T : +353 1 214 56 34 | F : +353 1 663 97 35 | E : info@fps.ie



Medical Professionals

FPS regularly receives referrals for both assessment and therapy from GPs , psychiatrists and other physicians and healthcare providers whose patients are experiencing difficulties in respect of forensic issues . We have also worked with medical professionals who themselves have been the subject of investigation in relation to their professional practice.
The scope of our service includes: 
 

Forensic Assessment

  • Individually-tailored psychological assessments (for adults, children, adolescents, those with intellectual disabilities)
  • Risk assessments (in cases of sexual or violent offences)
  • Parenting capacity assessments
  • Cognitive and neuropsychological assessments
  • Victim impact assessments in respect of physical, sexual and psychological trauma
  • Assessment of individuals who have experienced difficulty in their place of work (ie bullying/harassment)
  • Assessment of medical/health professionals who have been accused of boundary violations in the course of their professional practice
  • Assessment of individuals before the Court in respect of general criminal offences (ie drug offences, white collar crimes)
  • Assessment of individuals who allege that they have been wrongly accused or that they have confessed to crimes they did not commit
Our clinicians have experience in the provision of expert witness testimony in the family and criminal courts and before the medical and dental council.
 

Forensic Psychotherapy

FPS also offers therapeutic services to those affected by the above issues and we provide group treatment to individuals who have committed sexual offences. We also provide family therapy in respect of forensic issues.
 

Inter-Agency Collaboration

We regularly collaborate with other agencies in the development and supervision of interventions/positive behavioural support programmes for children/adults in their care who present with highly challenging behaviours.
 

Consultation/Training/Supervision

FPS provides a broad-based case management and consultation service on a variety of clinical and forensic issues. We provide training, workshops and supervision to professionals working with the above client groups.
 
For more information on our services, please refer to the respective sections below:

 

 

Psychological and Risk Assessments

The team at FPS have a wealth of experience in the area of psychological assessment and have undergone extensive training in sexual, violent, neuropsychological, cognitive and functional risk assessment.

A thorough assessment is completed using the most current/evidence-based assessment instruments and a detailed psychological report is compiled which examines the cognitive, behavioural, emotional, and situational factors involved in the perpetration of the offence in question. These reports utilise data from a myriad of sources.

An assessment is usually conducted over 6-8 clinical sessions and includes face-to-face interviews with the individual, significant others, and professionals involved. Telephone consultations with professionals/significant others may also be conducted as appropriate. The client’s personal history and other relevant background information is explored. Direct observations alongside a battery of psychometric instruments are used to gain further insight into an individual's cognitive capacity, psychological and emotional functioning, and to identify specific strengths or weaknesses. This information is used in conjunction with the clinical interviews, psychometric testing and collateral information to gain an understanding of the offence and the dynamics involved. Depending on the offence in question, an assessment of risk of future offending is conducted using the most up-to-date risk assessment tools. Finally, recommendations regarding risk management and treatment are offered.

These reports aim to establish a psychological profile of the client, to assist in understanding aspects of the client’s behaviour, and to answer specific questions outlined in the referral. We provide reports for the following:

  • Sexual Offences (Including Contact, Non Contact and Internet Abuse)

  • Violent Offences

  • Criminal Proceedings

  • White Collar Crime

  • Domestic Violence

  • Parenting Capacity Assessments

  • Probation Hearings

  • Political Asylum

  • Substance Abuse

  • Trauma

  • Cognitive and Allied Assessment

 

Parenting Capacity Assessments

In cases where parents have come to the attention of the HSE due to concerns regarding possible physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or neglect of their children, a Parenting Capacity Assessment may be required. In addition, assessments may be sought by the HSE to inform reunification plans or issues concerning access.

The objective of Parenting Capacity Assessments is to establish as accurately as possible whether or not parents are adequately equipped to provide appropriate and stable emotional and physical care to their children.

The assessment process is tailored to the parents’ individual needs and areas of concern identified by the referring agency.

Parenting Capacity Assessments include:

  • Clinical interviews with parents, children (where appropriate), significant others (for purposes of gathering collateral information)

  • Psychometric assessment of social, emotional and psychological functioning

  • Cognitive assessment/s

  • Structured child and parent observations

  • Structured/actuarial risk assessments of future violent or sexually inappropriate behavior (if applicable)

  • Review of social work files, Books of Evidence, and any other relevant documentation (i.e. medical reports, psychological/psychiatric reports)

  • Where appropriate, discussion and consultation with other professionals involved with the family as a unit or with individual family members

 

On completion of the assessment report, the clinician provides verbal feedback to the parents in respect of the assessment findings. This provides an opportunity for the parents and the clinician to discuss the outcome and recommendations of the assessment. The clinician may also attend one professional meeting as part of the assessment process if this is required by the referring agency. Attendance at additional meetings can be facilitated but will incur a fee for the referral agent. Clinicians are also available to attend family court where necessary. The service issues an invoice for court attendance and expenses.

