Many Family Courts and Family Service Organizations rely on Psychological Evaluations as a basis for their decisions regarding custody and settlement. There are so-called 'objective' tests that are given to the litigants that will indicate tendencies for abnormal behavior. These tests are then 'interpreted' by an expert psychologist to determine the tendency towards abnormal behavior. The court will often (read that as almost always) use the testimony of the expert as a major factor in deciding a case. Testimony consists of Expert opinion. In nearly all cases the Court follows the recommendation of the so-called Expert. The 'evidence' presented is the opinion of the Expert.
If you think your ex-spouse or about to be ex-spouse is crazy and that a psychological evaluation is in order, consider the following:
Known in the industry as Psychotherapy, it is practiced by psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and other licensed and unlicensed practitioners in an attempt to ease the perceived emotional problems faced by an individual.
Psychotherapy does not solve factual problems.
Therapy is devoted to helping a patient deal with perceived problems. Sometimes the problems are real and sometimes they are not. A Psychotherapist can help unmask a problem that is not real and relieve the patient of an imaginary problem. A Psychotherapist can also help a patient accept the reality of a situation and provide emotional support to cope.
Family Court officials often refer litigants and family members to psychotherapy to 'condition' them to accept a previously unacceptable decision.
Therapy has been defined as "(an) undefined technique applied to unspecified problems with unpredictable outcomes." If you have a real problem, don't try to apply psychotherapy to resolve it. The result is likely to be more unacceptable than the problem.
If you think you are crazy, then psychotherapy may help. If you think that the situation is crazy then psychotherapy will cause you additional grief. If you suspect incest do not seek the advice of a psychotherapist, who has no power to affect change and is an unreliable investigator looking for psychological disorders in the victims. (See Incest Investigators).
Psychological Evaluations are moneymaking schemes for Family Law professionals. Expert opinion can be offered to suit the Court. The Expert witness and other Court officials are then protected from lawsuit (even if perjury is proved). DO NOT GET INVOLVED!
If you don't like what happens and want to file a complaint, here is an example of a complaint that was filed with the Board Of Psychology which resulted in discipline for the psychologist who was accused of Gross Negligence, Repeated Negligent Acts and Communicating private information.
Expert testimony from mental health professionals can be bought. Since there is no factual evidence involved, it is easy. Read about an example involving murder.
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Last update 9/08/00