About the Association for Scientific Advancement in Psychological Injury and Law
The Association for Scientific Advancement in Psychological Injury and Law (ASAPIL) is dedicated to serving the psychological and legal communities in understanding the area of psychological injury and its scientific bases and in promoting and disseminating research in the area. Also, it aims to facilitate communication between the psychological and legal communities, and have the legal community appreciate the role that psychologists can provide their clients and the court.
The society’s primary mission is to house and run the journal Psychological Injury and Law, to organize scientific meetings on the topic, and to educate its members, the profession, and the public through its diverse activities.
Therefore, we foster the scientific investigation of conditions such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, chronic pain, and mild Traumatic Brain Injury, and their appropriate application to clinical interviews, psychological testing, and report writing, testimony, and so on. These conditions may manifest after events that are perceived as traumatic, and/or are physically injurious.
Often, these conditions require intensive rehabilitative efforts, but when they are serious and long lasting, they result in disability claims, and/or lead to tort actions. At their best, they involve psychologists and other mental health professionals undertaking comprehensive and impartial evaluations, and administering evidence-based and otherwise state of the art psychotherapy.
These professionals evaluate the legitimacy of the claim, and investigate confounding factors including possible malingering. They establish the individual's reliable symptoms, valid diagnoses, and required psychological and related treatment.
Mental health professionals rigorously evaluate functional outcomes, prognoses for recovery, and degree of permanent and substantial loss of important psychological functions, activities of daily living, work, study, caregiving, or other capacity.
However, psychologists need ongoing education, training, and guidance to fulfill these objectives on a continuing basis, so that they maintain a responsible and thriving practice. The association aims to help psychologists, other mental health professionals, and legal professionals in the field to achieve these objectives and/or related ones.
Psychologists in the field of Psychological Injury and Law are unique specialists working at the interface of rehabilitation, forensics, traumatology, neuropsychology, clinical practice, disability, and assessment. They could profit from our goals so that they better prepare reports, testimony, and so on, for treatment plan requests, independent assessments, or other court purposes. They can learn to better adopt a dynamic, biopsychosocial, and multiple factorial model of causality, considering possible effects of pre-existing, event-related, post-event, and ongoing factors unrelated to the event. Through the association, they can have access to the most rigorous scientific research in the field, learn about the most scientifically acceptable instruments, procedures, and evaluation techniques, and appreciate the need of establishing their conclusions using a scientific process, all the while respecting the individual person being evaluated and the individual data gathered.
Attorneys and other law professionals wishing to learn about our approach and to contribute their perspective to it also are welcome members of the association. Recall that one of our goals is better use of psychological expertise by the legal profession and the courts. The organization also welcomes other mental health, rehabilitation, and forensic professionals, such as psychiatrists.
Members of the association will find that all our activities relate to advancing the field, in terms of its ability to meet these professional objectives, in fostering research on these matters, and in providing education about the field to students, universities, professional organizations, attorneys and the judiciary, granting agencies, the public, and so on.
Our educational and professional initiatives include a yearly conference, where presentations of the highest quality take place, continuing education events, a journal on the topic, an e-newsletter, a list serve, possibly a book series sponsored by our strategic partner, Springer Science and Business Media (springer.com), other relevant books offered at a discount by Springer, a membership list, which is not a referral service, and our continually changing and interesting website. By exploring the website, speaking to members, reading our published material, and so on, we are confident that you will join the association from the beginning of your student days and, once a member, actively participate, learn from, and contribute to the association and the field.
The area of Psychological or Personal Injury and Law is a broad field. We look forward to seeking links internationally, and activities such as world congresses in this important, growing, and vibrant area.
- Gerald Young, Ph.D.President, ASAPIL