Committee Updates

AP-LS Committee on Early Career Professionals

The AP-LS Committee for Early Career Professionals (ECPs) is pleased to provide an update on our recent activities and ongoing work related to the Grant-in-Aid program, conference events, and resources available to ECPs.

The AP-LS Committee for Early Career Professionals (ECPs) is pleased to provide an update on our recent activities and ongoing work related to the Grant-in-Aid program, conference events, and resources available to ECPs.

At the AP-LS conference in New Orleans this past March, the ECP committee, along with the Professional Development of Women and Mentoring committees, co-hosted the workshop Funding and Sustaining a Business or Private Practice , during which we had heard from two invited speakers: Eric Mart (forensic psychologist in private practice) and Pam Robbins (CEO of Policy Research Associates). The session was extremely well attended, and attendees gave very positive evaluations of the session. Conference goers who were not able to attend our session may be interested to read the book review below authored by ECP committee member, Troy Ertelt (a version of this review appeared in the June 27, 2007 edition of PsycCRITIQUES, authored by April R. Bradley and Troy Ertelt).

Book Review: Mart, E. G. (2006). Getting Started in Forensic Psychology Practice: How to Create a Forensic Specialty in Your Mental Health Practice . Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Forensic psychology has emerged as one of the fastest growing specialty areas in psychology over the past two decades. With these opportunities in mind, Dr. Mart wrote Getting Started in Forensic Psychology Practice: How to Create a Forensic Specialty in Your Mental Health Practice . The book is a primer for licensed psychologists contemplating practice in the clinical-forensic arena. Dr. Mart also offers information useful to graduate students looking for educational opportunities in forensic psychology.

Throughout his book, Dr. Mart accentuates the positive aspects of forensic practice. For example, clinicians weary of the managed care system will be happy to hear that forensic psychologists generally do not have to work with insurance companies. He also points to findings of surveys conducted by the American Psychological Association indicating that, on average, forensic psychologists' annual earnings are higher than those of clinical psychologists. However, Dr. Mart does not dismiss or downplay the potentially greater risks associated with forensic practice. For example, he discusses issues related to increased liability and the criticalness of careful, through preparation.

Of particular importance to ECPs, Dr. Mart's book covers what many other books on the subject do not: the business aspects of maintaining a forensic practice. Although not a complete summary of the business end of private practice, Dr. Mart highlights issues of most relevance to forensic psychology, such as risk management and marketing. Dr. Mart offers concise tips on how to best communicate with attorneys to develop a practice, and he offers practical analogies to help readers conceptualize their marketing plans. He also discusses the usefulness of publishing while engaged in forensic practice, and the value of ongoing scholarly activities more generally as a means of maintaining expertise as well as marketing oneself to potential attorney clients. This, combined with other materials on maintaining a general private practice, provides the reader with a solid base for starting a forensic practice. Given the success of Dr. Mart's book and the positive response to his presentation at the most recent AP-LS conference, it is likely that business aspects of practice development is an area of strong interest among psychologists at all levels of professional development.

In sum, Getting Started in Forensic Psychology Practice is a helpful resource for licensed psychologists as well as graduate students, and should serve as a key tool for the preparation needed to begin and maintain a practice in forensic psychology.

Please Contact Us

If you have input for the ECP Committee on how best to support ECPs or if you would like to make a suggestion for a newsletter column or workshop topic, please contact the committee chair, Laura Guy (laura.guy@umassmed.edu), or any other member of the committee: Kathleen Kemp, incoming Chair, Troy Ertelt, Charlie Goodsell, and Lauren Reba-Harrelson.