Looking for a Good Overview of Forensic Psychology?

It’s fun when I encounter an article and as I’m reading it, I think, “Yes!  This explains perfectly why I have such a passion for my chosen field!”  I never cease to be fascinated by the world of forensic psychology.  While the article I read this weekend was written ten years ago, it is still relevant for those who want an overview of what it means to delve into the minds of those who commit the crimes we fear the most.

Matthew T. Huss is the author of a piece entitled, “What is Forensic Psychology?  It’s Not Silence of the Lambs!”  He indicated the need to clarify what constitutes work in this field, as its popularity seemed to be driven largely by sensational portrayals in the media.  Television shows like CSI and movies like Silence of the Lambs give the impression that every day will put you in contact with serial killers and interstate man hunts.  While that does happen, the real life of a forensic psychologist runs so much deeper.

As the article states:

So what can a forensic psychologist do besides track down the bad guys and hang out with “crazy” people who eat their relatives? Forensic psychologists can be employed in a variety of settings including jails, prisons, state hospitals, federal and local law enforcement agencies, community mental health centers, juvenile detention facilities, private practice, or colleges and universities. Forensic psychologists are likely to perform a myriad of roles in these settings that are only limited by time and imagination.

Huss also gives some great, user-friendly information about how forensic psychology is defined by various organizations and what kind of training you can expect to complete before getting started in your career.  I recommend it as a quick read and a nice counter to Law and Order and Criminal Minds . . . both of which I watch and love, but also know their limitations!

I have combined my love for the study of criminal behavior with my love for writing in all of my novels—Compulsion, Dead Game, and Silent Partner.  If you haven’t checked out any of my novels yet, I hope that you will.  I would love to know your thoughts!

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Blog: www.authorjenniferchase.com/
Website: www.jenniferchase.vpweb.com/
Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting

About jchasenovelist

Published thriller author, criminologist, and blogger.
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3 Responses to Looking for a Good Overview of Forensic Psychology?

  1. GABixler says:

    Jennifer, I appreciate your highlighting the career aspects of forensics! Since you mentioned Criminal Minds, I thought I would ask…it seems to me that this show, which I used to love watching, is going for more “shock value” than the pure thrill of the investigation and providing their expertise…my niece said the same thing and has also stopped watching. What do you think? I know that there obviously has to be a crime(s) for books and tv shows to be created…but how do you feel about the latest on Criminal Minds…have you noticed a shift as well? I haven’t noticed it as much with Law and Order. BTW, when’s your latest coming?



    • Glenda,
      Yes, I’ve found that Criminal Minds has changed. For me, I’ve been watching older episodes due to my schedule, etc. I agree that many of the shows have been trying to out do their previous seasons with the exception of L&O. I don’t think they need to do this because there are so many storylines out there to explore that are interesting. I love the investigation and expertise aspect for any of the show… but it seems to be fading.
      My latest Emily Stone novel, Dark Mind, will be out the middle of next month. I’ll keep you posted 🙂


  2. I’ve never watched Criminal Minds. I’m a Law and Order SVU fan. I’m going to check out that article because it looks like a good intro and most of my cop stuff is from the other end, of how the law should limit them. Not the science/technical stuff. Thanks for the suggestion.


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