Continuing Education

Dr. Zelig | Continuing Education

Workshops and Continuing Education

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Dr. Zelig offers the following workshops for professionals eager to acquire up-to-date information on contemporary topics in forensic psychology. Please call our office if you are interested in having Dr. Zelig present a workshop to your group or organization.

All workshops are provided by Alta Psychological Services, which is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to provide Continuing Education Credit. Although the American Psychological Association has accredited Alta Psychological Services as a CE provider, Dr. Zelig is responsible for the program’s content.   If you would like Alta Psychological Services to sponsor your workshop so that it is eligible for APA CE credit, click here.

In conformity with APA standards, all workshops, including those classified as INTRODUCTORY, provide instruction that builds on a doctoral degree in psychology.

Application for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and American Medical Association (CME) credits are considered according to the rules of jurisdiction for which the workshop is provided.

If you are interested in taking any of these courses, either at an upcoming site, or as home-study, please contact our office.

Personal injury and tort evaluations (7 CE Hours or 14 CE Hours).

Description: This workshop is offered either as a INTRODUCTORY-LEVEL workshop (1-day, 7 CE hour version) or INTERMEDIATE-LEVEL (2-day, 14 CE hour version). I will explain how to conduct evaluations that assist the courts in evaluating claims of the negligent/intentional infliction of emotional distress in a variety of personal injury actions, particularly when PTSD is alleged. Participants will learn about relevant statutory and case law, strengths and weaknesses of various assessment techniques, appropriate methods to identify the presence or absence of malingering or symptom exaggeration, methods to identify and access collateral information, and maximal use of informed consent.

Learning objectives for 1-day, 7 CE hour version:

1. Understand the Rules of Civil Procedure and Rules of Evidence relevant to forensic psychological evaluation.

2. Articulate provisions of an informed consent document that will reduce the likelihood of ethical dilemmas arising during the evaluation.

3. Cite common sources of bias in clinical judgment and countermeasures to minimize their impact.

4. Identify at least three tests or scales specifically designed to detect possible malingering and/or symptom exaggeration.

5. Identify the caveats listed in the DSM-IV that are relevant to personal injury evaluation.

6. Cite the strengths and weaknesses of the most commonly administered personality tests used in tort actions.

7. Provide argument supportive of electronic recording of interviews with parties in a tort action and argument against such practice.

Note: Learning objectives for 14-hour version are available upon request.

Pre-employment psychological screening for high risk professions: Ethics and risk management (7 CE Hours).

Description: This ADVANCED workshop is designed for experienced clinicians who desire to apply their assessment skills to screening applicants for high risk positions such as law enforcement, aviation, or positions of special trust (e.g., clergy). In addition to discussing the validity of various assessment instruments in this arena, a substantial portion of the workshop will be devoted to covering relevant statutes and case law. You will learn about the questions you can/cannot ask applicants and when it is illegal to administer various commonly-used assessment instruments. I will spend considerable time explaining the “nuts and bolts” of providing such services in an ethical and legal manner.

Learning objectives:

1. Identify the key provisions of federal civil rights statutes that you must know to provide lawful pre-employment psychological evaluations. Learn about recent revisions in ADA and the newly- enacted Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act.

2. Anticipate ethical issues that arise in this context, especially those dealing with “who is the client,” issues of limited confidentiality, and the tension between your ethical standards and organizational demands.

3. Develop an informed consent and office procedure that prevents ethical and legal conflicts from emerging.

4. Prioritize topics that should be considered during the course of a time-limited structured interview.

5. Contrast the strengths and weaknesses of various psychological tests used within this context, and identify which of these tests are illegal to administer prior to the applicant receiving a conditional offer of employment (as per the ADA).

6. Develop a checklist of collateral documents you should request to corroborate self-report to help overcome the effects of fake-good results on tests and interviews.

7. Identify the commonly used options to report the outcome of pre-employment risk assessments and how the end-user of your services is apt to cognitively process different types of risk statements.

Threat management, stalking, and targeted violence: Ethics and science (7 CE Hours).

Description: This INTERMEDIATE workshop will equip you with the tools to assess risk factors posed by individuals who threaten, or are considered a threat to a specific person or group. We will discuss these assessments within the contexts of domestic violence, work and school place violence, stalking, and threats from anonymous sources. You will learn to apply relevant scientific findings to threat assessments. This highly interactive workshop will discuss ethical dilemmas that commonly arise when providing threat assessments and intervention. We will conclude by giving you the opportunity to apply your newly-acquired knowledge to a video vignette of an actual case.

