Training clients on How to Brief a Psychologist

Veretis Legal Psychology was engaged by a criminal law firm to educate staff on briefing a psychologist. The session was designed to help the team better understand the complexities and intricacies of mental health and how these can impact a person’s behaviour, both in regard to offending and also when trying to work with some as a client.

The session helped the team to understand factors such as, the difference between mental health and mental illness, the different types of drug rehabilitation services available (and what bail conditions need to be considered if inpatient treatment is being considered), the signs of drug use and withdrawal, and how to effectively ask a client about their mental health history. Understanding what are effective referral questions to ask a psychologist were also discussed, this helped the team to understand what questions would assist the psychologist in best assessing their client to produce meaningful results and conclusions from which to formulate their opinion and report.

In addition to the content itself Veretis Legal Psychology left each member of the team with a copy of our mental health screener. A tool they could simply use to help understand if a client is experiencing a mental health issue/illness and whether a psychologist or psychological report would be useful. This tool was not a diagnostic tool, nor was it designed to turn lawyers into psychologists, what it did do however was help guide lawyers to ask the appropriate questions to determine if a psychological issue was present for their client.

The workshop also covered helping people in the legal profession to better understand mental health, and in particular the different types of rehabilitation services available to individuals.

As the training was facilitated by a registered solicitor who also works as a psychologist, the workshop hours counted towards participant’s ongoing PD points under the classification of Professional Skills (PS).