Testifying in Court for Psychologists, Counselors, and Social Workers

Workshop description

This program is intended for licensed professional counselors, school counselors, social workers, and psychologists. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the court system including the different types of courts, the various people involved in the court process, and the different ways that mental health professionals might serve as witnesses. Attendees will also be introduced to ways to provide effective testimony as well as common prosecutor and defense tactics. Finally, we will discuss ethical issues related to testifying in court.

Coffee and light breakfast included.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Explain the court system, including differences between the different types of courts and the various people involved.
  2. Describe different types of witnesses and ways to prepare for court depending on type of witness, with specific focus on ethics codes related to Integrity, Justice, and Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity.
  3. Discuss how to provide effective testimony, with specific focus on Competence, Limits of Confidentiality, and Third Party Requests for Services.
  4. Summarize ethical issues relevant for mental health professionals who testify in court; present case studies for participants to evaluate related to ethical issues.
  5. Review common prosecutor and defense tactics, noting potential ethical concerns that may arise.
  • Licensed Professional Counselors Association (LPCA) Approved for 2.75 CORE CE credit hours (Approval #9482-19)
  • Georgia Psychological Association (GPA) CE/Ethics Credits Approved for 3.0 CE credit hours (
  • National Association of Social Workers-GA Chapter (NASW-GA) Program approved for 3.0 related hours of continuing education credit by the National Association of Social Workers-Georgia chapter as authorized by Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists.

Questions? Contact Dr. Julie Battle at jbattle@brenau.edu.

Presenter bios

Julie V. Battle, Ph.D.

Julie BattleJulie V. Battle is a professor of psychology who serves as the Psychology Department Chair at Brenau University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Houston and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Emory University. Her areas of expertise include forensic interviewing, post-traumatic stress disorder, victimization, sexual abuse, parenting, and child abuse prevention. Battle is a licensed psychologist who works with law enforcement and DFCS in child sexual abuse, physical abuse, and other child trauma cases. Her role is to conduct forensic interviews with children who have made allegations of abuse and to serve as an expert witness in court when these cases are prosecuted. She has conducted over 2200 forensic interview and has testified in court as an expert witness over 125 times. Battle has also done a number of presentations at conferences as well as to various groups (e.g., law enforcement officers, therapists, coaches) on topics including mandated reporting, differences between forensic interviewing and therapy, disclosure of sexual abuse, and prevention of sexual abuse.

Stephanie Woodard

Stephanie WoodardStephanie Woodard is the elected Solicitor-General, state court prosecutor in Hall County, Georgia. She received her Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University College of Law in 1996 and her license to practice law in that same year. Her legal career has consisted of prosecution with a focus of gender-based violence through intimate partner violence and sexual assault, with a time period spent in private practice. Throughout her legal career, Woodard has focused on psychological aspects of the criminal justice system – both in understanding causality of criminal offense, victim impact, and appropriate judicial responses to both offender and victim. She has been active legislatively around public policy issues such as criminal justice reform, child advocacy and understanding the impact of adverse childhood experiences, as well as substance abuse and addictions issues in accountability court systems. Woodard has been a presenter and educator for the Prosecuting Attorneys Council, the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, the Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts, Georgia Peace Officers Training Council and Child Advocacy Centers of Georgia.

General inquiries: info@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6299 or +1-800-252-5119 | Admissions: admissions@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6100 or +1-800-252-5119 ext. 6100