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The Trials and Tribulations of Psychology in Forensic Settings

Welcome to another edition of PsyTalk, our quarterly bulletin showcasing the work of PsySSA’s Divisions, Standing Committees and Branches. We trust that you will find the content topical and relevant to our profession.
Our role as psychological service providers is primarily support driven, or at least it should be. This is why I chose the profession. But ‘support’ is largely depended on the expectation of the service and, in a world with differences of opinion, what I deem a worthy cause or appropriate action could be seen as the opposite by others.
So, when we talk differences of opinion there is a cordial manner in which two opposing sides can discuss and ultimately resolve the impasse amicably… a win-win outcome for that matter.

September 2018 • Issue 3

PsySSA President: Prof Tholene Sodi

President’s Corner

It is now about twelve months since I have been at the helm as President of the Psychological Society of South Africa. As I write this last issue of the President’s Corner, I cannot believe how fast time has flown by. Anyway, let me take this opportunity to share with you three important developments that have unfolded in the last few months:
First, I wish to report that that the leadership of PsySSA, more specifically Exco and the Past Presidents Forum (as an advisory body to the Society), held a Leadership Brainstorming Workshop on 20-21 July 2018 in Sandton, Johannesburg. The purpose of the workshop was to deal with some immediate/short-term matters that the Presidency felt needed attention as these had the potential to hinder a future strategic planning process that was due to be started.
The brainstorming session was conceived of as an inward-looking intervention with the following objectives:


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer rights are human rights

On the 27th of June 2018 in Montreal at the International Congress of Applied Psychology in Montreal, Canada, the International Psychology Network...

Mamela Psychology Congress Volunteers

The student division will be assisting with volunteers again at the 24th Annual PsySSA Congress, hosted at Emperors Palace in Gauteng this year. The...

DRM Announcement: Upcoming Conferences

PsySSA Congress 2018, with the theme Mamela Psychology – Listen with Humility… Act with Integrity, will be taking place from 11 to 14 September,...

Psychology in Forensic Settings…

It is important to note that the resources provided here should not be seen as an endorsement by PsySSA but rather as a means to facilitate discussion around the the role played by psychologists in forensic/legal settings.


Psychological Society of South Africa

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What is Forensic Psychology?

Please note that if the video links are not visible on your browser access to this content could be blocked by your department.

PsySSA 24th Annual Congress

PsySSA Structures

Divisional News

Student Division

Member News Madiba Day NELSON MANDELA DAY OUTREACH INITIATIVE “To Greater Heights” – that is the motto of Zola Primary School in Soweto, and words...

Division for Research and Methodology (DRM)

DRM ExCo Member news Divisional news We are proud to announce that the open-access book titled, Towards transforming research methods in the social...

Sexuality and Gender Division (SGD)

Division Exec Members have been part of and offered a number of workshops, conferences and presentations related to sexual and gender topics and interests.
Yaseen Ally presented at a seminar along with Professor Anderson J Franklin, Emeritus Professor of Clinical and Social Psychology from Boston College and Graduate School of The City University of New York.

Divisional Articles Slider

A Student Perspective on Forensic Psychology (Student Division)

By Maham Hasan Wits MA Social and Psychological Research Student Over the last couple of years there has been much anticipation with the possible...

Tips for researchers (DRM)

Tips for researchers when selecting instruments

Psychology in the courtroom: very little good, some bad, and a lot of ugly (DRM)

When psychology rears its ugly head in the courtroom, we are never quite sure if the horrible state of psychology in this forum is because we tend to be bad at court work specifically, or if it is that the profession in general is in a terrible state, but when it’s behind the closed door of the psychologist’s practice, nobody sees it? It’s a terrible choice to make, but we hope it’s the former and not the latter.
We have spent hours assisting prosecutors in understanding reports submitted by psychologists as expert evidence. On the odd occasion we see a competent one, we usually see terrible ones. We have probably spent just as many hours trying to understand why this is the case. Who is to blame?

A Peak Beyond the Yellow-Tape: Psychologist’s Role in Forensic Work (SGD)

It is known that South Africa has alarmingly high crime and violence rates and despite the various interventions that have been implemented on a variety of levels, crime experienced both individually and collectively continues to affect the lives of many. While the psychological effects of violence and crime have been understood and effective treatment modalities developed to cope with these extraordinary experiences, much is yet to be known about the subjective effect crime and violence may have on the observer.

MoU Partners

Divisional Articles

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” William James (1842-1910)

Membership Section



The South African Journal of Psychology publishes peer-reviewed contributions in English from all fields of psychology. Whilst the emphasis is on empirical research, the journal also accepts theoretical and methodological papers, review articles, short communications, book reviews, and letters commenting on articles published in the journal. Priority is given to articles relevant to Africa and that address psychological issues of social change and development.


Read the latest article on PsySSA’s Mail & Guardian’s ThoughLeader. Click on the image to visit the page.

PsySSA Training Venue

PsySSA’s office training facilities is situated in the heart of Parktown and offers members and non-members a state of the art training venue. It is the perfect setting for any training, strategic planning, team-building and workshops.

PsySSA is one of the smaller more intimate training venues and can accommodate 30 delegates in the training room.

A fully equipped venue with 2 wide screens, data projectors, PA system and white board/s. Other facilities and amenities include: Air conditioning (heating/cooling); Flipchart board; projector; Wi-Fi; Water; Tea and Coffee; easy access via Gautrain.

It is possible to arrange for up to two other breakaway rooms. Please visit the website for more details

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