THE EXPERT WITNESS: The importance of the free narrative in forensic interviewing

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By Michael G. Brock

“One never does evil so fully and gaily, as when one does it through a false principle of conscience.”
—Blaise Pascal
“Pensées”

“When politics becomes our religion, it ingests all of the undeniably bad aspects of religion: the uncompromising tribalism, the moral superiority, and the refusal to acknowledge that reasonable people can disagree.”
—Matthew Snider


“We’re All in Trouble If Politics Becomes Our New Religion”

“Once your faith, sir, persuades you to believe what your intelligence declares to be absurd, beware lest you likewise sacrifice your reason in the conduct of your life. In days gone by, there were people who said to us: ‘You believe in incomprehensible, contradictory and impossible things because we have commanded you to; now then, commit unjust acts because we likewise order you to do so.’

Nothing could be more convincing. Certainly anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices. If you do not use the intelligence with which God endowed your mind to resist believing impossibilities, you will not be able to use the sense of injustice which God planted in your heart to resist a command to do evil. Once a single faculty of your soul has been tyrannized, all the other faculties will submit to the same fate. This has been the cause of all the religious crimes that have flooded the earth.”

—Voltaire, (translation from “Norman Lewis Torrey: Les Philosophes. The Philosophers of the Enlightenment and Modern Democracy.” Capricorn Books, 1961, pp. 277-8)

“Never say never,” goes the old adage, and it applies in my case.  After saying that I would not do any more criminal defense work in sex abuse cases, I have found myself involved in three such cases so far this year, testifying on the proper use of the Michigan Forensic Interviewing Protocol.  My experience with this Protocol comes from many days in family court doing child custody evaluations. 

Allegations of physical and sexual abuse are so common there that even the Huffington Post, (which has a decidedly liberal slant on the news) has begun running articles stating that: 70 percent of such allegations are false1; that the media is shamelessly piling on, assuming any allegations of sexual abuse, regardless of the evidence are true2; and that men should speak out against false allegations of sexual abuse.3

I’ve never been completely out of the field, I have simply chosen to focus most of my efforts in an area of law and mental health where bias is not the deciding factor regarding whether someone receives justice, but where the law is pretty much followed by Hearing Officers (judges with a different pay grade) and you don’t need huge amounts of money to get a fair shake.  But I have continued to consult and refer on a mostly pro bono basis for the 50-100 victims of the legal system who contact me every year regarding allegations of abuse4, most of which appear to be without basis, even after I have reviewed what passes for evidence in these cases.

The most important evidence in a child sexual abuse case is the forensic interview.  Its importance lies in the fact that it has been scientifically validated as the most effective way of obtaining an accurate narrative report from a child.  Short of physical evidence, an accurate free narrative, obtained with a minimum of suggestion and open-ended prompts by the forensic interviewer, is the best indicator of whether or not the reported abuse actually happened.  Debra Poole and Michael Lamb cited studies supporting this finding going back as far as 1914.5 

This importance of proper procedure is also made abundantly clear in the Michigan Forensic Interviewing Protocol6, which states on page 16 that, “After the topic is raised, the interviewer asks the child to provide a narrative description of the event. Research shows that children’s responses to open-ended prompts are longer and more detailed than responses to focused questions. Answers to open-ended questions are more accurate than answers to focused questions because many children answer focused questions even when they do not remember relevant information.”

Further, it is clear that a forensic interview that achieves no narrative is not reliable evidence.  Michigan’s Protocol continues, “The most common interviewer errors are omitting the free narrative phase or shifting prematurely to specific questions. Instead of asking the child to talk about the event and then shifting to specific questions and clarification, the interviewer should prolong the free narrative phase with numerous open-ended prompts, such as ‘And then what happened?’ and ‘Tell me more about [child’s words for the event] (emphasis in original).’”

Nor is this position unique to Michigan’s Protocol.  The basic concept of the scientifically valid forensic interviewing protocol is universally acknowledged and accepted in the scientific community.  Not only does every state employs some variation of a protocol based on the work of Poole and Lamb, but also every country in the western world—and some beyond.

