Dr. Linda Grounds, PhD, PC

Dr. Linda Grounds has conducted many forensic psychological evaluations, almost exclusively of individuals facing serious criminal charges including embezzlement, identity theft, drug offenses, assault, and murder. Some of her specific interests include:

  • Psychological evaluations of women who commit serious crimes
  • Psychological assessment of individuals charged with white collar crimes
  • Assessment of competency to aid and assist, to enter a plea and to go to trial, especially in complex cases
  • Evaluation of individuals with a focus on potential mitigation issues
  • Issues of criminal responsibility and mental state at the time of offense conduct
  • Assessment of psychological and intellectual factors relevant to understanding offense conduct and to plea negotiations and sentencing

Dr. Grounds practices with a team approach to forensic psychology that offers the benefit of broad expertise and enhanced research capacity. Team members share Dr. Grounds’ commitment to thorough, balanced, and focused forensic examinations. They identify on-point, peer-reviewed literature on topics relevant to ongoing evaluations, including the most recently released research. Dr. Grounds is involved with every case that her team works on, typically participating in the evaluation and supervising all aspects of the forensic examination, attorney consultation and report preparation.

The current members of the team, their credentials, and interests are:

Lauren Best, Psy.D.

Lauren Best, Psy.D. is a Licensed Psychologist and Certified Forensic Evaluator in Oregon.   She has two undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Women’s Studies, and she holds a Doctor of Psychology degree in Clinical Psychology.  She attended graduate school at Pacific University School of Graduate Psychology, where her area of focus was forensic psychology.  During graduate school, she worked in various forensic settings, including at Linda Grounds, Ph.D., P.C., inpatient psychiatric hospitals, and correctional facilities, where she provided therapy to and/or conducted psychological evaluations with individuals charged with or convicted of crimes.  Dr. Best completed her pre-doctoral internship at the historic Saint Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C.  Following graduate school, Dr. Best completed a postdoctoral fellowship in forensic psychology at University of Denver’s Forensic Institute for Research, Service, and Training (Denver FIRST), which emphasized training in forensic evaluation and academia.

Dr. Best has experience conducting several types of forensic evaluations, including fitness to proceed; competency to waive Miranda rights; mitigation; risk of violence, stalking, and/or fire setting; criminal responsibility; juvenile transfer to adult court and reverse transfer to juvenile court; and resentencing of adults who received life without parole as juveniles.  In addition to being part of the team at Linda Grounds, Ph.D., P.C., she continues to work in Forensic Evaluation Service at Oregon State Hospital, where she completes court-ordered evaluations.  Dr. Best has experience providing expert witness testimony.  She has supervised graduate-level students in both treatment and assessment, and she has taught courses to graduate-level students specializing in forensic psychology.  Her past research topics include the impact of public policy on criminal behavior and the effect of traumatic brain injury among individuals in correctional settings, and her findings have been presented at the American Psychology-Law Society conference.  In her free time, Dr. Best enjoys being with her friends, cooking, playing with her two dogs, and training Jiu-Jitsu.

Andrea Merg, M.S.

Andrea Merg, M.S. is an advanced doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Fielding Graduate University.  Her prior practicum work included crisis counseling and anger management with adolescents.  She also worked as a behavior therapist.  Ms. Merg’s interests include forensic psychological evaluation and psychotherapy for individuals involved with the criminal justice system.  She has special interests in work with parents involved in the criminal justice system and in the mental health and reintegration of individuals released from incarceration.  Ms. Merg has conducted research on women’s experience of birth and she has participated in research pertaining to mothering experiences among women with serious mental illness.  Her interest in corrections and forensic assessment led her to Dr. Grounds’ practice.

Jenna Krickeberg, M.A.

Jenna Krickeberg, M.A. is a third-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology program at Pacific University. Clinically, she is interested in both therapy and assessment with individuals involved in the criminal justice system. Her prior practicum work at an outpatient community mental health clinic included cognitive and personality assessment as well as individual therapy. For her dissertation research, she is exploring the clinician’s experience of working with females who have committed sexual offenses. Jenna is working with Dr. Grounds to advance her competency in forensic assessment and forensic report writing. Additionally, she is in a practicum rotation at the Oregon State Hospital.

Kristin Neville, M.A.

Kristin Neville, M.A. is a student in the Clinical Psychology Psy.D. program at Pacific University’s School of Graduate Psychology. She completed her master’s in clinical psychology with a forensic specialization from the University of Denver in 2012. Since then she has worked as a Licensed Behavioral Practitioner in Oklahoma for over three years before starting at Pacific University. She has prior work in crisis intervention, individual and group psychotherapy, domestic violence offender treatment, substance abuse treatment, and competency to stand trial evaluations. She is trained in the therapeutic approaches of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Her current practicum is at an inpatient psychiatric hospital. Her interest in and previous experience in forensic evaluations and working with the criminal justice system led her to work with Dr. Linda Grounds.