Covering the mental health expert's many roles as therapist, mediator, evaluator, consultant to attorneys, expert witness, and more, Philip M. Stahl's Conducting Child Custody Evaluations: From Basic to Complex Issues addresses key topics such as the best interests of the child, custody and time share, divorce and its impact on children, and children's developmental needs. From tackling the terror of testifying to critiquing your own child custody evaluations and avoiding bias inherent in this work, this practical and easy-to-read book offers comprehensive coverage vital to practitioners in this field.

Tackling the Terror of Testifying1

Tackling the terror of testifying

One of the more difficult tasks for the evaluator occurs when a case goes to trial and she or he has to prepare for testifying in court. For many evaluators, this is a daunting task, stimulating fear, feelings of inadequacy, and insecurity. This is especially true for the relatively novice evaluator who has limited court experience and has done little testifying in the past. Contemplating the experience can be terrifying, but developing confidence can help.

Because the basic tools used by an evaluator are interviewing, psychological testing, observation, report writing, and other such clinical skills, few evaluators are adequately trained in the art and technique of testifying. Excellent resources for forensic psychologists (Brodsky, 1991, 1999, 2004) provide ...

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