this both alone and in a group. Lastly, I think that a professional from the American Music Therapy Association would say that they would have a person with depression listen to and sing to upbeat/happy/positive music only and try to help to see how that music alters their moods and outlooks on life.


Clinical Research Coordinator

On the job Phlebotomy Training

CPR/AED Certified

Good Clinical Practice Training

Dangerous Good Transportation & IATA Certified

Organized & and Detailed Oriented
Clinical Research Coordinator, Oklahoma Clinical Research Center, Oklahoma City, OK, January 2014 to November 2014

Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) comprises an essential part of the research team. Working under the Private Investigator (PI) in conducting the study in accordance with the federal and hospital regulations. Some responsibilities of the Clinical Research Coordinator, depending on the requests of the PI:

*Submitting documents to the IRB

*Attending investigator meetings

*Scheduling and screening subjects

*Teaching subjects about protocol expectations for them

*Performing study/protocol procedures in a detailed and accurate manner

*Maintaining study files

*Tracking subjects and maintaining study progress (trying to avoid lost-to-follow up subjects)

*Documenting any adverse events and their severity

*Data entry

*Obtaining labs, processing and shipping labs

*Recruiting qualified subjects

Clinical Research Coordinator, IPS Research, Oklahoma City, OK, August 2015 to Present Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) comprises an essential part of the research team. Working under the Private Investigator (PI) in conducting the study in accordance with the federal and hospital regulations. Some responsibilities of the Clinical Research Coordinator, depending on the requests of the PI:

* Submitting documents to the IRB

* Attending investigator meetings

*Scheduling and screening subjects

* Teaching subjects about protocol expectations for them

* Performing study/protocol procedures in a detailed and accurate manner

* Maintaining study files

* Tracking subjects and maintaining study progress (trying to avoid lost-to-follow up subjects)

* Documenting any adverse events and their severity

* Data entry

* Obtaining labs, processing and shipping labs


Allied Business Schools, Inc Laguna Hills, CA

Certificate in Dental Office Assistant June 2010 to December 2010 National Academy of Sports Medicine, Temecula, CA

Certificate in Personal Training & Nutrition Specialist February 2011 to August 2011 Ashford University, San Diego, CA

Associate of Arts Organizational Management October 2011 to November 2013 Ashford University, San Diego, CA

Bachelors of Arts Psychology May 2014 to Present

Deborah Rhatigan
1234 Baker Drive, Knoxville, TN 37901
Phone: (555) 506-5432 Email:

Psychology Professor

Highly motivated professor seeking a position with an organization that focuses on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and abuse. I am interested in working in a clinical or research environment, with the chance to encourage and teach others.

Qualification Highlights

Credentialed psychology professor, good communication and public speaking skills; highly motivated with a broad knowledge of risk factors for abuse and psychological problems. Able to inform and inspire students. Provide protective and transformational influence in battered women and men. Restoring self-confidence to children and families and provide support for families. Proficient in critical thinking, judgment, and decision making.

Professional Experience
Assistant Professor – University of Houston, Downtown / 2005-2006

Conducted research on battered women

Aimed to reduce the risk for abuse

Studied risk factors for substance abuse and other psychological problems

Awarded the top psychology professors by the University of Houston

Participated in more than 80 conference presentation

Tenure-Track Assistant Professor – UT Knoxville / 2006-2007

UT Knoxville Visiting Scholar

Trained numerous doctoral students, legal professionals, and mental health professionals. Conducts public lectures, presentations, and workshops

Supervised and conducted the completion of numerous student dissertations and theses Has more than 40 publications, of books and articles

Provided clinical training in multiple professional establishments

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, 2002
Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, Boston VA Healthcare Systems National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 2004
Masters of Arts in Psychology, Duke University, 2002
License Psychologist from the state of Knoxville, TN

Cory Crane

Clinical Counselor

Predictors of intimate partner violence and violent recidivism among offenders, including dual diagnosis psychopathology as well as licit and illicit polysubstance use; CBT interventions for partner violence, specifically brief motivational enhancement and integrated substance abuse domestic violence treatments, within forensic populations; The evaluation of interactive cognitive and emotional processes in partner aggression using daily diary and observational methodologies. Studied men who abuse women have more traits found in ADHD and bipolar like disorders.
Qualification Highlights

Critical Thinking – Specialist

Active Listening – Expert

Monitoring – Advanced

Writing – Specialist

Time Management – Expert

Instructing – Expert

Persuasion – Specialist

Judgment and Decision Making – Specialist

Complex Problem Solving – Specialist

Management of Financial Resources – Advanced
Professional Experience
Assistant Attending Psychologist, New York Presbyterian Hospital / 2007 to Present

Liaise with the Psychology Team, Medical Team, and Therapy Team. Assist in the discussion and formulation of therapy plans or treatment towards the patient. Attended and contributed in meetings involving different disciplinary personnel to assess results, engage in patient treatment progress discussion, and discussion over guidelines. Undertook basic protocols for psychological assessments.

Director The Psychology Group / 2005 – 2006

Overseeing and managing all tasks of a specific project or department. Leading the firm to success within our field. Enforce ethical practices, maintain professional standards, and manage company budgets. Protecting the organization’s reputation and strategically grow the organization. Define visionary aim and target for the organization to jointly work towards.

PhD in Clinical Psychology, Fordham University / 2002 – 2004
Master of Arts in Psychology, Fordham University 2000 – 2002
Master of Business Administration, Columbia University Graduate School of Business / 1997 – 1999
Bachelor of Arts, Ashford University / 1995 – 1997

Case Study

In the case of personal life experiences, Mark is an individual that was raised in rough conditions, living in poverty, the youngest of 5 in his family, and the victim of abuse from his siblings and his parents. Not being about to cope with all this, Mark found an escape that alleviates his stress, in the form of torturing stray animals from the neighborhood. As a person, at some point Mark faced the challenge of discontinuing his acts of cruelty, but could not see any other alternatives on the releasing his frustrations. He is aware of this unethical acts on the animals but feels he could do nothing to control his actions. In this hypothetical situation, several years later I happen to move in next to Mark and get to know him. He seemed just to be like any other average person and soon to be a friend, occasionally meeting up for a game of golf. Imagining by that time I have just gotten my feet wet in my career as a criminal analyst, and Mark after all the years has moved on from harming stray animals to targeting homeless individuals. A well experienced colleague that was giving me guidance came up to me one day after making a discovery in the case he was assigned with and decided to involve me in, just happen to be on the suspect living next door to me. The documents of the case included a sketch and basic profile of the suspect, but I had a strong feeling that it was my neighbor Mark. Being confronted with all of these facts all of the sudden, I would imagine myself to be in total shock and having mixed emotions between my professional obligations and as a friend to Mark. The primary focus on this problem is Mark and the actions of his cruelty as a result of his unstable mind that was affected by the stress he encountered at such a young age. From the perspective of other individuals, the problem was plain and simple, who was held responsible for this case I was now a part of. As the targets of Mark are homeless individuals, that are known to have less meaning in society, there might be a case where Mark’s actions would not be discovered. There was the obvious choice of informing my colleague of the whereabouts of their targeted suspect, or my other option would be to offer Mark some help to overcome this problem he has been facing all of these years. The first option would risk the friendship I have built and a helping a person that could benefit from getting help with the right type of health professionals, that would guide him in the right direction and help him cope with his negative feelings. The second option goes with the risk of termination or probationary from the profession that I have spent a great deal of time and hard work achieving the position I hold with a reputable establishment. I presume in dealing with an individual like Mark, a psychological consultation should be required in this situation, which could be difficult if refused by Mark. If I were to entertain the idea of option two and unable to provide the guidance and help that I hoped that I could on getting Mark on the right track, there is always the possibility that it could blow up in my face. There would be the possibility of Mark making a turn for the worse and this resulting in severe consequences for the both of us. Another downfall of choosing option two would be an unsafe and unethical decision, by going against my company, my colleague, and the legal system. This in turn would result in a more complex and challenging situation for both our futures. At the point of my decision making for this case and my situation, I would apply the knowledge that I have that I have obtained from the program and training to a critically analyze Mark’s behavior and mental process. Then evaluation Mark’s personality by the knowledge I have gained. I like the quote in our text, “Certainly the content of psychology is necessary, but if you can learn, practice, utilize, and apply the methods of psychology, the journey ahead has endless possibilities (Landrum, 2012, pg 18). With that said, I want my options to be endless in the field of psychology. I would also try to communicate with Mark in accordance with the case study and practice that I have conducted throughout course work. The ability to read and think analytical and originative a situation; an acquired skill from studying through Ashford University has positively affected the determination that I have made in this case. I was also able to capture information from other fields of study to make informed decisions, through my education at Ashford University. I would choose option one and allow my senior colleague to get a deeper confirmation on his case and assist him in all the ways that I could on any additional information that I have about Mark. The further testing and background investigation would prove to be sufficient evidence that encourages my decision making. The collected evidence would also be used to develop psychological treatments specific for the case of Mark.

