Institute for Forensic Psychology

1. What is forensic psychiatry / psychology?

The field of activity of a forensic psychiatrist/psychologist is the area of overlap between mental health care and the law.

If the court requests a psychiatric expert examination, the mental capacity of a suspect is evaluated at the time of the offence and thereafter. That is, accountability is evaluated: is the person mentally deficient, of unsound mind and/or have a severe mental disorder that makes them incapable of controlling their actions, are they responsible for the alleged behaviour and can they adequately judge the consequences of their actions?

To this end, a report is drawn up and a recommendation is submitted to the judicial authorities. This occurs amongst other things within the context of the law of 21 April 2007 concerning the internment of persons suffering from a mental disorder.

The duties of a judicial psychiatrist also involve the treatment and rehabilitation of offenders during and after detention, as well as reducing recidivism as much as possible.


2. What does the Institute for Forensic Psychology (IFP) do?

Within the field of forensic psychiatry/psychology, the IFP multidisciplinary team provides services that fall into two categories, namely, expert examinations and intensive treatment of offenders.

The first category includes a medical-psychiatric screening (medical-technical analysis) and a battery of (neuro) psychological tests, supplemented with historical data and information from individual interviews. This data is used to form a picture of offenders’ inner dynamics, generate hypotheses about criminal incentives and draw up a risk assessment.

The IFP advocates evidence-based treatment of detainees who have been paroled. Personalised psychotherapy is provided using a client-centred and insight-oriented approach supplemented with the use of cognitive-behavioural principles. The goal is to strengthen psychosocial skills, increase sense of responsibility and provide the most effective treatment for the existing psychopathology. The end goal of this work method is the rehabilitation-oriented and successful re-integration into society where the risk of relapse is minimised.

Both the expert examination and further treatment is carried out in close consultation with the pertinent judicial authorities.

The forensic psychological duties are carried out by Dr Lindemans and Stijn Claes