“Structured Forensic Interview Protocols Improve The Quality And Informativeness of Investigative Interviews with Children: A Review of Research Using the NICHD7 Investigative Interview Protocol,” by Michael E. Lamb, Yael Orbach, Irit Hershkowitz, Phillip W. Esplin, and Dvora Horowitz8, states in its conclusion, that:  “The NICHD Protocol operationalizes the principles about which there has been clear expert professional consensus and has been shown to improve the behavior of investigative interviewers by helping them to elicit information that is more likely to be accurate because it is recalled by the child freely rather than in response to information and probes provided by the interviewer. In addition, interviewers are better able to judge whether victims are telling the truth when the interviews are conducted using the Protocol, perhaps because the children are thereby encouraged to provide more information in the narrative form which is more amenable to credibility assessment.”

Furthermore, the authors noted that, “The universal emphasis on the value of narrative responses elicited using open-ended prompts is rooted in the oft-replicated results of laboratory analogue studies demonstrating that information elicited using such prompts is much more likely to be accurate than information elicited using more focused recognition prompts, probably because open-ended questions force the respondent to recall information from memory, whereas more focused prompts often require the respondent to recognize one or more options suggested by the interviewer...The emphasis on the value of open-ended prompts was also supported by evidence that, in forensic contexts, responses to individual free-recall prompts are three to five times more informative than responses to more focused prompts.

“Unfortunately, researchers have repeatedly shown that these research-based and expert-endorsed recommendations are widely proclaimed but seldom followed. Descriptive studies of forensic interviews in various parts of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, Finland, and Israel consistently show that forensic interviewers use open-ended prompts quite rarely, even though such prompts reliably elicit more information than more focused prompts do. To the distress of trainers and administrators, furthermore, such deviations from ‘best practice’ were evident even when the interviewers had been trained extensively, were well-aware of the recommended practices, and often believed that they were adhering to those recommendations!

“The latter findings were consistent with the results of studies showing that both intensive and brief training programs for investigative interviewers may impart knowledge about desirable practices but have little if any effect on the actual behavior of forensic investigators.”

The reason this finding is of such great importance is that the forensic interview is the basis on which a decision will be made by a prosecutor to proceed with a criminal prosecution, CPS will decided to remove a child from a parent or guardian’s care, and a family court judge will decide custody and parenting time issues.  The fact that a protocol containing a free narrative as its core is rarely the basis for these decisions means that they are routinely being made based on unreliable evidence.

An article written by social worker Susanne Goetzold9 for the Scottish Publication, WithScotland10, offers one of the most in-depth looks at the importance of the free narrative in forensic interviewing that I have run across.  She begins with an important insight: “Research shows that children and young people who are jointly interviewed in relation to child protection concerns provide best evidence when they are enabled to access free-recall memory and are encouraged to provide a free narrative account of their experiences.  The free narrative style is a departure from everyday conversation in British culture, where a direct questioning style is the norm.”

Indeed, a request for a free narrative and the stress on the importance of obtaining one is not the way we typically communicate with children in western culture, or, I suspect, anywhere else.  Adults are used to informing children, not obtaining information, and when we do question children, our intent is to obtain information we already have.  If they tell us something other than that which we are expecting, we conclude either that they don’t know, they are withholding, or they are lying.  These are very difficult habits to break, especially when there is no incentive to break them (which is a topic we will get to later).  To ask a child for information that we do not yet have, or which we may have a suspicion about but no confirmation, in order to be informed one way or the other by the child, goes against both intuition and training for most adults.

Ms. Goetzold continues, “The knowledge and skill of interviewers in encouraging free narrative from the child during interviews can contribute greatly to the quality of evidence obtained for risk assessment and potential legal proceedings...The practice interview is a semi-formal opportunity for the child to practice the format of the substantive phase of the interview. Interviewers should encourage the child to provide a free narrative account, accessing their episodic memory. Children should be asked to talk about a single event, from beginning to end, in as much detail as possible.”

One of the frequently overlooked/skipped elements of the forensic interview is this practice interview.  The importance of this practice interview is that by providing a narrative of something completely unrelated to the evidentiary function of the forensic interview, the child is signaled that they are the teacher and the adult is the listener, not the other way around, as is typically the case in their communications with adults.  When the main topic for discussion is then raised and the child is asked to provide a narrative of possible abuse, he or she has had some practice in providing the kind of narrative the interviewer is seeking.  They have hopefully grasped that they are in charge of the interview, and that we hope to learn from them in this instance, not to contradict or impart our superior knowledge.  It may also be telling if a child is able to provide copious amounts of detail about an unrelated event, but only minimal details or rote memorizations about an allegation of abuse.

