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Our Approach

The Cognitive Forensic Alliance Approach is a scientifically informed method of data collection and analysis designed to promote transparency, reduce bias, increase reliability, and create connections between practice and science.

While bias is a naturally occurring condition of human behavior and forensic experts strive to avoid or control for bias, not all biases are consciously known to us. Some of them are unconscious and inherent to who we are and our unique experiences in the world. Other biases exist as a part of cognitive processing in general. In other words, bias is the way our brains and influence our world views.

 

The Cognitive Forensic Alliance approach attempts to factor and account for both individual and group bias, we utilize standardized procedures designed to minimize bias in forensic evaluations. In order to do this, we have taken the time to evaluate our own worldviews which includes gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, political beliefs, socio-economic background, parenting experiences, and ages. The time we take to review our own worldviews allows our team to identify any decisions that might be based more on personal background and values rather than scientifically informed approaches and available date. The Cognitive Forensic Alliance approach also allows for professional consultation and feedback which allows each member to be supported and checked for their own personal biases. By utilizing this approach, we help to combat the tendency to ignore disconfirming information, validate the natural human tendency to be egocentric with our expert opinions by believing our opinion is the only correct opinion, control for stereotyping, projection biases, and a number of other biases that have been identified and explored empirically in the scientific literature.

 

In addition to the aforementioned approach the Cognitive Forensic Alliance approach takes additional precautions which include receiving outside consultation which is employed to facilitate appropriately allows for opinions to be fully explored and not silenced, and all information is disclosed regardless of whether it confirms or disconfirms opinions found in other areas of the inquire.

 

Cognitive Forensic Alliance also uses testing protocols that reflect the latest measurement science and that addresses issues specific to a given case (i.e., alienation; child abuse; step-parenting; etc) which are carefully researched and explained to the court in understandable layperson’s terms. Lastly, every step of the process is carefully documented and available for review by both attorneys and the court, making the process more transparent so that parties and their attorney can understand the basis for the opinions made.

 

Cognitive Forensic Alliance applies this procedure to already existing standards for forensic evaluations that have been identified and outlined by the American Psychological Association. As such, the evaluation consisted of clinical interviews, collateral interviews/extensive record review, home visits, observations of the parent/child relationship, and psychological assessments. These are all essential components to scientifically crafted forensic evaluations. It is hoped this approach will strengthen the utility of forensic behavioral science in the courtroom by increasing the scientific reliability of forensic evaluations, ultimately contributing positively to each person’s right to a fair and complete evaluation.

Our Story

Cognitive Forensic Alliance founder Michael Decker M.S., LPC continued to see families and professionals struggle with finding adequate resources for a variety of reasons. Using an evidence-based approach, Cognitive Forensic Alliance strives to reduce bias, increase transparency, and provide services to those in need.

Meet the Team

Our staff has been trained and exposed to some of the most extreme cases and client circumstances, in which most professionals wouldn’t see in a career. Due to the nature of our background our staff are competent in case and client conceptualization in order to understand and work with the most complex of techniques to the simplest. In addition, our staff have developed appropriate means of communication in order to remain transparent to a variety of clientele.

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Michael Decker M.S., LPC

CEO

Michael Decker M.S., LPC, started Cognitive Forensic Alliance, PLLC after several years of experience working with adolescents’, families, juvenile probation, and treatment teams in which he worked as a Department Counselor with Williamson County Juvenile Services working with both pre and post adjudicated clients. He originally completed his B.S. in Business Administration, however transitioned into the Mental Health field shortly after completion of that degree. He completed his M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Texas A&M Central Texas graduate program, during which he completed his practicum experience with Juvenile Services as well before taking a full time position with Williamson County Juvenile Services. Through his experience working with an intense and unique population, he has worked with several individuals and families regarding family systems, trauma, professional ethics, substance abuse, psychological assessment, and attachment to name a few. He has worked in several settings in which collaboration and transparency for the benefit of the client is a priority especially in dealing with the judicial system.

Next Steps...

Cognitive Forensic Alliance, PLLC services Williamson and Bell County, providing thorough and comprehensive reports to attorneys and the courts. Visit our Documents Page for additional information including pricing and services. Call our office to set up an intake and discuss any questions you may have.