Week 4: Professinal Behavior in the Field Experience

Week 4: Professinal Behavior in the Field Experience

Diverse groups work together all the time to reach common goals. For example, a neighborhood might work together to reduce crime. Most likely the group has different backgrounds, roles, and experiences; however, they share one common goal. Similarly, forensic psychology professionals often work in multi-disciplinary teams to achieve common goals. At times, this may present challenges. This week you consider how you might overcome these challenges to be successful in a multi-disciplinary setting.

In addition to team challenges, the settings in which forensic psychology professionals typically can pose risks. What are the risks of a forensic psychology professional in settings such as correctional facilities, police departments, and courtrooms? How do employers attempt to minimize the risks? What steps could you take to minimize your own risks?

Learning Objectives

By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • plagiarismAnalyze challenges related to working in multi-disciplinary teams
  • Apply strategies for effectively working in multi-disciplinary teams
  • Analyze safety issues related to forensic psychology settings

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Multidisciplinary team functioning and decision making within forensic mental health (2005). Ment Health Rev (Brighton) Retrieved from

Hatch-Maillette, M., & Scalora, M. (2002). Gender, sexual harassment, workplace violence and risk assessment: Convergence around psychiatric staff’s perceptions of personal safety. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 7(3), 271-291.

 Wilson, V., & Pirrie, A. (2000). Multidisciplinary teamworking indicators of good practice. Retrieved from

Required Media

Films Media Group. (1998). Supermax, a prison within a prison. Available from http://digital.films.com/play/7WR3SW

“Correctional officers’ incident response” (3:59 minutes)
Copyright (c) 1998 Used by permission from Films Media Group
Supermax, A Prison Within a Prison

Films Media Group. (1998). The exceptional employee: A guide to success on the job. Available from http://digital.films.com/play/V3DZG8

Teamwork in the workplace” (4:50 minutes)
Copyright (c) 1998 Used by permission from Films Media Group
The Exceptional Employee: A guide to Success on the Job

Optional Resources

California Youth Authority. (2005). Workplace violence prevention for correctional personnel. Retrieved from

Hansen, A. (n.d.) What are the risks of Forensic Psychology? Retrieved July 8, 2010 from

Ketcham, G., & McLeod, V. (2009). Job hazard analysis: An important process in the lab and in the field. Retrieved from

McAllister-Williams, H., & Mistra, A. (2005). Mental health professionals. Retrieved from

Discussion: Multi-Disciplinary Teams

Forensic psychology professionals often work in a multi-disciplinary team that encompasses diverse individuals from various professional backgrounds. For instance, forensic psychology professionals might work with individuals from federal, state, or local law enforcement agencies; with attorneys; or with individuals from correctional and treatment facilities.

Although working in multi-disciplinary teams can prove beneficial, potential challenges such as power dynamics, differing viewpoints, and disagreements with roles/responsibilities might arise. As every multi-disciplinary team is unique, it is important to be aware of strategies to address challenges related to working in multi-disciplinary teams. Whether it is defining roles, setting boundaries, or ensuring all team members can contribute equally, strategies like these can help multi-disciplinary teams address challenges they often encounter.

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