Pertinent websites (American Board of Forensic Psychology)

The American Board of Forensic Psychology (ABFP) is the board that is responsible for instituting the criteria that is related to the definition and requirements for training, education, competencies and examination which then leads to Board Certification in Forensic Psychology. This website is very educative because of the top brains in forensic psychology in the USA. (American Journal of Forensic Psychology)

This is a peer reviewed journal that was founded in the 1980s and has been publishing thought provoking, original articles on psychology, that raise very important questions and topics in the field of psychology. This website continues to interest many people throughout the country, who are both professionals and students (History of Forensics)

This blog states the Forensic Psychology field as a sub field of criminology, where unlike many other fields, there’s no universally acceptable idea of what qualifies to be Forensic Psychology. Therefore, this blog’s writes have chosen to concentrate on these six main components, as the most important in the understanding the history of forensic psychology. These components are: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Psychology and Law, Research, Issues and Debates, Media and Deviance. (The Huffington Post Forensic Psychology Blog)

This is a blog that features very well-written articles regarding the popular topics and occurrences of the intersection between the psychology and law. Forensic professionals, Laypersons and students alike could enjoy this blog, because of the insight provided by the well-researched writers. (International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology)

The IACFP (International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology) is an organization that is comprised of the behavioral scientists and practitioners who have a collective concern for the high-quality delivery of mental health services to criminal offenders, while at the same time promoting and a disseminating research on the assessment, etiology and treatment of criminal behavior. They have a nice website that has a lot of materials. (Open Access Journal of Forensic Psychology)

This is a free publication that was created by psychologists for psychologists. It is a free peer-reviewed professional journal with its mission being to link science and practice of forensic psychology by making research and applications directly available to all forensic psychologists”. They offer a lot of professional articles by their members. Reddy’s Forensic Page

This seemingly simple website is an excellent academic resource for forensic psychology professionals as well as students. It contains reading lists, website links, definitions, which make it an immensely useful tool for anyone to have at their disposal. The writer of the page, Reddy P. Chamakura, is a retired forensic scientist at the New York City Police Department with 36 years of experience at the police laboratory in forensic field (American Psychological Association (APA)

The APA is a scientific and a professional organization that represents psychology students and professional psychologists in the United States. The mission of the APA is “to advance the creation, and their website provides a lot of insights in what is going on in the world of psychology. (Anthropologist in the Attic: 20 Most Influential People in Forensic Science)

This list of who is who in the forensic psychology industry, and is an excellent resource when evaluating both the contemporary and the historical forensic science. This list details some of the people who have shaped the field and continue to do so. (The Clinical Psychologists Bookshelf: Reading List for Forensic Psychology)

This is another excellent resource of forensic psychology, for students and professionals alike. It includes a laid down reading list for required books, required readings, and suggested additional readings. Many of the books found here are appropriate for non-professionals as well, and are easy to understand.


American Art Therapy Association (2014). American Art Therapy Association.

American Dance Therapy Association. (2009). American Dance Therapy Association. Healing

Through Movement.

American Music Therapy Association. (2014). American Music Therapy Association.

Douglas, K., Ogloff, J., & Hart, S. (2014). Evaluation of a Model of Violence Risk Assessment

Among Forensic Psychiatric Patients. PS Psychiatric Services, 1372-1379.

Fulero, S., & Wrightsman, L. (2009). Forensic psychology (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Grisso, T. (2010). Guidance for improving forensic reports: A review of common errors. Open

Access Journal of Forensic Psychology, 2, 102-115

Piotrowski, C. (2012). Research Areas of Emphasis in Professional Psychology. Journal of

Instructional Psychology, 131-134

Youngs, D., & Canter, D. (2012). Legal and Criminological Psychology. 17, 262–275.

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