Benson Psychological Services, PC provides a wide variety of forensic services. Our skilled clinicians are ready and able to complete psychological evaluations with subsequent court testimony on many issues.
Adult Sexual Offender Evaluations
Evaluations on adults who have been charged or convicted of a sexual offense typically include a comprehensive record review, one or more clinical interview(s) with the offender, a battery of psychological testing, and the use of empirically validated actuarial instruments to assess risk to reoffend. The final report will offer a diagnosis, opinion on the individuals risk to reoffend, level of psychopathy and sexual deviancy, treatment amenability and other recommendations as appropriate.
Evaluations on Juveniles Who Have Sexually Offended
Evaluations on juveniles who have sexually offended typically include a comprehensive record review, a clinical interview with the offender, collateral interviews with other significant parties (e.g., adults responsible for the juvenile's care, mental health professionals who provide services to the juvenile, residential treatment staff, probation officer, etc), psychological testing, and empirically guided structured checklists of static and dynamic risk factors. The resultant report would likely identify possible psychosexual disturbances, any predisposition towards sexually abusive behavior (estimated risk to reoffend), as well as, recommendations that are appropriately matched to the juvenile's needs. Given there is no empirical data that supports the predictive validity of actuarial risk assessment tools for juveniles, the overall risk estimate is based on the various sources of information and clinical judgment.
Independent Evaluator in Civil Commitment Cases
Dr. Stacey Benson has been providing independent evaluations for individuals civilly committed at the North Dakota State Hospital for the past 5 years.
These evaluations include a comprehensive review of all available records, psychological testing (when appropriate), scoring of various instruments used in the determination of ones risk to reoffend, clinical interview with the respondent, collateral contact with treatment providers, friends, family and support people in the community, diagnoses and opinion regarding whether the respondent meets criteria for a Sexually Dangerous Individual as defined by North Dakota Century Code 25-03.3-11.
The final report is typically over 20 pages in length and provides detailed information on the individual, their past history and their progress in treatment.
Domestic Violence Assessment and Treatment
Benson Psychological Services (BPS) is now accepting referrals for domestic violence assessment and treatment. Referrals for Domestic Violence Assessment go through a clinical interview and are required to complete questionnaires and assessment instruments about intimate partner violence and their use of anger. The evaluator also reviews relevant court documents. Results are interpreted and an evaluation is returned to the referring agency with recommendations for type of treatment.
The assessment instruments are specifically chosen for evaluating people who have been charged with Domestic Violence. The instruments include: the Domestic Violence Inventory, the Psychopathy Checklist Revised 2nd Edition, and the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales.
Treatment at BPS entails a 24-week (48-hour) program which follows the Duluth Model’s Manual (Creating a Process of Change for Men who Batter). The treatment format is group therapy which meets weekly for two hours. It is designed to meet the requirements for domestic violence treatment set forth by the state statutes of Minnesota and North Dakota. The primary focus is based on understanding domestic violence as a way of gaining power and control over a partner. Treatment success hinges on changing the belief system from one that uses physical violence, emotional abuse, minimization, economic abuse, intimidation, isolation, male privilege and/or coercion and threats to gain power and control. In place of maladaptive beliefs, emphasis is placed on learning respect, trust and support, shared parenting, honesty and accountability, economic partnership and negotiation.
With regard to domestic violence treatment and assessment, BPS consults with the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center, North Dakota Parole and Probation, Minnesota Parole and Probation, Cass County (ND) District court and State’s Attorney’s Office, Clay County (MN) District court and County Attorney’s Office, Minnesota and North Dakota Victim’s Advocacy, the Fargo and Moorhead Police Departments, and the Cass County (ND) and Clay County (MN) Sheriff’s Departments.
Parental Capacity Evaluations
Competency to Stand Trial