Further, Ms. Goetzold states, “The free narrative phase is described as ‘... the most reliable source of accurate and untainted information, provided the child has not been subject to interviewer bias in earlier interviews, and has not been coached.’ Children are asked to provide as much information as possible, without interruption from the interviewers...Questioning follows on from the free narrative, exploring further evidence, but always attempting to gain more free narrative information from the child where possible...Guidance published by the Scottish Executive in 2003 highlighted the importance of interviewers’ ability in obtaining a free narrative account from children, which combines the benefits of maximizing access to the child’s memories and minimizing the impact of interviewer bias...The key to obtaining free narrative from the child is seen to lie in the interviewer’s active listening skills, an avoidance of interruptions, use of open prompts and open-ended questions, echoing and non-verbal utterances.

“Given the importance of free narrative in evidential terms, many researchers have explored different ways of conducting the interviews in general, and the free narrative phase in particular. Good results have been achieved by using a structured protocol. Sternberg et al, found that, when employing a structured protocol, ‘open-ended questions and follow-up probes used by interviewers in the pre-substantive phase ‘trained’ the children to provide detailed responses to prompts about the substantive issue’”

Despite the emphasis on the free narrative in the literature and its universal acceptance, however, Ms. Goetzold found that actual confidence among practitioners in obtaining reliable evidence through the practice of this method was low, and tended not to be reflected in actual practice, just and Michael Lamb and his fellow researchers had discovered: “Research has also shown that some interviewers do not believe that specific evidential requirements can be obtained through free narrative and open prompts/questions. This can result in free narrative being cut short by early funneling, as interviewers follow up statements they view as significant to establish detail and then subsequently struggle to return to the free narrative format.”

This pattern is observable in most of the forensic interviews I have seen, and appear to be the result of confirmation bias on the part of the interviewers.  A significant difference between researchers and the people actually doing the forensic interviews is that research is pure science, and its goal is to seek the truth.  It seems strange to say it, but seeking the truth is a not necessarily the only goal, or even the most important goal of goal of those charged with conducting forensic interviews, or those conducting any kind of forensic investigation.  Historically, forensic investigation has begun with the strong suspicion, or in some cases certain knowledge, that a crime has been committed. In such an environment, forensic science is essentially tasked with the how and why of the crime, and not primarily with ascertaining the probability that a crime has occurred.

This mindset may lead to seeing a crime where none has occurred, such as when a fire caused by accident is attributed to a malicious act, or, as in one case in which I served as mental health evaluator, bones compromised by the use of life-saving medications for a new born resulted in broken bones, which raised suspicions of abuse by the parents.  Ultimately in that case, a neonatologist was able to testify that child’s brittle bones were the result of emergency hospital treatment and not of abuse.  However, these are still cases in which there is some injury or destruction that needs to be explained.  In the case of alleged sexual abuse, there is often no physical evidence, so the question comes down entirely to the reports of the child and the person presenting the child, verses that of whoever is accused or suspected of a crime.

The need for a more neutral approach in such a case is obviously much greater, since the bias of investigators has a much greater impact on whether a just outcome of the process can be achieved.  If the investigation is biased and the evidence is tainted, all that follows is the fruit of a poisoned tree:

In her 2014 dissertation on the subject, Jillian Rivard noted, “There are a number of cognitive and motivational explanations for why confirmatory hypothesis testing occurs. Of particular relevance to the context of investigative interviews, one such explanation is that confirmation bias results from a form of heuristic processing whereby the hypothesis tester uses information readily available. Considerable evidence suggests that individuals use an ‘availability heuristic’ when estimating frequencies whereby the ease with which one is able to recall an event determines the frequency with which one thinks it occurs.”11

The relevance of this dynamic should be clear to anyone involved in a court or legal procedure where forensic interviewing is part of the process, as typically the initial information is presented by an accompanying adult before the child is ever interviewed.

Rivard continues, “Information relevant to testing a hypothesis is salient and easily accessible (e.g., directly stated) in comparison to information relevant to disproving a hypothesis, which would take an extra cognitive step to infer. In addition, according to schematic principles of memory, confirmation bias occurs because preconceived notions about the world serve as a filter through which we attend to and interpret information in our environment. When a hypothesis activates a schema, a form of automatic processing occurs whereby one’s attention is filtered through the schema and information gathered is interpreted through the lens of the schema.  Information consistent with the schema is easily incorporated with pre-existing beliefs whereas schema-inconsistent information may be overlooked, minimized or transformed with respect to the schema or in this case, the original hypothesis.

