Preparing a Client for a Psychosexual Evaluation

A psychosexual evaluation (PSE) is an important tool in the resolution of many sexual misconduct cases. A PSE is an empirically informed assessment of a client’s sexual development, sexual history, paraphilic or deviant interests, and risk of becoming a repeat offender. The evaluation should identify any treatment needs and propose a treatment plan. The evaluation also can pose risks of new criminal charges, however, and thus can negatively affect the outcome of a case. Knowing what the client will disclose enables the attorney to advise the client whether to go forward with the evaluation, refuse the evaluation, or refuse to answer certain questions. The conversations necessary to prepare a client for a PSE are not easy or quick or pleasant, but they are essential to effective representation.