Psychology & the Legal System:
The legal system governs various aspects related to the practice of mental health including issues such as confidentiality, involuntary hospitalization, and execution of mentally ill offenders, among others. This course will walk you through 10 of the most influential cases that have revolutionized the way mental health is practiced in the United States.
Any student interested in psychology, social work, or mental health counseling should learn about the laws that directly impact their professional practice!!
In this course, we will review legal cases seen by State District Courts, State Judicial Supreme Courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court. This course will provide students with the facts of each case (details of the specific crime that sparked case), the Court decision and rationale, the American Psychological Association’s (APA) opinion on the matter, and the clinical significance of the case to current mental health practice.
Issues heard by the Courts include:
1. Patient’s right to treatment
2. Patient’s right to refuse treatment
3. Involuntary medication of criminal defendants incompetent to stand trial
4. Duty to warn/protect
5. Psychotherapist-patient privilege
6. Death penalty in intellectually disabled individuals
7. Assessment of intelligence in death penalty cases
8. Death penalty in dementia patients
9. Sex offender civil commitment
10. Criteria for sex offender civil commitment