Postdoctoral Fellowship Curriculum


Consistent with the descriptions of core content areas in the field of forensic psychology provided by the American Board of Forensic Psychology and APA’s Division 41/The American Psychology-Law Society (2007), the fellowship curriculum includes the following content domains:

Knowledge foundations for the study and practice of forensic psychology:

  1. Ethical and Legal Foundations in Forensic Behavioral Science
  2. History of Forensic Psychology
  3. Forensic Methodology and Minimizing Bias in Forensic Psychological Practice
  4. Considerations of Safety and Security in a Forensic Setting
  5. Cross-Cultural Issues in Forensic Psychology
  6. The Military Forensic Psychological Consultation
  7. Assessment of Response Style, including detection strategies for feigning
  8. Evaluation of Mens Rea (2 seminars)
  9. Criminal Responsibility
    Partial Mental Responsibility
    Specific Intent
    Other Mens Rea Defenses
  10. Evaluation of Criminal Competencies (2 seminars)
  11. Competency to Stand Trial
    Competency to be Sentenced
    Competency to Plead Pro Se
    Competency to be Executed
    Competency to Confess/Waive Article 31B (Miranda) Rights
  12. Evaluation of Civil Competencies
  13. Competency to Care for Self (Guardianship)
    Testamentary Capacity
  14. Duty to Protect
  15. Violence Risk Assessment (3 seminars)
  16. Principles and Methodologies of Risk Assessment
    Violence Risk Assessment
    Domestic Violence Risk Assessment
    Sexual Violence Risk Assessment
    Assessment of Child Pornography
    Offenders and On-Line Sex Offenders
  17. Threat Assessment
  18. Civil Commitment
  19. Death Penalty
  20. Right to Treatment and Right to Refuse Treatment
  21. Personal Injury Evaluations
  22. Personnel Selection/Fitness for Duty Evaluations
  23. Child Custody Evaluations & Evaluations of Juveniles/Waiver to Adult court/Amenability to Treatment
  24. Forensic Report Writing
  25. Expert Witness Testimony
  26. Treatment of the Forensic Patient and Sex Offenders
  27. Jury Selection and Factors Influencing Jury Decision Making
  28. Eyewitness Testimony
  29. False Confessions
  30. Memory Distortions and Accuracy
  31. Hypnosis
  32. Americans with Disabilities Act and Workman’s Compensation
  33. Emotional Harm, Discrimination and Harassment
  34. Liability to Patients and Malpractice
  35. Police Psychology
  36. Research with Forensic Populations and Researching Legal Cases
  37. Utilizing Research (Legal and Psychological) to Help Answer Forensic Referral Questions
  38. Training and Supervision of Forensic Psychology Interns, and Post-Doctoral Fellows

Additional training in criminal law and foundations of the criminal justice system are provided through a one semester course in Criminal Law taught at Georgetown University or through a month-long program at The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School. Additional didactic topics may be added at the discretion of the Forensic Psychology Fellowship Director.

Didactics are provided an integrated didactic schedule with the forensic psychiatry department at Walter Reed. A tentative summary of the last didactic schedule is provided in Appendix L. First year fellows are expected to attend all of the didactics, with realization that some additional training activities (especially participation in off-post courts martial) will preclude attendance at 100% of the trainings. In additional fellows will be able to access an extensive digital library of the PowerPoint presentations of all didactics. Second year fellows are encouraged to attend didactics as well and will lead or co-lead a number of the didactic presentations during their second year. The main purpose is to provide a teaching opportunity for the second year fellow, to further solidify knowledge, familiarity, and detailed mastery of the components which they learned the first year, and to demonstrate this mastery with faculty present and participating.

Specific knowledge foundations for use of relevant forensic mental health assessment instruments:

Fellows will participate in a forensic mental health assessment lab the first term of the first year of the fellowship. The purpose of the lab is to familiarize fellows with the development, utilization, scoring, and interpretation of a variety of specialized forensic mental health instruments. Cases will be drawn primarily through those fellows are working on.

Participation in forensic service delivery in clinics or units: experiential training

  1. Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Psychology and Psychiatry Clinics and Hospital
  2. FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit at Quantico, Virginia (elective)
  3. Expert Consultancies to JAG Corps members (Defense and Government) throughout the United States and the world.
  4. Psychological Services unit at the National Security Agency, Ft. Meade Maryland (elective)
  5. Criminal Investigative Division (CID), Quantico Virginia (elective)
  6. Paid attendance at a conference sponsored by the American Academy of Forensic Psychology)
  7. Other Practice Experiences at WRNMMC or through the US Army as may be developed by or requested of the Forensic Fellowship Director.

In order to foster broader development of our Forensic Psychology Fellows, we strongly encourage them to choose at least one of the elective rotations which are in place. Fellows who do not wish to participate in any of the elective rotations will need to have a reasonable justification for alternative use of the additional time that would be made available via not attending any of the available rotations. A reasonable justification might be to attend another practice opportunity. In general, the reasonableness of the request will be judged by the Fellowship Program Director in terms of whether alternative use of the time that would have been devoted to the elective rotation serves to broaden or deepen the Fellows’ overall training experience, forensic knowledge, and forensic skills.

Forensic Psychology


Monday thru Friday 0700 - 1600


Main:(301) 319-5366

Additional Information

Referrals are accepted from JAG officers and civilian attorneys involved in courts martial for Service Members in any branch of the Armed Services.
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