What Makes Us Different?
How We Help Attorneys
We provide detailed forensic evaluations to help you craft legal arguments, analyze cases and expert reports, and gain additional insight into your clients’ behavior and mental status. We have been qualified as experts in complex state and federal juvenile and adult cases since 2015
- We have been qualified as experts in several state and federal courts in California.
- We write comprehensive forensic reports that aid the trier of fact in deciding psycholegal matters.
- We provide expert testimony in the areas of emotional distress, adolescent brain development, and neurodevelopmental disorders in high stakes sentencing cases, including capital and juvenile murder cases.
How We Help Parents
We provide you with a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation of your child’s cognitive, academic, and psychological strenghts and weaknesses. In turn, this can help you gain understanding of how your child learns best and can assist you with managing behavioral, cognitive, or mental health problems more effectively.
- We can help you understand your child who has attention, learning, thinking, memory or behavior problems.
- We have specialized training in neuropsychology and pediatric neuropsychological assessment.
In addition, we work closely with families and educators to evaluate learning disorders, attention problems, memory concerns, behavior issues, intelligence and achievement, and other issues impacting academic performances or day to day functional impairment.
Vienna Psychological Group collaborates with clients across multiple facets of forensic and neuropsychology services. We provide comprehensive evaluations to help with diagnostic clarity and treatment planning. In our forensic specialty, we provide detailed legally defensible reports for juveniles and adults involved in criminal, civil, and family law matters. Additionally, we provide trial consultation, assist with case development, psycholegal research, witness preparation, and development of cross-examination questions for other experts.
Through a variety of evaluations, we provide insight on whether an individual has a mental disorder, how it impacts their mental capacity, whether they are able to make sound decisions for themselves and their care, and if they can accurately execute a contractual agreement on behalf of themselves or someone else.
In criminal cases, we evaluate an individual’s competency to stand trial, engage in rational discussion regarding their situation, and understand the consequences of their actions as well as any agreements about treatment or sentencing. We also assess the mental health, function, and maturity of adolescents within the juvenile justice system.
Mental Health Diversion
Incarceration is not always the most appropriate or beneficial decision for individuals with mental health issues, including substance use disorders, or when charged with a crime. We provide evidence to support eligibility for alternative sentencing to a treatment program or facility for rehabilitation if it is in the person’s best interest, and they can comply with requirements.
Personal Injury/Independent Medical Evaluations
Following an injury, a person may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), or emotional distress that can impact their ability to not only return to work but carry out daily activities as well. We provide findings that can be used in workers’ compensation or personal injury litigation.
Police & Public Safety Pre-Employment Evaluations (POST)
Careers in public safety are demanding and can be mentally taxing. We conduct in-depth evaluations on applicants to opine on their suitability for the job based on psychological testing as well as oral discussions regarding their ability to meet the requirements of the job from a mental and emotional standpoint.
Independent Education Evaluations (IEE)
We are qualified to conduct independent educational evaluations to assess a child’s intelligence and cognitive abilities, identify learning disabilities, evaluate behavior and attention issues, analyze achievement potential, and provide detailed insight into how they learn. These findings can help families access appropriate services and accommodations to support their child’s academic performance.
A forensic psychologist can help attorneys, judges, and educational systems make decisions regarding questions that involve an intersection of legal issues and psychology or mental health. We have experience working for plaintiffs, prosecutors, and the defense as well as academic institutions. VPG offers a range of forensic consultation services, including expert witness testimony pre-trial consultation and litigation and jury matters. We also conduct any relevant clinical and legal research necessary to assist with the case.
Our neuropsychological evaluations can provide you with a deeper understanding of the brain’s overall strengths and weaknesses. This will aid in diagnosis and treatment planning with your current providers and assist with at-home interventions. We administer paper-pencil type of tests to assess: attention, language, motor functions, sensory processing, problem-solving, academics and achievements, intellectual functioning (IQ), and memory.
Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI)
The NGRI plea is not a frequently raised defense and can be difficult to establish, with the burden of proof falling on the defense. The defendant must prove that it is more likely than not that they were legally insane when they committed the crime. In these types of evaluations, our forensic psychologists assess the defendant’s criminal responsibility at the time of the offense and not at the present moment.
The Forensic Psychologist Podcast
Listen to our twice-monthly podcast hosted by Dr. Nicole Vienna on the niche practice area of forensic psychology. Episodes will delve into the legal system, case law, specialized forensic mental health assessments, psychological concepts, and even some true crime. The podcast episodes will also include special guest expert interviews.
- The Law Offices of Meghan Blanco
- The Law Offices of David Haas
- The Law Offices of Melissa Fair
- McLane, Bednarski & Litt LLP
- Children’s Law Center of California
- Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender Office
- The Law Offices of Sarah Javaheri
- The Los Angeles County Public Defender Office
- The Los Angeles County District Attorney Office
- Los Angeles County Superior Court
- Juvenile Justice Clinic (Loyola Law School)
- Law Office of the Sonoma County Public Defender
A Team of Skilled Experts
Dr. Nicole M. Vienna, CEO & Forensic Psychologist
Dr. Nicole Vienna has extensive training and experience in forensic and neuropsychology. She has worked across multiple settings ranging from state forensic hospitals to correctional facilities and juvenile detention centers. She is highly qualified in the area of brain development and trauma and has served as an expert in civil and criminal forensic cases.
A Team of Skilled Experts
Dr. Di Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen is a registered psychological assistant (PSB 94025402) working under the license of Dr. Vienna. She completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at The Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. Dr. Nguyen has been trained at various clinical sites, including working with adults and children in community mental health settings and correctional/forensic settings.
A Team of Skilled Experts
Dr. Wendy Lopez-Lizarraga
Wendy is a Registered Psychological Assistant (PSB 94026203) working under the license of Dr. Vienna and is currently working on her doctoral degree in Applied Clinical Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles, CA. Wendy has experience working with individuals dealing with anxiety, depression, grief, and significant history of trauma.
A Team of Skilled Experts
Rachel is our Research Associate and a Clinical Assessor at UCLA. She a third-year clinical psychology PsyD student at the University of La Verne who previously graduated with honors from Colorado State University, earning a B.S. in Psychology. Rachel’s experience includes clinical and forensic work with adults, adolescents, and children of diverse backgrounds.
Recent Case Study
“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Assault with a Deadly Weapon – Mental Health Diversion Case”
PTSD is a mental disorder that is triggered by a terrifying event(s)— either experiencing, witnessing it, or learned about it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance of certain situations, and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.