I was thrilled to be asked by the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services (IAFMHS) to give the Dr. Derek Eaves Keynote Address at the 2013 conference in Maastricht, Netherlands. Those who know me well know that I love to travel and that Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities. Thus, the invitation to travel to Maastricht, about 2 hours south of Amsterdam by train and home of perhaps the best forensic psychology masters program in Europe, was sweet!
The Conference was excellent! Corine de Ruiter, the President of IAFMHS and a Professor of Forensic Psychology at Maastricht University, Vivienne de Vogel, Kim van Oorsouw and 23 student volunteers from Maastricht worked tirelessly to ensure that everything went off without a hitch. No easy feat, as anyone who has ever organized a conference knows (yes, I’ve done two!).
The IAFMHS Conference occurs on an annual basis, typically in June, and includes four Keynote addresses. The first address of the Conference, the Dr. Derek Eaves Lecture, in honor of the first President of the IAFMHS, kicks off the scientific programming, which lasts 3 days.
I was asked to speak on Best Practices in the Evaluation of Competency to Stand Trial and so took the opportunity to think about how I might be able to advance practice in this area. Rather than simply lay out the best practices as described in the book that Ron Roesch and I wrote for the Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment series published by Oxford University Press, I came up with 5 key areas of improvement that I see as necessary given my review of the various literature on competency. Each of these is discussed in turn during my talk and, to make things interesting for those who don’t conduct competency evaluations as part of their practice, I decided to include photos of my travels in the background of each slide.
The talk went well and the photos resulted in people from all over the world approaching me to introduce themselves and to talk about one of my true passions…travel and adventure vacations. Awesome!
Here is a video of my talk paired with my slides. (Please ignore my weird facial expressions…first time I’ve seen myself give a talk on video…not sure why I’m doing that…)
In my next 3 posts, I will include the other 3 Keynote addresses from IAFMHS 2013 in Maastricht, Netherlands. Stay tuned…