 

Cognitive Assessments

Cognitive assessments are sought and conducted in a variety of situations. These may form part of a standard assessment (ie Parenting Capacity, Risk Assessment) where there are indications that a person’s intellectual capacity may be compromised or they may form the basis of a specific referral.

Situations where specific referrals for cognitive and allied assessments (i.e. memory, premorbid functioning, suggestibility and compliance, neuropsychological) might be sought include:

  • Capacity to understand and engage with court proceedings, or capacity to contribute meaningfully to one’s legal case

  • In relation to adolescents where intellectual difficulties are suspected, a cognitive assessment can aid in determining if Juvenile court would be a more appropriate setting than Adult court to conduct proceedings

  • In criminal cases, where issues in respect of false confession or suggestibility have arisen

  • In criminal cases, where neuropsychological impairment may have been a potential contributory factor to the offence/s

Cognitive assessments determine IQ levels, verbal comprehension ability, processing speed, working memory and perceptual reasoning ability. Depending on the individual case, more in depth assessments can be conducted (ie memory, premorbid functioning, suggestibility and compliance, neuropsychological).

 

Challenging Behaviour

A functional behavioural assessment is conducted to determine the purpose of the challenging behaviour and factors which maintain and reinforce these behaviours. This informs the development of a positive behavioural support programme.

  

Positive Behavioural Support Programmes

Positive Behavioural Support Programmes are the treatment of choice for people displaying challenging behaviour, those with intellectual disabilities, and vulnerable others with a specific clinical need, such as Asperger's/Autism etc. The function of the negative behaviour is analysed and positive behaviours identified that are functionally equivalent for the person. These programmes are sanction free and eliminate negative behaviour by not providing any reinforcement for these behaviours. However, natural consequences remain in place, and are explained to the person. The programme is developed and implemented together with the person's family and/or care staff.

 

 Supervision

Working with offenders, people at risk of offending, or people otherwise involved in the legal system, can be a challenging and unsettling process. Forensic Psychological Services provides supervision to individuals, groups, and agencies involved with this client group.

 

 Group Therapy

Forensic Psychological Services currently offer a group treatment programme for men who have committed sexual offences. This includes contact offences as well as non-contact (e.g. Internet) offences. Group therapy has been established to be the preferred treatment modality for this client population.

Our groups are based on the “Good Lives Model”, which assumes that the offending behaviour is an inappropriate attempt to achieve one or more of the common life goals that all human beings have. It helps people understand the relationship between their life circumstances, goals, and their offending behaviour, and aims at helping people achieve a satisfying life in which goals are met without harming oneself or others.

Groups run on a weekly basis for three-hour-sessions. There are a maximum of eight clients in each group, which is facilitated by two therapists. Clients currently can avail of group treatment on either a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday evening from 6-9pm.

Psychotherapy groups for other client populations are offered on demand.

 

Individual Therapy

Individual Therapy is aimed at increasing the general sense of well-being of a person through gaining a better understanding of one's emotional functioning, addressing specific problems, and developing new and more effective coping strategies.

Our psychotherapists and psychologists are trained in a variety of therapeutic approaches, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Psycho-dynamic and Psychoanalytic Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, and Psychodrama. Usually, our therapists will use an integrated approach which is tailored to the client's specific needs.

Therapy is often recommended following an assessment, but clients can also avail of our therapeutic services independent of a previous assessment. Clients are also seen on an individual basis to prepare them to join one of our group therapy programmes.

Generally, psychotherapeutic sessions take place on a weekly or fortnightly basis. However, the frequency of sessions can be adjusted depending on a client's needs. One session usually lasts for approximately 50 minutes.

Psychotherapy is generally not covered by medical card or private health insurance. For those who are concerned about the costs of therapy, we offer a sliding-scale model where the fee depends on the person's income. In these cases, clients will usually attend one of our psychologists in training, who will be fully supervised by a senior psychologist.

In some cases, e.g. when an organisation (e.g. HSE or the Department of Justice) is concerned about a person's level of risk of future offending and therapy is recommended as a means to reduce same, funding or part-funding may be available from this organisation. However, in these cases we may have to report back to the organisation about the client's therapeutic progress, and confidentiality of sessions will thus be limited.