The Role of the Therapist in Court Proceedings: Best Practices for Documentation, Preparing Effective Reports, Testifying in Court, and Becoming an Expert Witness

Mary Petersen, LMSE, ACSW, has served as an expert witness in her field for almost 20 years in various capacities, providing oral, written, and in-person testimony in dozens of cases. She has worked with several different attorneys and has developed a comfort level with a process that mental health professionals often report finding stressful. She has learned how to prepare for dealing with legal issues, to present facts and her opinion succinctly, and to "think on her feet." Ms. Petersen recognized a need for mental health professionals to obtain the training required to perform well in this challenging arena, so they are better able to serve their clients as well as others involved in the legal process.

Ms. Petersen has been a clinical social worker since 1999, and in private practice since 2005, is certified and licensed through the state of Michigan. She sees individuals, families and groups by appointment. Ms. Petersen treats adolescents and adults, most often for anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, and relationship issues, in addition to speaking to a variety of audiences on topics related to mental and behavioral health. She also provides life coaching to adults seeking present and future-focused, solution-oriented direction with accountability. Ms. Petersen possesses a degree in English and has been published on multiple occasions.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Mary Petersen maintains a private practice and has employment relationships with Grosse Pointe News and Crucible Consultants, LLC. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Non-financial: Mary Petersen is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.