“This restricted way of processing information with respect to the salient hypothesis in turn influences and restricts the type of evidence that can be gathered. Such a directed strategy may increase efficiency in circumstances in which an interviewer has limited time and resources and may be beneficial when pre-interview information is accurate. However, in circumstances in which the goal is to maximize the amount of information obtained from witnesses (e.g., in the exploratory stages on an investigation) and the veracity of previously gathered information is unknown, this restricted strategy may limit the generation of viable leads and could bias the interviewer in the direction of confirming inaccurate information.”

The U.S. Department of Justice issued a bulletin in September 2015, that also stresses the importance of the free narrative12, “All forensic interview models direct the interviewer to ask the child to provide a narrative account of his or her experience to gain a clear and accurate description of alleged events in the child’s own words. Do not interrupt this narrative, as it is the primary purpose of the forensic interview,” and, “Ask the child to describe his or her experience in detail, and do not interrupt the child during this initial narrative account.”

The European Journal of Counseling Psychology13 also chimed in: “Experts are encouraged to commence the [forensic] interview with open-ended questions of general content passing later to open-ended questions related to the issue under investigation, thus encouraging a free narrative of events. Open-ended questions offer the child the opportunity to report the incident in the greatest possible detail and at the same time to be in charge of the narration. They are preferable to closed questions as they minimize the risk of suggestibility, and therefore, lead to more credible answers. More specifically, answers to this type of questions are more likely to be longer, more-detailed, more accurate and less ambiguous, while the questions themselves may be repeated without risking distortion of the credibility of the answer.”

Susan Robbins, gave a presentation to the American College of Forensic Investigators in 201114 in which she stated the following: “The most reliable and forensically useful information from children is obtained by encouraging the child to give a free narrative of the alleged events and by asking a series of open, non-leading questions such as asking the child to ‘tell me everything you remember about ...’ The research evidence is clear: freely recalled information is more likely to be accurate than information obtained in response to yes/no and forced choice questions. All of the articles discussing guidelines for child forensic interviews make this recommendation. Even children as young as four can provide substantial amounts of forensically relevant information in response to free-recall prompts. This means that interviewers do not have to rely on forced choice and yes/no questions even with preschoolers.”

Adding to the importance of obtaining a free narrative from the child in a CSC case is a paper entitled, Adults Judgment of Children’s Coached Reports15, which appeared in the Journal of Law and Human Behavior, October 2006.  The authors conducted a study which indicated that adults were very poor at assessing children’s coached vs. true reports, and were actually more likely to believe children who were coached: “In this study, adults were only able to detect children’s coached true and false reports at chance level. Initially, they tended to have a ”truth” bias: adults believed children’s testimony regardless of actual truthfulness.

“Overall, our results are consistent with the findings of previous research, and suggest that in general adults are unable to accurately discriminate between true and false reports in children merely by observing the children testify...children may be easily coached to tell convincing stories and coaching makes it harder for adults to detect the truth of their testimony...Adults rated girls as capable witnesses significantly more than they did boys, and adults were more likely to believe that girls were telling the truth, even though they were not. These findings are consistent with the existing reports that adults are more likely to consider girls as truth-tellers than boys despite research suggesting that girls are as likely to tell lies as boys.”

What this study doesn’t take into account in giving the average jury member a coin-toss chance of guessing right whether a child is telling the truth, is that a jury is aware that the legal and prosecutorial establishment has already made the decision that the child is telling the truth, and that a judge considered the finding credible enough to take up everyone’s time and money and bring the matter to trial.  They also know from episodes of “Law and Order” and “CSI” that police and prosecutors are highly moral people who rarely make mistakes, and that if they think there is something there, there probably is.  Add to this, that, given a fifty-fifty chance of putting a child molester back on the street, the average jurist would rather have that person safely tucked away behind bars, proof beyond a reasonable doubt notwithstanding.  Throw in the wild cards of the (in most cases) superior resources of the state, and varying skills of the attorneys, and the burden of proof has decidedly shifted to the defense.  The standard of proof, as my friend attorney Matthew Zick likes to say, is “beyond all doubt.”

