top of page

Emotional Distress Claims: Clinical Interviews & Psychometric Testing

by Mark D. Lerner, Ph.D.

Clinical & Forensic Psychologist

A forensic psychological evaluation is crucial in determining the severity of psychological harm a person has experienced in emotional distress claims. Such evaluations provide critical evidence for legal proceedings, helping to establish the proximate cause of the client's emotional problems and functional impairment. This concise article describes the evaluative process, including clinical interviews and the utilization of psychometric testing.

One key aspect of forensic psychological evaluations is a comprehensive clinical interview, which enables a forensic psychologist to gather a wealth of information about the claimant's history, psychological state, and experiences. These interviews are conducted with sensitivity and objectivity, allowing psychologists to articulate the impact of the alleged incident on the individual's mental well-being.

Whenever possible, conducting in-person evaluations offers significant benefits. Face-to-face interactions allow for non-verbal cues and a thorough examination of the claimant's demeanor, potentially revealing additional insights into their emotional state.

In-person evaluations additionally allow for the administration of psychometric testing. These standardized measures help to produce objective empirical data that can assist in assessing the claimant's psychological condition. Psychometric measures are recommended when cases are proceeding to discovery, as they require more time and an in-person evaluation.

A virtual psychological evaluation could be beneficial because it offers convenience and accessibility for individuals who may have difficulty traveling to a physical location for an in-person evaluation, particularly with clients who have child-care needs. A virtual evaluation can additionally enable a translator, often a paralegal, to conveniently sit in.

Forensic psychological evaluations play a critical role in emotional distress claims by providing a thorough understanding of the claimant's emotional problems and functional impairment. Through meticulous clinical interviews and the potential use of psychometric assessments in cases proceeding to discovery, forensic psychologists offer invaluable insights that greatly contribute to achieving favorable resolutions in these claims.


bottom of page