Forensic psychology is a fairly new part of the process of solving crimes. Crimes have always been looked at mostly from a factual perspective, and crime-solving was more invested in following clues that were related to the physical evidence to find the perpetrator. The old method of figuring out how a crime happened neglected to take into consideration profiling clues. This information could be revealed by the way that the evidence was left and the way that the crime took place.
In addition, forensic psychologists have also become increasingly involved in the process of helping survivors of a crime and witnesses to recover from PTSD and other trauma-related to the incident. For many people, this is a really troubling and upsetting time that is hard to move away from to get back to daily life. The explanations and support of a forensic psychologist can help families and victims to understand why a crime happened and move past the fear and emotions related to the incident.
If you are ready to learn more about a career in forensic psychology, you need to read on!
How Forensic Psychology Contributes to Mental Well-Being
1. Understanding of Criminal Behavior
Forensic psychologists understand how criminal thinking works. They are able to make sense of the evidence and the actions of people who have done terrible things and connect the dots to mental illness and other reasons for these behaviors. When the actions of someone who has done a criminal act seem more logical, and they are explained, this helps the investigators and also the survivors of the act to work through the case.
Survivors often feel like the act that they were witness to or that their loved one committed happened for no reason. This makes the trauma infinitely worse and more damaging. When someone can rationalize the reasons for terrible events like this, the trauma can be addressed more readily. From helping with crime scene investigation to helping survivors to understand why the crime happened, forensic psychologists can provide the necessary support to everyone involved in the aftermath of the crime.
Understanding criminal behavior can also reveal changes that need to be made to social situations that happen at schools or businesses. Sometimes the crime was motivated by social pressures that can be alleviated in the future if an expert calls attention to the problem.
2. Can See Underlying Systemic Issues
Forensic psychologists are better able to see patterns of behavior and systemic social problems that might have led to the actions of a criminal. This can help the authorities and the people who legislate around these kinds of crimes to address the conditions that led to the actions of the criminal. Sometimes social pressures and economic conditions can be major contributing factors that lead to criminal behavior. It can be hard for people who have never lived in poverty, with mental illness, or other societal challenges to understand the reasons for actions that lead to crimes.
Being able to connect the dots between a crime and the reasons that the person felt compelled to take this action helps to prevent future crimes and to help other people in the same situation before they become criminals. This kind of input can also help to remove survivors from conditions that led to the crime in the first place. Sometimes family and other survivors need help just as much as the criminal. These people need the intervention of an expert to reveal the help that will help them to avoid their own traumatic reactions to their situation.
3. Help Locating Criminals Who Have Fled
In many situations, a criminal who is at large is going to be more likely to cause yet more crimes. These people who are running from legal actions being taken against them often feel desperate and are not in any mental state to make good decisions. A forensic psychologist can help to predict the behavior of someone who is on the run and make sure that they are apprehended before they cause more trauma and engage in more criminal behavior.
Forensic psychologists are experts at the kinds of behaviors that follow the pressure of being pursued, and they can almost always help the authorities to apprehend someone before they hurt themselves or others. While the reality of the prison system is not favorable in many ways, being in custody gives these individuals the chance to get mental health support and care that they will never get while they are running from the consequences of their actions.
Forensic psychologists can also help provide some direction and assistance for the management of the criminal’s needs after they are taken into custody. Some of these individuals need help they will not get in the regular incarceration process. Being able to make a difference in how these people are treated can make a positive difference in the long-term outcome of their situation.
Forensic Psychology Can Make a Big Difference in People’s Lives
Forensic psychology has become increasingly important to understanding criminal behavior and helping to treat criminals and survivors of crimes. Between being able to assist in solving criminal cases and helping survivors and criminals to get the mental health support that they need, forensic psychologists serve a very important role in the process of solving crimes.
There are many reasons to become a criminal psychologist. The items discussed in this article are not the only reasons that you might want to become this kind of healthcare professional. Forensic psychology is a valuable and really meaningful segment of the psychology profession. For those who have an interest in helping others, it can be a great fit. You will get to exercise an immediate impact on the well-being of your community as well when you select this kind of psychology.
If you want to find out more about becoming a forensic psychologist, you need to check out our process to help you to find the perfect career for your interests and talents!