March 23, 2012
“A given professional must undertake either a forensic examination or therapy, not both, with any given child.
“The roles of forensic evaluator and ongoing therapist are different. The forensic evaluator must not become an advocate for the child, a role often difficult to avoid when one is an ongoing therapist.
“For this reason the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines for Psychological Evaluations in Child Protection Matters (1999) holds, ‘Psychologists generally do not conduct psychological evaluations in child protection matters in which they serve in a therapeutic role for the child or the immediate family or have had other involvement that may compromise
their objectivity.’ ”
– From “A Behavior Analytic Look at Contemporary Issues in the Assessment of Child
Sexual Abuse” by W. Joseph Wyatt in The Behavior Analyst Today (March 22, 2007)
By serving enthusiastically as agents of the prosecution, Betty Robertson, Judy Abbott, Susan Childers and Michele Zimmerman not only ignored that crucial ethical distinction, but also fostered psychological havoc where there had been none.