 So, if the scientific community is in agreement that a proper forensic interview with the free narrative as the centerpiece is the best possible (not to mention legally mandated) means of obtaining valid evidence and ascertaining the truth of an allegation of child abuse, why are these interviews, according to research and experience, so badly done?  We’ve already mentioned interviewer bias, a built-in flaw in the criminal justice and child protection establishment, but are there other factors?

One thing that is impossible to ignore is the social milieu in which all of this is taking place.  There are widely accepted beliefs, largely the result of the entertainment and news media (whose motive is profit) and attitudes that consciously or unconsciously permeate the beliefs and behavior of all in our society to a greater or lesser degree.  Among these beliefs and attitudes are:

• that crime is rampant and we all need to be extremely zealous in looking for and reporting those who are everywhere seeking to do us harm;

• that the criminal justice system is peopled by those whose motives are more pure than those of the general public, and therefore that lawmakers, lawyers and the courts have the moral authority to be
the guardians of public morality;

• that financial incentives and personal ambition do not enter into prosecution of justice;

• that poor evidence in a just cause is a good thing;

• that anything a child says from the witness stand is the truth;

• that it is more moral, noble and just to convict the guilty than to exonerate the innocent;

• that women and children are the perpetual victims of men, who are inherently less moral and therefore (excepting one’s self, of course) inherently suspect;

• that forensic science is exact and always objectively applied in the criminal justice and legal system;

• that nearly everyone charged with a crime is guilty;

• and that it is more common for the guilty to go free than the innocent to be convicted.

I was once told by an attorney that no one cared about my opinions regarding the law.  Presumably, he meant that no one but lawyers is competent to offer an opinion about the workings of the legal system.  According to this way of thinking, none but attorneys would be competent to offer an opinion regarding politics, since we are supposedly a “government of laws.”  Somehow, I don’t think that is what John Adams and the rest of the founding fathers had in mind when they set up a democracy, nor do I believe that our lawmakers in Washington have done such a fine job that they are above questioning by the lay public who elect them. 

More importantly, however, there is much about the American legal system that lawyers typically ignore.  Perhaps it is a matter of being so close to the forest that they cannot see the trees.  And many gifted people within the legal establishment have been questioning the direction it is headed and the need to pay more attention to scientific truth for decades, without making much of a dent in the way the criminal and civil justice system operates.  Without addressing the truth or falsity of the above commonly held assumptions for the moment, what do these prevailing attitudes mean for defendants, their attorneys and their experts with regard to mounting a case?

Many of the attorneys that I have worked for on CSC cases have known little about what a forensic interview entails, nor the urgency of showing how the quality of these interviews is the most important evidence available when it comes to challenging the veracity of abuse allegation.  Without a working knowledge of the foundation of the prosecution’s case, a defense attorney is operating with one hand tied behind their back.  A jury is only going to care what a child says on the stand unless the defense attorney can show how the allegation morphed from something not at all credible during the forensic interview, through the preliminary hearing, to something more consistent and believable at the time of trial.

A defense attorney must not underestimate the need to prove their client’s innocence beyond all doubt. They must recognize the built in pro-conviction bias on the part of prosecutors, judges, juries and sometimes defense attorneys themselves. They must be able to recognize a bad interview and explain to the jury why it is unreliable evidence because of the taint of suggestive and leading questions, inconsistent and improbable descriptions of events, evidence of coaching, and the failure to be able to provide a consistent and coherent narrative of events with some details unique to this particular child’s experience.

In part, the job of the defense is to educate the fact-finders on the destructive effect of putting innocent people in prison on bad evidence.  If we live in a society in which anyone can go to prison on the unsubstantiated and uncritically accepted word of a child, then we are all at risk of unjust imprisonment at any time.  Besides being grossly unjust, it is costly, superseding more important uses of our national resources, removing many would be wonderful fathers and stepfathers from playing an active role in their children’s lives, and opening the gates wide to exploitation by psychopaths.

The typical strategy of a prosecutor who deliberately uses bad evidence to obtain a conviction is to make the evidence difficult to access by not keeping videotape or even an accurate transcript of the forensic interview; then making the existent evidence difficult to access with the argument that it could be harmful to the child.  They will also undoubtedly attempt to discredit any expert defense counsel may use in an effort to expose the truth—if you can’t refute the arguments, attack the person. 

