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Book Review - The Forensic Neuropsychology Casebook

Posted Jan 14 2009 7:23pm

What a pleasure it has been reading The Forensic Neuropsychology Casebook. Edited by Robert Heilbronner, the book presents 17 chapters devoted to addressing different aspects of forensic neuropsychology cases, each written by a different author. The cases include various aspects of adult and child civil court issues, as well as for chapters addressing issues related to criminal court. In addition, there are three “Ask the Expert” dialogue chapters at the end of the book, addressing questions common to the practice of forensic psychology. The chapters are easy to read for anyone with even minimal experience in forensic psychology, chock full of interesting information/strategies/techniques for conducting comprehensive evaluations, and also provide an allowance for the authors to discuss her thinking process as they were completing the evaluations presented.

At first, I was slightly disappointed when the book arrived to note there were only for chapters addressing issues related to criminal forensic evaluations. I read those first, and found him to be both interesting and informative. I was planning at that point to move onto a different book, figuring the case presentations for civil law would not offer any information relevant to my area. I’m glad I did not listen to myself! I chose through the chapter addressing and assessment of traumatic brain injury and a Spanish-speaking client, and found a well filled information related to conducting such an evaluation, no matter that the case was civil in nature.

While I have not finished reading the book, I have read most of it, and I certainly comfortable wholeheartedly endorsing it. While anyone may find this book interesting, it may require at least some experienced intrinsic psychology to truly get anything meaningful out of it. Some of the very features I find so interesting, such as listings of test results that were administered during the evaluations, will likely be meaningless to individuals not familiar with that we some of these tests. In addition, certain terms such as ataxia, anoxic encephalopathy, etc. that are sprinkled throughout the book (this is after all a book dealing with individuals suffering from various organic brain disorders) may frustrate individuals not familiar with such terms. On the other hand, if you are a student, particularly an intern, this text would likely prove to be an excellent demonstration on conceptualizing cases, choosing assessment instruments, synthesizing assessment results, and other aspects related to conducting forensic evaluations. Thus far, every case presented as provided a comprehensive summary of testing results and history; this has made the experience even more informative.

In addition to recommending this book as a whole, I would like to provide a review of it chapter by chapter. While this may ultimately prove to be biting off more than I can chew, it certainly would be worthwhile to attempt. Keep an eye out, at the very least, for reviews of all four chapters related to criminal forensic evaluations, as well as at least a couple of the civil law chapters I found particularly helpful.

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