At Big Picture Psychology, we understand that effective forensic assessment requires seeing the whole person as well as the offending behaviour, that risk is contextual and that conclusions needs a positive direction rather than a value judgement. We understand both the scope and limitations of correctional programming. We are listed as an expert for Legal Aid and the Crown Solicitors. Our Forensic Psychology Services are available Australia wide.
Our Forensic Services Include:
State Parole Authority Assessment
- To guide sentencing, explore non-custodial pathways, and relevant conditions for success in the community
- Section 32 assessment, when it needs to be clarified whether the defendant was or is suffering a mental condition as defined in The Act.
- The Drug Courtand Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment (MERIT) program can be an excellent diversionary option for offenders when it is recognised that the addiction has been the primary contributing factor supporting the offending behaviour. When failures occur, this can be from many reasons, including intellectual impairment, mental health or other responsivity factors and does not necessarily imply that the participant was not serious about the program. Through assessment, we can help shed light on these contextual factors.
Risk of Offending Assessment
- To examine rehabilitation, risk, readiness for community life and relevant conditions for success in the community
Sex Offender and Violent Offender Assessment
- Using the most contemporary assessment tools and sound clinical judgment to estimate risk
- Most sex offenders or violent offenders are not high risk. This is not widely understood. There is great value in understanding who is at risk and who is not.
- Risk forecast need to be broken down into: Risk of what to who under which circumstances.
- Criminogenic needs are the particular needs that each offender has that will address their rehabilitative needs. One size does not fit all. Each case has a unique set of targets that if identified correctly, can reduce recidivism without wasting the individuals time on unnecessary programs
- The case plan is informed by the criminogenic needs assessment.
- A sequential plan of programs and service providers is devised
- An overarching plan to maximize the benefits of supervision, whilst allowing for the maximum level of independence for the offender
Civil cases (High Risk Offender Act, Mental Health Review Tribunal)
- The importance of quality decision-making in the child protection process cannot be overstated. Lax decision-making can leave children exposed and heavy handedness can unnecessarily separate children from caregivers and important relationships. We can add value to this process by carefully mapping the situation and using our expertise in risk assessment/risk management.
Administrative Appeals Tribunal
- Patrick has particular expertise with the Crimes (High Risk Offenders) Act 2006, and has been involved with all aspects of the legislation as it has emerged and been amended.
- All forms of civil commitment provide a particular burden to the decision-maker in balancing the inalienable human right to freedom versus the potential risk of harm to self and others. We understand the full weight of these considerations and can add to the rigor of the assessment process.
Fitness to Plead
- At times the AAT requires expert opinion evidence from psychologists. We adhere to the AAT Guidelines for Persons Giving Expert and Opinion Evidence.
- At Big Picture Psychology, we pride ourselves on thorough diagnostic formulation and explaining how the condition (or combination of conditions) can impair functioning in real life. Fitness is one of those areas where a sharp nexus exists between the domains of psychology and law.
Immigration and Citizenship
- Determining the impact of any given event on an individual’s problems is a very complicated matter and there are many factors that work to obfuscate a clear picture. By careful assessment, and consideration of premorbid functioning and other factors, a plausible and objective understanding can be reached.
There is a common misconception that treatment in the forensic context is or should be focused on community protection and not the person receiving treatment. This is not true and any treatment that did not have the best interests and well being of the client would be ineffective. Treating forensic populations requires a genuine interest in the treatment participant. The evidence base clearly shows that we need to appeal to the individual’s underlying desire to live a better life.
Big Picture can offer both group treatment or individual psychotherapy.
Focus for treatment might include:
- Anger Management
- Sex offender treatment
- Adjustment to community life after gaol
- Personality disorders
It is often the case that clinical psychological problems are part of a persons’ offence history. Therefore it is often appropriate to treat problems such as:
- Mood disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Psychotic illnesses
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Patrick is eligible to provide Focussed Psychological Strategies under the Medicare Better access Initiative. Medicare Provider number: 4867111K