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Law and Mental Health

Second Edition
A Case-Based Approach

Christopher M. Weaver and Robert G. Meyer

Hardcovere-bookprint + e-book
September 2, 2019
ISBN 9781462540471
Price: $57.00
430 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
August 7, 2019
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $57.00
430 Pages
print + e-book
Hardcover + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $114.00 $62.70
430 Pages
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Favored by instructors and students for its real-world focus and engaging style, this authoritative text on the interface of psychology and law has now been revised and expanded. Each chapter provides an overview of case law on an important topic and explores selected cases in depth. Coverage includes psychological and mental health issues in criminal and civil proceedings; the role of practitioners as expert witnesses and forensic consultants; and legal concerns in general clinical practice. Salient legal processes and decisions are summarized and implications for today's clinical and forensic practitioners highlighted. Instructors who adopt the book for courses will receive a supplemental test bank with questions keyed to each chapter. Students can access a downloadable Study Guide.

New to This Edition Pedagogical Features

“A remarkable book....This book is a gem. It is clearly written and coherent and provides a fascinating perspective on how case law informs clinical forensic practice....As a textbook, it will deepen and enrich the understanding of major substantive issues in the law that may be covered by other books that go less into depth....It is also very valuable as a reference, even for advanced practitioners in the field.”

PsycCRITIQUES (on the first edition)

“The book gives a good overview of how court procedures work and how courts reason....Because of its breadth of coverage, the book would be a good text for students in the social and behavioral sciences and mental health professional training. It would also be a good reference for clinics and social agencies.”

Families in Society (on the first edition)

“Enjoyable....The authors write about the legal concepts in an easy-to-understand and friendly fashion. The stories behind the legal cases provide vivid backdrops for the complex legal concepts presented....I would recommend this book to clinicians interested in legal concepts and precedents, as well as to those interested in the study of law and mental health issues.”

Psychiatric Services (on the first edition)

“A thorough and immensely readable primer on the core issues facing the forensic practitioner....[The book] underscores many of the subtler issues in forensics, while bringing a human face to the field.”

Cognitive Therapy (on the first edition)

“The second edition of Law and Mental Health maintains all the virtues that made its predecessor so popular—it is empirically sophisticated, legally astute, and laden with clinical insight. The book is a remarkably comprehensive initiation to landmark criminal and civil cases and their implications for current mental health practice. I have never read a more engaging account of the intersection between law and mental health. Graduate and undergraduate students—as well as professionals—will find no better way to gain purchase on the field.”

—John Monahan, PhD, Shannon Distinguished Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry, University of Virginia

“Weaver and Meyer have authored another remarkable text. Like the first edition, the second edition is written in an engaging style, with detailed coverage of a range of important issues set in the context of relevant case law and insightful commentary. This book is an excellent resource for anyone involved at the interface of the mental health and legal systems, from students learning about law and mental health to advanced practitioners responsible for maintaining competent practice.”

—Patricia A. Zapf, PhD, Department of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York

“This book is a tour-de-force review of precedent-setting legal cases. It is important reading for students interested in careers in psychology and law and for clinical and forensic mental health professionals, as well as attorneys facing unfamiliar psycholegal topics.”

—John F. Edens, PhD, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Texas A&M University

“Mental health clinicians and clients are influenced by landmark legal cases in many ways. This book brings critical court decisions to life in an accessible, humanized style that avoids legalese. The authors weave case-based stories that teach us much about how legal cases arise, how they are resolved, and how their consequences unfold in society to affect our lives and clinical practices.”

—Thomas Grisso, PhD, Department of Psychiatry (Emeritus), University of Massachusetts Medical School

“This interesting, comprehensive text provides students with a good foundation in forensic psychology. The second edition includes new case examples that are relevant to discussions about contemporary issues in law and mental health. Because it is easy to read and well organized, the text could be used in both upper-division undergraduate and graduate-level courses.”

—Gregory Canillas, PhD, Forensic Psychology Program, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Table of Contents

Introduction sample

I. Psychological Issues and Involvement in Basic Courtroom Proceedings

1. Jury Selection and Process: Precedent Impacting Jury Consultation and Research

2. Admission of Expert Testimony and the Eyewitness

II. Legal Precedent in Everyday Clinical Practice

3. Informed Consent

4. Confidentiality and Privileged Communication

5. Duty to Warn and Protect

III. Clinical Forensic Evaluation

6. Competency

7. Insanity and Criminal Responsibility

8. Civil Commitment and Dangerousness

9. Hypnosis and the Polygraph

IV. Civil Rights and Civil Law

10. Civil Rights of People from Gender and Sexual Minority Groups

11. Personal Injury: Court Proceedings and Assessment of Psychological Damages

12. Prisoners’ Rights to Medical and Mental Health Treatment

V. Specific Mental Diagnoses in the Law

13. Substance Abuse and Dependence

14. Intellectual Disability

15. Psychopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder

VI. Violent Criminals and Violent Crime

16. Capital Punishment

17. Sex Offenders: Community Notification and Sexually Violent Predator Civil Commitment

VII. Juveniles in the Legal System

18. Foundations of Juvenile Law

19. School Law

20. Child Abuse and Neglect

21. Child Custody

22. Competency and Culpability in Juvenile Justice: Intersecting Challenges, Amanda M. Fanniff

In Conclusion: An Appeal to Students



About the Authors

Christopher M. Weaver, PhD, is Associate Professor and Director of the Forensic Psychology Program in the Department of Psychology at Palo Alto University, where he teaches in the areas of forensic psychology, research methods, and statistics. He has held research positions in the Departments of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, and Stanford University, along with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD in Menlo Park, California. Dr. Weaver’s publications and research interests center on law enforcement training and the assessment of malingered posttraumatic stress disorder.

Robert G. Meyer, PhD, ABPP, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Louisville. He is board certified in both clinical and forensic psychology and is a Fellow of Division 12 (Society of Clinical Psychology) and Division 41 (American Psychology–Law Society) of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Meyer has published over 60 articles, 23 book chapters, and 14 books. He is past editor of the Bulletin of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology and past president of the Kentucky Psychological Association. Dr. Meyer is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Forensic Psychology and a corecipient of a regional Grawemeyer Award for innovative curriculum development.


Amanda M. Fanniff, PhD,Palo Alto University, CA


Students and practitioners in clinical and forensic psychology, psychiatry, and social work; also of interest in criminal justice and criminology.

Course Use

Serves as a text in advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level courses such as Forensic Mental Health and Mental Health Law.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

First Edition, © 2006
ISBN: 9781593852214
New to this edition: