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Ms Cristina Cavezza
Doctor of Psychology (Forensic) (2008)
Career: Psychologist, Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health
An interest in both psychology and the law was the motivation behind Cristina Cavezza’s study of forensic psychology at Deakin.
Completing a specialist professional doctorate with Deakin’s School of Psychology, Cristina is now a psychologist with the Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health and is based at the Thomas Embling Hospital in Melbourne.
‘I am the sole psychologist on an acute inpatient unit for mentally ill male offenders. I conduct one-to-one and group-based psychological interventions for a variety of problems, such as drug and alcohol addiction, offending issues and managing psychiatric symptoms. I am also involved in assessing mental disorders and conducting court-appointed assessments,’ she says.
Originally from Canada, Cristina was offered an international scholarship for her study at Deakin.
‘Being the recipient of an international postgraduate research scholarship not only allowed me to complete the doctorate but it also helped me with obtaining employment right after graduation. I chose Deakin because I was interested in conducting research on investigative interviewing and my supervisor had been involved in training police officers and child protection workers in this area.’
She says Deakin’s course materials and assignments helped prepare her for work in a forensic setting.
‘I was able to develop a good understanding of the Victorian legal system and some of the relevant legislation affecting my practice. I also learned how to conduct assessments and write court reports, which is a highly specialised skill in forensic psychology.’
Enjoying both the research and clinical work of forensic psychology, Cristina is currently conducting a research study on the effectiveness of ‘therapeutic intervention on medication adherence’ and says clinical positions at Thomas Embling Hospital are highly sought-after.
‘I have gained many clinical skills during my time there. I have also broadened my research skills and have been recognised by the organisation for my contributions with a special achievement award. I consider myself fortunate to have been given the opportunity to study and work in Australia.’
Find more information at http://www.deakin.edu.au/future-students/areas-of-study/psychology.php