Forensics

The Haymount Institute for Psychological Services, PLLC, is pleased to announce that we are now offering forensic psychological services, provided by Dr. Christopher J. Ketchman, Psy.D., ABPP.  Dr. Ketchman is board certified in Clinical Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology, and is a partner at the Haymount Institute for Psychological Services, with three locations serving Fayetteville, Hope Mills and Raeford North Carolina.  The Haymount Institute for Psychological Assessment was incepted on January 1, 2008, and has since developed a full-service testing center that serves a broad spectrum of psychological testing needs in the community.  Due to recent demands, Dr. Ketchman decided to expand the testing center to include the provision of forensic psychological evaluations for local and state-wide court systems in fulfillment of his longstanding passion for and training in the field.

Dr. Ketchman’s graduate school training was completed at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale under the guidance and supervision of some of the most well-known psychologists in the field of forensic psychology.  Such individuals include Dr. David L. Shapiro and Dr. Lenore E. Walker.  As one of a few selected individuals, Dr. Ketchman matriculated into the forensic psychology concentration, which provided formal training in the areas of forensic psychology, criminal law, forensic assessment, interventions and special issues in forensic settings, and police psychology.  Dr. Ketchman became a member of the citizen’s police academy during his graduate work and took part in hostage negotiation trainings via his involvement with the Federal Bureau of Investigations in Miami, Florida, and also completed his Master’s Thesis in the area of Type A Behavior Patterns in Law Enforcement.  Although Dr. Ketchman was trained primarily in the practice of psychology, he was electively involved in various research studies during his graduate training, including research and professional presentations in the general admissibility standards of various psychological tests, sex offender risk assessments, and treatment of sexual offenders.  He also co-authored a chapter in The Handbook  of Child Sexual Abuse, 2nd Edition (in progress).

In addition to the aforementioned education, Dr. Ketchman has extensive experience in forensic testimony, psychological assessment, and intervention.  He was actively involved as an evaluator and consultant to the Mental Health Court in Broward County, conducted numerous forensic evaluations, and provided court testimony during his graduate training at Nova Southeastern University.  Dr. Ketchman completed two practicums in forensic settings, including direct consultation to the Broward County Public Defender’s Office, and forensic assessments for the State of Florida.  Assessments included various forms of competency, criminal responsibility, downward departure (alternative sentencing), involuntary civil commitment, custody evaluations, and mitigation.  Dr. Ketchman also worked with the forensic unit during his internship at the Hudson River Regional Psychiatric Center in Poughkeepsie, New York, and subsequently worked as a staff psychologist at the Scotland Correctional Institution, part of the North Carolina Department of Corrections.  Although he has spent many years in the capacity as a training director, clinical evaluator, director and founder of the Haymount Institute for Psychological Assessment since its inception in 2008, he has completed several evaluations in the areas of parental stability, family law, consultation to the Department of Social Services, Independent Medical Opinions, workman’s compensation evaluations, and fitness for duty assessments to name a few.   The Haymount Institute is therefore pleased to expand the psychological testing center to include forensic evaluations to meet the ever-growing needs of Cumberland, Hoke, and surrounding counties.

Examples of Forensic Assessments include but are not necessarily limited to:

  1. Various forms of Competency (i.e. Competency to Stand Trial, Guardianship)
  2. Criminal Responsibility (i.e. Sanity, Mental Health Mitigation)
  3. Alternative Sentencing (i.e. Treatment programs vs. jail/prison)
  4. General psychological stability evaluations
  5. Family evaluations, parental stability, child welfare

It is important to note that, due to experience with certain aspects of civil litigation, Dr. Ketchman will not perform evaluations concerning the determination of parental fitness or risk assessments of any kind.  Regarding parental fitness, Dr. Ketchman provides parental stability evaluations that determine the psychological status of an individual and whether or not they have a mental health condition that could otherwise impair their capacity to exercise sound judgment in their efforts to effectively parent their children.  Parental attitudes evaluations are also provided. However, Dr. Ketchman does not make determinations as to whether or not a parent is “a good parent” or whether or not a parent should have custody of their children, since these are ultimately the decision of the court. 

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FORENSIC ASSESSMENT AND CLINICAL CARE

Forensic evaluations involve the utilization of various techniques for the purpose of addressing potential psychological issues that may have an impact on a person’s legal matters.  In other words, forensic psychological evaluations involve the application of mental health concepts to the law.  Forensic assessments differ significantly from clinical care in that the primary purpose of the evaluation is not to fulfill a clinical need, but rather, to assist finders of fact, attorneys, or clients in their efforts to arrive at dispositions for adjudication in a legal setting.  Conversely, clinical evaluations and therapy are geared toward provision of therapeutic or diagnostic services for the purpose of treatment, treatment planning, or coordination of care. It is important to understand these differences when making referrals to the Haymount Institute to ensure patients/clients are routed to the appropriate service line, as well as to ensure accurate quotes regarding the costs of services, since they differ considerably.  A copy of the Fee Schedule for forensic evaluations with Dr. Christopher Ketchman is attached hereafter.

SCHEDULE OF FEES FOR FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES

All forensic psychological services are billed at the rate of $250 per hour of the psychologists’ time, including face-to-face time with the client, time spent reviewing medical, mental health, or legal records, time spent in the administration, scoring, and interpretation of psychological tests, preparation of psychological reports, as well as time spent in preparation for court testimony.  Telephonic consultation to attorneys or clients and in-person conferences are also included in the hourly rates.  Deposition and courtroom testimony is billed at a rate of $300 per hour from the time the psychologist leaves the office until the time of return.  All fees are calculated in 15 minute increments.

Retainer fees will be calculated based upon an approximation of the time required to provide forensic psychological services, and will be expected prior to seeing a client for an evaluation.  Services will be billed against the retainer in 15 minute increments as noted above.  Retainer funds shall be held in escrow until Dr. Ketchman’s services are no longer needed.  In the event of a surplus of funds remaining in retainer after services are rendered, the balance will be refunded back to the appropriate party.

Rates for clinical care services, such as individual psychotherapy, medication management, psychological evaluations for purposes other than legal/forensics, or other services offered by the Haymount Institute are billed based upon a sliding scale (for cash pay) or can be billed directly to a patient’s insurance.

IMPORTANT NOTES REGARDING FORENSIC SERVICES

In many cases, records necessary to provide competent forensic services will not be available to or accessible by the psychologist, and it is thus the respectfully requested that retaining counsel or the client provide such records.  The effectiveness of a forensic expert is largely dependent on access to any and all pertinent medical, mental health, legal, or other relevant records, and it therefore behooves the client or client’s counsel to secure such documents prior to the client’s scheduled appointment.  Similarly, any court-ordered evaluations will not be released to any party without a copy of the court order, and it is strongly recommended that a copy of the court order be furnished at the outset of the interview so that appropriate informed consent, including parameters and limits of confidentiality, can be discussed with the client prior to conducting the evaluation.

REFERRAL PROCEDURE

To make a referral for a forensic evaluation, contact the office and specifically request a “forensic assessment.” Referrals may also be made by downloading a copy of the referral form from our website:  www.haymountinstitute.com, checking the “forensic assessment” box, and faxing the form to one of our offices. Referrals for individual therapy, medication management, or non-forensic evaluations can be made in the same manner, but should specify that the referral is for clinical reasons only.