Forensic Psychological Evaluation | Consultation | Expert Testimony


Patricia A. Zapf, PhD is a forensic and clinical psychologist specializing in criminal forensic psychological evaluation, consultation, and expert testimony.

Dr. Zapf is a past President of the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS; Division 41 of the American Psychological Association) and was appointed as Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and Distinguished Member of the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) in 2006 in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the science and profession of psychology in forensic evaluation.

Dr. Zapf has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, chapters, books, and manuals, including The APA Handbook of Forensic Psychology (American Psychological Association)Forensic Assessments in Criminal and Civil Law: A Handbook for Lawyers (Oxford)–which won the 2006 Best Book Award by the American Psychology-Law Society–as well as Evaluation of Competence to Stand Trial, one of the books in Oxford’s Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment series, and a number of forensic assessment instruments. She is a past Associate Editor for Law and Human Behavior, the official journal of the AP-LS, and served as Editor for the American Psychology-Law Society’s (AP-LS; Division 41, APA) book series from 2009-2019. Dr. Zapf is the current Editor for the International Perspectives in Psychology and Law book series by the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services, a Consulting Editor for Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, an APA journal, and an Editorial Board Member for Law and Human Behavior, the International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, the Journal of Personality Assessment and 5 other journals in forensic psychology.

Dr. Zapf currently serves as Vice President for Continuing & Professional Studies at Palo Alto University. Prior to her current appointment, she was a Professor in the Department of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, a member of the Mental Health Law and Psychology Institute at Simon Fraser University, and a member of the Psychology and Law faculty at the University of Alabama. Dr. Zapf provides professional training to mental health and legal professionals, both nationally and internationally, and works with state and forensic mental health organizations to develop standardized professional training for their service providers.

Dr. Zapf has provided forensic evaluation, consultation, or testimony in both Canada and the United States (Federal, State, and Military tribunal and Courts-martial) on issues such as:


  • Criminal Competencies (competence to waive Miranda rights; competency to stand trial; competence to waive counsel; competency to proceed pro se; competence to be sentenced; competence to be executed)
  • Criminal Responsibility (Mental State at time of Offense)
  • Criminal Mitigation
  • Diminished Capacity
  • Violence Risk Assessment

Education & Professional Experience

Dr. Zapf is licensed as a psychologist in Alabama, Florida, New York and Missouri. Although her offices are located in the greater Tampa and San Francisco Bay areas, she provides consultation, forensic evaluation, and expert testimony across the United States. Read more…  

Research & Publications

In addition to running her forensic practice, Dr. Zapf is actively involved in the continuing professional education and training of mental health and legal professionals on various issues related to forensic evaluation and expert testimony. In addition, Dr. Zapf is an active and productive researcher and author. Read more…