One of the most common questions that I get asked by future psychologists is, “How much does the real job mimic what we have learned through the media?”
What an excellent question and I’m glad you asked!
It’s no secret that the media influences our lives as much as we allow it to. Subconsciously, it shapes our worldview, sense of self, and expectations. That has probably never been truer than now.
But the desire to work in the criminal justice field and the love of all things true crime probably stems from some variable of media for most people that choose to go down that poorly lit road. Although many influences shaped my interest, I rarely admit that it was a fiction book that sparked my interest in the field of forensic psychology. If I (and the rest of the world) hadn’t been reading those damn Alex Cross books by James Patterson in the early 2000’s, I’m not sure how I would’ve found my calling. Simply because the main character was both a detective and a forensic psychologist, I pondered, “That sounds super cool. I think I’ll check that out.” Next thing you know, I’m doing a Google search for forensic psychology doctoral programs.
Obviously, it doesn’t really matter how you get there. As un-academic as my story is, I think it is a reflection of the times. In this moment of realization of how important media is for amateur sleuths and true crime buffs, as well as future criminalists, investigators, and forensic scientists of all sorts, I’ve decided to do something creative with this.
My best friend (whom I met at an internship working with recently released offenders) is a fellow Los Angeles forensic psychologist and we share a geeky nature in all things mysterious and investigative. So, in the near future, we are going to bring you a new podcast called L. A. Not So Confidential. We plan to essentially apply forensic psychology concepts to the true crime stories that we love and the related shows, movies, and books or podcasts that we spend way too much devouring in our “spare time” (whatever that is). It won’t be too heady and we hope that it’s hilarious and ridiculous at times. Look it up if you are interested! The episodes will be out soon and you can follow along for updates here: