Rates & Insurance

We MAY BE in your network if you have:

We cannot guarantee that services will be covered. Please contact your insurance company. 

 

Click here for important information about using health insurance with us.

 

Click here for our out of pocket rates for clinical services.

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115 Kildaire Park Drive, Suite 313

Cary, NC 27518

We have moved!

 

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Convenient to Raleigh, Apex, Morrisville, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, and Garner, in Wake County NC

 

Phone:  919.600.4906

Fax:      919.322.2897

Email: info@etheridgepsychology.com

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© 2020 by ETHERIDGE PSYCHOLOGY, P.A.

FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES IN CIVIL CASES

 

Our forensic psychologists offer the following services in civil matters:

General Psychological Evaluation: An attorney or judge may request a general psychological evaluation in any case in which a person’s mental health is in question. The resulting report includes the individual’s current mental status, diagnosis, and recommendations for treatment, if any.

 

Guardianship Evaluation: This type of evaluation is conducted to determine whether a person has the mental capacity to make decisions for or to safely take care of themselves. See below for more information about guardianship evaluations. 

 

Immigration: Psychological evaluations may be helpful in immigration cases to highlight special circumstances that may be relevant to an immigration application. 

Psychological Consultant: Psychologists may be hired by attorneys to consult on a case “behind the scenes”. Examples include educating the attorney about a client’s mental illness, assisting in jury selection or cross-examination, or critiquing another psychologist’s evaluation report.

 

Expert Witness: A psychologist may be asked to testify in court as an expert. The evaluation report may be read out loud in open court, and the expert must answer questions about the report and what transpired during conversations with the respondent and any other involved individual. The expert may be asked to discuss their knowledge regarding the research in a specific area of psychology as it relates to the respondent. Psychological experts may also be asked to educate the court on a specific mental health-related topic. 

 

Fact Witness: A psychologist who has previously evaluated or treated an individual in a clinical context may be asked to testify in court as a fact witness. The psychologist may be asked to discuss the evaluation or psychotherapy with the respondent, details of what was disclosed during sessions, and comment on the respondent’s mental health. Retainer includes preparation estimate.

Guardianship and Competency Evaluations

 

If your loved one needs an evaluation to determine whether he is capable of caring for himself or handling his own affairs, we can help. We conduct thorough evaluations spanning a wide range of life skills and abilities. Our evaluations include only the best psychological and neuropsychological tests, and we carefully assess every important aspect of the individual's functioning. We consider areas such as memory, decision-making skills, personal safety skills, activities of daily living, financial capacity, judgement, psychological functioning, social skills, and medical self-care skills.

 

Our evaluations result in detailed recommendations that preserve as much of your loved one's autonomy and dignity as possible while helping to keep him or her safe and secure. We have conducted guardianship and competency evaluations for individuals with concerns such as developmental disabilities, dementia, and mental illness. In addition to assisting the Court in making decisions regarding personal and financial guardianship, we have assisted in determining competency to proceed with trial and assist counsel in his or her defense. 

Links to our other types of forensic evaluations and expert witness services:

FAQ about Forensic Psychological Evaluations

What is a forensic evaluation?

In short, a forensic evaluation is any psychological evaluation that is related to a legal proceeding. This includes court-ordered psychological evaluations, violence risk assessments, parenting capacity evaluations, competency to stand trial examinations, guardianship evaluations, or any other evaluation related to a civil or criminal legal proceeding. Psychologists also provide services other than forensic examinations, such as attorney consultation, expert witness testimony for the purpose of educating the court about a specific psychological matter, and fact witness services.

 

To make matters a bit more confusing, certain services are considered to be forensic psychological services that do not involve the court system at all. These include Worker's Compensation examinations, disability evaluations, fitness evaluations for police applicants and other public service applicants, and Veteran's Administration evaluations. These are legal-related evaluations that do not typically involve civil or criminal court. 

 

The forensic psychological evaluation typically involves review of clinical and legal documents, interviews of the respondent and other involved individuals, psychological testing, and writing a report to answer specific questions posed by an attorney or judge. At least two appointments with the respondent are usually required.

How is a forensic evaluation different from a regular psychological evaluation?

Forensic evaluations or examinations are not healthcare services. You are not considered to be our patient or client; the "client" is typically the person or agency that requests the evaluation or service. This allows us to be as neutral as possible, as we do not develop a typical doctor/patient relationship with you. 

 

A forensic psychological report is much longer and more detailed than one completed for healthcare purposes. In fact, we often choose different psychological tests for forensic evaluations than for clinical (non-forensic) evaluations. In clinical evaluations, we are encouraged by health insurance companies to use shorter instruments (although we always used evidence-based instruments and practices) and to write our reports as concisely as possible. Forensic psychological evaluations use the most well-researched psychological tests available without the limitations of health insurance restrictions.

 

The forensic psychologist's goal is not to simply diagnose you but to answer specific questions posed by the "client," such as:

 

"Was this individual sane at the time of his offense?" 

 

"Does this individual's diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease require him to be appointed a guardian to handle his affairs?"

 

"Is this individual at risk of committing a sexually violent offense if released to the community?" 

 

"What is the best custody arrangement for this child?"

 

These questions require the psychologist to have specific education, training, and expertise in forensic psychology. 

Does my health insurance cover my forensic evaluation?

In short, no. Health insurance companies pay for medical services, and a forensic evaluation (or any other forensic service) is not considered to be a medical or healthcare service. Our contracts with health insurance companies specifically state that only medically necessary services are to be billed to them; therefore, no forensic evaluation will be billed to your health insurance company. A forensic evaluation or other forensic service does not involve rendering healthcare services to you. 

Will I get a copy of my forensic evaluation report?

As you are not considered to be a patient or client in a forensic evaluation, you will not get a copy of your forensic evaluation report. This is true whether you paid for the evaluation yourself or not. The report will be delivered to the party requesting the evaluation (e.g., your attorney, a judge, your employer, or other individual or agency). If you wish the forensic psychologist to discuss the results with you, we are happy to provide this service, but you will not be given a copy of the report.

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Please note that we conduct our psychological evaluations within the strict ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association and the laws and rules of the North Carolina Psychology Board. As such, we cannot guarantee a specific outcome, diagnosis, or recommendation upon conducting an evaluation. There is certainly a chance that you will be unhappy with the results or that the evaluation will not benefit your case, and we do not issue refunds. We strongly suggest that you discuss with your attorney prior to hiring us for your court-related psychological evaluation, and we also suggest that you have your attorney consult with us prior to the evaluation. Finally, forensic evaluations must be paid out-of-pocket and will not be billed to your health insurance company.