It’s been said that any prosecutor can convict a guilty man, it takes a great prosecutor to convict an innocent man.16  Those who use bad evidence to achieve this end play on jury bias and fear in order to run up conviction numbers that feed their ego and make themself a hero in the eyes of a public who has drunk the cool-aid of propaganda that is poisoning our society.  It’s this cool-aid which makes us all so willing to believe the worst about everyone but ourselves and the current sacred cows, who alone deserve our sympathy and understanding.  Ultimately, the defense attorney must understand this collective madness, and convince a skeptical and cynical society that if everyone does not receive due process, then no one does.
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1 THE BLOG 11/18/2015 04:25 pm ET | Updated Nov 16, 2016, False Allegations of Abuse Target Men in Divorce, By Joseph E. Cordell

2 THE BLOG 02/07/2017 01:33 pm ET, The Unbearable Lightness of False Accusation!, By Justine Frangouli-Argyris

3 Men Should Speak Out Against Sexual Harassment and ‘False Allegations’ Ron Clark, Contributor Minister at Agape Church of Christ in Portland, Oregon; author, teacher, and family guy.  04/12/2017 11:48 am ET | Updated Apr 14, 2017

4 I only charge if I’ve been retained as an expert witness/defense strategist on a case.

5 Investigative Interviews of Children (1998).  The also cited many current studies confirming these findings.

6 DHS-PUB-779, Forensic Interview Protocol - State of Michigan, Governor’s Task Force On Child Abuse And Neglect, and Department Of Human Services, Forensic Interviewing Protocol, Third Edition

7 Eunice Kennedy Shriver Nation Institute of Child Health and Human Development, “NICHD was established in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, with the support of Congress, to study the "complex process of human development from conception to old age."

8 Child Abuse and Neglect, 11/19/2007

9 The Importance Of The Child’s Free Narrative In Child Protection Investigations In Scotland, Written by Susanne Goetzold, Social Worker, September 2015

10 “WithScotland is a national resource for agencies and practitioners working to protect children in need of care and protection and adults at risk of harm. Child Protection Committees and local authorities approach WithScotland for help with complex child protection cases and to draw upon the knowledge of our "community of expertise" - which includes practitioners, managers, academics and policy makers from all over Scotland.”

11 Confirmation Bias In Witness Interviewing: Can Interviewers Ignore Their Preconceptions? A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Of Doctor Of Philosophy in Psychology, by Jillian R. Rivard, 2014, Florida International University Miami, Florida

12 Child Forensic Interviewing: Best Practices, Chris Newlin, Linda Cordisco Steele, Andra Chamberlin, Jennifer Anderson, Julie Kenniston, Amy Russell, Heather Stewart, and Viola Vaughan-Eden

13 Forensic Interviews With Children Victims of Sexual Abuse: The Role of the Counselling Psychologist, Olga Themeli, Maria Panagiotaki, 2014

14 Best Practices for Forensic Interviews of Sexual Abuse Allegations, Presented to the American College of Forensic Investigators October 14, 2011 Susan P. Robbins, Ph.D., LCSW, DFSW, DABFSW Associate Professor University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work

15 Adults’ Judgments of Children’s Coached Reports, Victoria Talwar, Kang Lee, Nicholas Bala and R. C. L. Lindsay, Law and Human Behavior, October 2006

16 The Thin Blue Line (1988), Melvyn Carson Bruder [noted defense attorney who argued against the death Texas penalty before the U.S. Supreme Court]: “Prosecutors in Dallas have said for years - any prosecutor can convict a guilty man. It takes a great prosecutor to convict an innocent man.”
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Michael G. Brock, MA, LMSW, is a forensic mental health professional in private practice at Counseling and Evaluation Services in Wyandotte, Michigan. He has worked in the mental health field since 1974, and has been in full-time private practice since 1985. Much of his practice in recent years relates to driver license restoration and substance abuse evaluation, but he also consults and serves as an expert witness regarding forensic interviewing and the use of forensic interviewing protocols in cases of child sexual abuse allegations. He may be contacted at Michael G. Brock, Counseling and Evaluation Services, 2514 Biddle, Wyandotte, 48192; 313-802-0863, fax/phone 734-692-1082; e-mail: michaelgbrock@comcast.net, website, michaelgbrock.com.