20 Hours | 20 CEs

This self-paced training program on Interviewing, Report Writing, and Testifying in Child Custody Cases is presented by David Martindale, PhD, ABPP.

The differences in interviewing techniques, styles, and questions in clinical versus forensic settings are highlighted. Interviewing elements are discussed as are additional elements such as scheduling matters, cognitive and attitudinal biases, and interviewing styles. There are many components involved in interviewing adults and children. This course describes how to interview litigants, non-party sources, and collateral sources and also describes how to interview (a) credentialed professionals, (b) individuals presumed not to be aligned, and (c) individuals presumed to be aligned. General issues regarding the usefulness and weight of collateral sources are also discussed.

Elements of Interviewing children are discussed, including: Assessing cognitive capacity and maturity; the use of interview facilitation mechanisms; the issue of possible coaching of children; addressing source misattribution; and interviewing the allegedly alienated child(ren). Potential problems with interviewing, including refusals to respond, invocations of Fifth amendment, and requests for assistance or emotional support, are also discussed.

Participants learn about organization issues, formulating opinions, preparing drafts and general issues in relation to Report Writing. Organizational issues include data integration and how to deal with discrepant, incomplete, unreliable, or missing data; and how to conceptualize the intended audience.

This course uses case studies and case law examples to guide participants through how to formulate your opinions in your report. Participants learn how to decide what format to use when drafting the final report and whether it should be reviewed; and who is entitled to review it. The report delivery and distribution are also briefly overviewed. General issues regarding reports are also discussed, including: Descriptive reports v. Prescriptive reports; Dispassionate reports v. Persuasive reports; Data, opinions, and recommendations; and articulating limitations.

Finally, the course addresses the issue of offering expert testimony. General issues in establishing the contract, financial responsibility, payment arrangements, discovery, and defining expert are described. Participants also learn about preparing for trial including file organization, homework, and updating your CV; along with learning opportunities from judicial decisions and trial transcripts. The elements of effective and ineffective testimony by court-appointed evaluators and elements of effective testimony on direct, use of jargon, complex explanations, and more are discussed. Skills needed to respond effectively to aggressive cross-examination; testimony by retained work product reviewers; case-blind didactic testimony; and testimony by treating practitioners are also topics that are covered.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe the distinctions between clinical and forensic interviewing

  • Describe at least three biases that must be considering while conducting interviews

  • Describe the key elements of child forensic interviewing

  • Describe the factors to be considered regarding the inclusion of diagnoses

  • Describe different types of forensic reports

  • Describe the elements of admissible expert testimony

  • Describe the distinction between personal opinions and expert opinions

  • Describe at least 3 elements of effective testimony on direct examination

  • Describe at least 3 elements of ineffective testimony on direct examination

Presented By

David Martindale, PhD, ABPP

David Martindale, Ph.D., ABPP (forensic) limits his practice to consulting with psychologists, attorneys, and state regulatory boards. He lectures regularly on issues pertaining to evaluations of comparative custodial suitability, served on the AFCC Child Custody Consulting Task Force, and was the Reporter for the AFCC Model Standards of Practice for Child Custody Evaluation.

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  • Intended Audience

    This self-paced course is intended for mental health and other allied professionals.

  • Experience Level

    This self-paced course is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

  • CE / CPD Credit

    APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC Click here for state and other regional board approvals.


  • 1


    • Review Before Proceeding

  • 2


    • Lesson 1 Video

    • Frankel v. Frankel

  • 3

    The Interview Process

    • Lesson 2 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 4


    • Lesson 3 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 5

    Record Keeping

    • Lesson 4 Video

    • Session Notes

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 6

    Avoiding Preemptive Influence

    • Lesson 5 Video

    • Statement of Understanding

    • Implications of Testimony

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 7

    Interviewing Parents

    • Lesson 6 Video

    • Phone Session Notes

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 8

    Forensic Interviews of Children

    • Lesson 7 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 9

    Report Writing

    • Lesson 8 Video

    • Report Skeleton

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 10

    Inclusion of Diagnoses

    • Lesson 9 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 11

    Report Writing - Draft

    • Lesson 10 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 12

    Report Styles

    • Lesson 11 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 13

    Evaluations vs Treatment

    • Lesson 12 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 14

    Reporting Test Data

    • Lesson 13 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 15


    • Lesson 14 Video



    • Lesson Quiz

  • 16

    Skills for Cross-Examination

    • Lesson 15 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 17

    Tips for Testifying Reviewers

    • Lesson 16 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 18

    Question and Answer

    • Lesson 17 Video

  • 19


    • Instructions

    • Evaluation

    • Submission Verification

Develop a Specialty Area of Practice

Transforming mental health professionals into experts

  • Expert Instructors

    Professional training developed and delivered by the field's leading experts

  • CE Credit

    Earn CE credit for meaningful professional training that will elevate your practice

  • Convenience & Flexibility

    Learn at your own pace, from wherever you might be!

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