Forensic (Court Related) Psychology

Forensic Psychology is the interaction of our legal system with psychology.  As a psychologist, Dr. Cottam is trained to use evidence and research as a basis. She is additionally a licensed attorney.  She has testified in over 300 cases requiring the opinion and findings of an expert psychologist in juvenile, county, district, federal and military courts. Dr. Cottam is also a county mental health board member and serves as a disability consultant to the Social Security Administration. She has wide experience in divorce mediation and family conflict resolution, particularly with regards to children and adolescents. Our facility is equipped to assist clients with audiovisual capability.

Civil concerns:

  • Child custody evaluation
  • Divorce evaluations
  • Fitness of adult caregivers
  • Fitness to parent
  • Employment/fitness for duty
  • Malingering or concealing psychological problems
  • Competency in employment / occupation
  • Competency to contract
  • Mental fitness to practice evaluations for State licensing boards (including Nursing, Medicine, Psychology, Chiropractic, Behavioral Sciences, Pharmacy, Chiropractic and Dentistry)
  • Psychotherapy standard of care, malpractice, negligence, ethics, boundaries and risk management
  • Evaluations of emotional damage deriving from personal injury, incorporating objective psychological assessment tools (such as the Millon Clinical Multiaxial and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventories)
  • Competency to make a Will (testamentary capacity)
  • Competency regarding medical care
  • Church related abuse
  • Assessment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Mental impairment
  • Mental retardation

Criminal court issues:

  • Pre-trial and sentencing evaluations
  • Competency to stand trial (insanity defense)
  • Evaluation to determine mental factors for bail reduction
  • Criminal responsibility or sanity at the time of offense
  • Evaluation of risk of criminal recidivism
  • Jury selection consultation
  • Witness preparation
  • Diminished capacity
  • Immigration waiver issues
  • Substance abuse
  • Guilty, but mentally ill
  • Probation or parole issues