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What Psychologists need to know about Family Court

Event number: 17468
4 CPD hours
Study Group Network
Presenter(s): Dr Phil Watts MAPS MCCLP MCFP

One of the most likely pathways for psychologists to end up in court are matters where the parties are involved with Family Court. This can be a parent or child who has been referred for any number of reasons which are not court related.  The family law act allows parties to subpoena the files of a psychologist or request that they give evidence at Trial.   This is very stressful and if the file has been poorly managed the experience in court may be a disaster.  Alternatively therapists may be asked to write a report on a client for court purposes without understanding the implications.

Dr Phil Watts is a forensic psychologist who has been involved in over 1000 family court matters as Court Expert.  This presentation is designed to increase awareness of matters which could be important in court, strategies to avoid court, and some suggestions on how to look good in Court.  This presentation will also help explain what children need from their parents when parents separate including what is known about shared care.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this workshop, attendees will:

  • Understanding the rules around giving evidence to court including the different rules for reports of therapy nature versus those of expert evidence
  • Appreciation of the needs of children in separated families
  • Understanding of shared care and what is best for children when parents separate
  • Knowledge of ways that minimise the likelihood you will go to court and help you be able be a credible witness in court.

About the presenter(s)

Dr Phil Watts is a clinical and forensic psychologist with 25 years’ experience. He is an entertaining presenter, well known to many within the profession. He is from WA but is also an adjunct associate professor at the University of Canberra. Dr Phil has recently published a self-treatment guide for men on the topic of internet pornography. He has varied interests and has books on shared care, and giving evidence in court.


Please make sure you read the group description and details carefully before registering for a study group. CANCELLATION POLICY: As we keep study group fees to a minimum and presenters are paid according to the numbers who attend, we prefer not to provide refunds other than for 'exceptional, unforeseeable circumstances'. We are happy for you to nominate an alternative attendee or you may transfer to another study group, but only within 2 months as this adds extra admin costs. Cancellations up to 14 days prior to the study group you are registered for will receive a full refund. Cancellations within 1-13 days of the study group will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations within 24 hours of a study group will not be refunded. All cancellations must be given in writing.

Online registration


Psychology Melbourne
2/50 Queen Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Venue is wheelchair accessible
Start date: 3/4/2017
End date: 3/4/2017
Time: 9.30am - 1.30pm


APS Member: $110
APS Student: $110
Non Member: $220


APS - Melbourne Branch
The Study Group Network (SGN) is an initiative of the APS Melbourne Branch designed to improve psychologists’ clinical and research skills and to keep them current with new developments.
Contact Karen Holst
03 8662 3300