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What is the typical day for a forensic psychologist? What exactly do they do?

I am graduating college in 2020 and am still confused on what exactly I should do. I have been interested in forensic psychology for years but am confused on exactly what to expect if I were to choose this career path. I am between becoming a forensic psychologist or a therapist. I also have ideas of becoming a teacher. I am all over the place and getting more information will help me! #psychology #forensic #psychotherapy #college-major

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Laura’s Answer

Hi Brenda - congratulations on your upcoming graduation! That can be a bit scary if you're not sure what to do next. What is your major? Did you select it with forensic psychology in mind? Have you talked to your career counseling department or professors about your next steps? I don't know anything about forensic psychology, but my advice would be to find someone in the field and talk to them about what the job is like and what education is required. And do the same for a therapist and a teacher - the best way to learn about a job is to talk to people who have it and get their insights. And reach out to your professors and college resources - most colleges have a career library or some sort of resource center whose job it is to help students exactly like you. I wish you luck!

Laura recommends the following next steps:

Talk to your college career center.
Ask your professors or career center if anyone knows a forensic psychologist you can talk to.
Do some research on google about the different jobs you're interested in.
Search on LinkedIn for people in these roles who may have a connection to you or your friends/family and might be willing to share their experiences.

Thank you for your feedback! brenda K.

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Angela’s Answer

Hi, Brenda. I have been a forensic psychologist for over 20 years. Once you graduate from college (congratulations btw) you will need to go to graduate school to get a Ph.D. And complete an internship. I’m not sure there’s a “ typical” day because forensic psychologists do many different things. I worked in the federal criminal justice system so I can tell you what was often involved in my day(s). My office was located inside a prison and I had a caseload of mostly pre-trial defendants waiting to be evaluated. I conducted interviews and psychological testing with the defendants. I also reviewed documents about the case (e.g., legal, medical, school, etc). I talk to both attorneys on the case, family members, and other people who know the defendant. I write a report to help the judge/jury make a legal decision and testify in court about my viewpoint. That pretty much summarizes my job as a forensic psychologist.