Forensic Neuropsychology Special Interest Group

Welcome to the FNSIG webpage of AACN!

Interest in forensic neuropsychology is robust and growing, and the FNSIG provides a forum for the many AACN members who practice, or are interested in, Forensic Neuropsychology. As an update, our first FNSIG meeting was at the June 2018 annual AACN conference in San Diego, CA, where we had well over 100 attendees. The following year in Chicago, we also had over 100 attendees. As you may know, COVID forced cancellation of our 2020 annual conference, but this past June, we had a virtual meeting and again had over 100 attendees. It is clear that interest remains high with the very many forensically oriented queries and postings on our AACN discussion forum on an almost daily basis.

As you may know, this past August we had an opportunity to present to the ABPP Board of Trustees (ABPP BOT) in our effort to pursue Forensic Neuropsychology as a subspecialty of ABCN, in much the same way that Pediatric Neuropsychology eventually became an ABPP-recognized subspecialty of ABCN. Pediatric Neuropsychology is the first, and remains the only, subspecialty of all of ABPP, and we are proud of our colleagues who worked so hard to make this happen!

Unfortunately, our proposal to move forward toward sub-specialization with the FNSIG initiative was denied by the ABPP BOT. Despite an initial determination by the ABPP Affiliation Committee months earlier that Forensic Neuropsychology offered a sufficiently distinct knowledge base and practice to qualify as a subspecialty, the BOT voted to agree with the Forensic Psychology board, whose position was that they offered adequate coverage of Forensic Neuropsychology topics. They went on to recommend that ABCN specialists should consider pursuing Forensic Psychology specialization. This did not seem a reasonable solution, as the vast majority of ABCN specialists interested in Forensic Neuropsychology did not have interest or experience in the broader range of activities general forensic psychology specialists practice (e.g., custody evaluations). This is illustrated by the fact that, in the past four decades, there have been only approximately 10 ABCN specialists who obtained the Forensic Psychology credential, with perhaps six of those actually in practice currently.

Despite this unexpected outcome, we are pleased to inform you that the FNSIG will continue and will explore expanded offerings and a forum for information exchange and support. We will continue to provide a robust program of forensic presentations at the AACN annual conferences, continue our SIG workshop CE presentations, and, of course, related to our subspecialty expertise and interests, we will continue to expand our knowledge base and effective practice through research and publications, which continue to grow at an exponential rate. Additionally, we will be identifying curriculum and topic areas deemed necessary for the effective practice of Forensic Neuropsychology, so that forensically inclined neuropsychologists can best track their development of necessary skills/knowledge obtained through attendance at forensic neuropsychology workshops and reading of relevant published resource materials. Ultimately, we hope to create a coherent plan of skill development in FN for our specialists, especially early career members just entering FN practice.

Recently, there has been discussion on the AACN listserv about mentoring. We are in the process of developing a mechanism that will facilitate mentoring and communication between interested ABCN colleagues. We will keep you updated as we develop this program.

We are also going to do the hard work of developing guidelines for training in Forensic Neuropsychology at all levels and will be working with our colleagues and partners in doctoral programs, internships, and postdoctoral fellowships with APPCN.

Finally, thanks to all of you – our ABCN members who practice Forensic Neuropsychology and those early career specialists who want to develop an FN practice. We hope to see you in Minneapolis in 2022.

Bernice Marcopulos, Kyle Boone, Nancy Hebben, Nat Nelson, Bob Denney, & Jerry Sweet
FN SIG Core Leadership

JoelMorgan
Joel Morgan, FNSIG Co-Chair
Mike Westerveld, FNSIG Co-Chair