1010. A Day in the Life: What's It Really Like to Be a Forensic Neuropsychologist?
Richard Lettieri, PhD
“I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, so like so many of us, I followed in my older brother’s footsteps. He’s an exceptionally talented engineer so I took an engineering class in high school. I liked the math and science part of it but was awful at the practical side–nearly electrocuted myself on one occasion! Nevertheless I enrolled at the City College of New York in their 5-year engineering program, which included a number of classes in the humanities. My sophomore year I was introduced to Sigmund Freud via his landmark book: Civilization and Its Discontents. It frankly blew my mind and I realized that psychology was the direction that I wanted to take my career. Nevertheless I didn’t have the confidence or honestly the courage to make the change. By the end of my third year I had successfully completed all of the most difficult and demanding courses in the engineering curriculum–electromagnetic theory, differential equations, et al. Once I had completed these courses, I knew that I had what it took to go forward in engineering–that I was not simply ‘copping out.’ I instantly knew that I had the freedom to choose the direction of my career path. While I knew not one person in the psychology program, I went to my advisor, told him I wanted to switch majors, and the course of my life and career was profoundly changed for the better. My career as a forensic psychologist has been professionally and personally satisfying on so many levels.”
Richard Lettieri, PhD, is a forensic neuropsychologist and psychoanalyst with over 25 years of experience. Whether privately retained or appointed by the court, he is frequently called upon to assess individuals for a number of reasons, including competency to stand trial and insanity, and to evaluate individuals accused of sex crimes and violent offenses. Dr. Lettieri received his PhD from the University of Southern California and is a member of the Expert Witness Panels of Orange County and San Bernardino County Superior Courts. He has taught at Chapman University in Orange County, California, at the New Center for Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles, and at Pepperdine University in the master’s and Doctorate programs. He lives in Santa Ana, California.
On His Bookshelf
Decoding Madness: A Forensic Psychologist Explores the Criminal Mind, by Richard Lettieri
Civilization and Its Discontents, by Sigmund Freud
Connecting With Richard Lettieri, PhD
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Careers: Author, Business Owner, Forensic Neuropsychologist, Psychoanalyst
Topics: A Day in the Life, Choosing a Career