Online Forensic Psychology Classes
Forensic psychology applies knowledge and insight from the field of psychology to issues and problems related to the criminal justice system. Unlike therapeutic psychology or research psychology, forensic psychology does not usually aim to treat individual patients or enlarge theoretical knowledge in the field of psychology. Instead, forensic psychologists research and explain issues of mental health for use in courts or legal research.
Students can expect to gain knowledge in a variety of areas including:
Courses in psychopathology focus on the diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of mental and behavioral disorders. Students learn the professional terminologies and classifications related to mental illnesses such as anxiety and mood disorders as well as schizophrenia.
Classes in criminal profiling will introduce participants to the many techniques used by behavioral scientists and criminologists to create profiles of individuals who are likely to commit crimes. Students will also use this knowledge to assist courts and law enforcement agencies in analyzing criminal investigations.
Students learn the practice of interviewing patients for research and clinical assessments. Participants in these classes will learn various skills needed to conduct a patient interview, including how to prepare questions, select a suitable communication style, respond to difficult behavior, and analyze verbal and non-verbal cues.
Mental Health Law
Students will examine the relationship between psychology and the legal system from both a historical and theoretical perspective. Classes in mental health law examine critical issues such as legal standards for mental competence as well as how psychological principles are applied to law enforcement and correctional functions.
Students will learn about the various ethical issues faced by professionals in the field. Classes in ethics will use case studies and theoretical texts to examine diverse topics such as professional integrity and responsibility, social welfare, and respecting the rights and dignity of patients.
Classes focus on helping students develop valuable professional skills in the following areas:
Students can expect to develop the specific observational skills necessary to detect symptoms associated with a variety of psychological and mental health disorders. Students will learn about diverse observational techniques and types, such as speech and gesture, as well as how to eliminate sources of observational bias.
Judgment and Decision-Making
Students will develop the skills needed to weigh various ethical, legal and empirical factors when making professional decisions. For instance, students will learn techniques for making informed diagnostic judgments about an individual's mental health even in the absence of complete clinical data.
Forensic psychologists must communicate important information to diverse audiences. Learners will acquire the skills needed to provide expert opinion in legal proceedings to individuals who do not possess professional knowledge of psychological terms and diagnoses.
Critical Thinking and Analysis
Students will learn to examine evidence in order to determine how and why individuals exhibit various behaviors under certain conditions. Students will acquire the skills needed to understand, predict and interpret how diverse environmental factors can interact to affect a person's psychological state.
Students will receive training in the collection and evaluation of data from diverse sources including statistical reports, case studies, and legal proceedings. Students will become skilled in using a variety of research methods to draw relevant conclusions about specific cases as well as broad mental health trends in the population.
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