Learning objectives:

1. Cite the base rates of violence and lethality associated with threats of workplace violence, school violence, stalkers, and anonymous letter writers.

2. Identify the differences between actuarial and targeted models of risk assessment, and how this contrast is relevant within the context of a particular perpetrator and specific victim.

3. Explain the scientific basis of the statement: “There is a difference between people who make threats versus those who are a threat.”

4. Identify evidence-based interventions versus those that are ineffective in reducing risk.

5. Identify procedural guidelines to insure that one’s risk assessment comports with statutes and case law.

6. Discuss the common types of psychopathology and personality disorder associated with stalkers and perpetrators of work and school place violence.

7. Reduce the risk to your practice by anticipating ethical pitfalls that are unique to this type of psychological consultation.

A scientific approach to homicide profiling and consultation (7 CE Hours OR 14 CE Hours).

Description: This workshop is offered either as a INTRODUCTORY-LEVEL workshop (1-day, 7 CE hour version) or INTERMEDIATE-LEVEL (2-day, 14 CE hour version). This learning experience is designed for psychologists who desire to provide scientifically-based homicide consultation for law enforcement agencies or defense attorneys. This workshop will instruct the participant on how to draw on empirical research to answer questions regarding the likely demographic characteristics of a perpetrator; linkage analysis – the probability that several homicides were committed by the same person; role of sexual motivation; and the use of psychological research to help discriminate pre-meditated from impulsive crimes. This workshop will familiarize participants with the types and limitations of physical evidence commonly collected at crime scenes. Attendees will also be alerted to ethical dilemmas that commonly arise due to the competing ethical standards of psychologists and those who commonly retain psychologists for these purposes. Enrollment in this workshop is limited to sworn law enforcement officers or licensed professionals who can state a legitimate professional need to acquire this information.

Learning objectives:

1. Identify different types of crime scene evidence at homicides and understand the relevancy of forming hypotheses about the motivation and type of offender that committed the offense(s).

2. Understand representative case law and statutes regarding interrogation and search and seizure so the suggestions you offer police clients are consistent with constitutional law.

3. Identify relevant base rates of homicidal behavior and understand the basics of multidimensional scaling to fully appreciate findings in the empirical literature.

4. Learn the common typologies of serial and domestic violence killers.

5. Learn the psychological issues relevant to deducing the criminal motivation of a defendant during the sentencing phase of a capital homicide case.

6. Anticipate ethical issues by using proactive strategies to avoid their occurrence during the course of homicide consultation.

7. Experience the perspective of providing such consultation on an unsolved homicide, and why it is more scientifically defensible to inform clients of competing hypotheses for a given crime that proffering a single hypothesis.

Note: Learning objectives for 14-hour version are available upon request.

Fitness-for-duty (and practice) evaluations: Ethics and standards of practice (7 CE Hours).

Description: A psychological fitness-for-duty (or practice) evaluation is a competency-based assessment that seeks to answer the following question: “Does the referred individual (e.g., employee, licensed professional, or person holding a position of special trust) have any psychological impairments or traits that interfere with their ability to perform the essential functions of their job or profession?”

This ADVANCED-level workshop will offer practical suggestions to psychologists wishing to increase their involvement in this interesting and challenging area of forensic practice. Recommended assessment strategies will be in keeping with evolving ethical principles, newly-enacted federal statutes, and case law.

Learning objectives:

1. Anticipate the different contexts and referral sources for fitness-for-duty and fitness-to-practice evaluations.

2. Develop an informed consent (for both the employee and employer) that will structure the evaluation, along with proactive language designed to prevent common ethical problems from arising.

3. Identify statutes and case law relevant to practice, including but not limited to, recent amendments to the ADA, Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and privacy rulings from various state supreme courts.

4. Develop appropriate methodologies for determining risk for workplace violence, sexual misconduct, and violation of boundaries for individuals who hold positions of special trust.

5. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of psychological tests commonly administered in this context, including use of polygraph and/or plethysmograph assessments.

6. Develop a forensic practice model that emphasizes focusing on the employee’s functional abilities to perform essential job functions by integrating psychological test, interview, and collateral/ and third-party data.

7. Learn methods of confirming/ disconfirming claims of PTSD arising within the workplace.

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