Why is a polygraph therapeutic and important?
A passed polygraph test result is an important way to help repair the broken trust in the relationship. It also promotes the healing that comes from a formal disclosure.
A polygraph holds the unfaithful partner more accountable to tell the entire truth… remember the twelve step slogan, “You are only as sick as your secrets”.
It may seem like the entire process is only for the betrayed partner, but it actually helps both the unfaithful partner and the coupleship to heal as well.
Lisa Ribacoff, MSEd.
Advanced Trained Polygraph Examiner
New York State Licensed Private Investigator
Advanced Trained Polygraph Examiner & PCSOT Examiner
Board of Directors Member, American Polygraph Association
President, New York State Polygraph Examiners Association
Polygraph Examiner services with offices on Long Island, in Midtown Manhattan, Westchester, Greenwich, Stamford and Fort Lauderdale
Phone Number: (516) 314-1089
The fee for an infidelity or SA polygraph exam conducted in one of our offices is $595 plus applicable state taxes. Payment by credit card or debit card is required at the time of booking the examination over the phone. You are purchasing a time slot in our testing schedule. 100% retainer fee is required for all clients, at the time of booking an exam. Please note that retainers are non-refundable and appointments are non-refundable and non-reschedulable.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a polygraph?
The polygraph is a scientific instrument which records and displays physiological responses to test items. Modern instrumentation is computerized and includes specialized software to aid the examiner. The word polygraph comes from Greek words meaning “many writings.” It denotes the multiple tracings that polygraphs display. The word itself can be traced at least to mid-19th century scientific writings regarding a device for recording various channels of physiological activity for medical purposes. Today polygraph almost always refers to the device used for veracity testing.
What does the polygraph record?
Today’s polygraph records five or more channels of physiological data. Two corrugated tubes are placed around the body, one just above the heart and the other over the stomach to detect motion associated with breathing. Changes in skin moisture are monitored with sensors placed on the fingers or palms. Pulse and relative blood pressure are detected using a standard blood pressure cuff placed on the arm. Many instruments also record changes in blood vessel dilation using a finger sensor and all polygraphs now include sensors to detect body movement. Each component is very sensitive to bodily changes. From the beginning to the end of the test, a person’s body emits physiological data that will be later reviewed by the polygraph examiner to determine if the examinee was telling the truth.
Is the examination confidential?
Yes, the test is completely confidential. Disclosure of the results is limited to those listed in an agreement signed by the examinee and the examiner prior to the examination unless otherwise specified by law.
How long does a polygraph examination take?
Most polygraph examinations take between 90 and 120 minutes, the majority of which entails a standardized interview before the testing phase. Examinations may take longer when covering complex issues. Polygraph examinations taking less than an hour have been reported, though the shortest of examinations are often associated with unvalidated or invalid procedures.
Can nervousness affect the test results?
Everyone who takes a polygraph examination is nervous. It is expected. As everyone knows, anxiety can elevate one’s heart rate, blood pressure and other physiological functions. During polygraph testing, however, this heightened state becomes the examinee’s normal pattern. Having a higher blood pressure does not cause a person to fail a polygraph examination. Examiners are only interested in changes to the person’s normal pattern. While examiners take steps to reduce the jitters most examinees experience, there is no evidence that anxiety itself causes truthful people to fail or deceptive people to pass polygraph testing.
Can someone be with me when I take the polygraph?
Examinees can certainly have someone accompany them to the examination site. Third parties are not permitted in the test room except when they are necessary for the conduct of the exam (e.g., interpreters). By special arrangement the session may be recorded or monitored remotely, subject to conditions and agreements.
Can anyone beat a polygraph examination?
It is true that all things made by man can be defeated. The biggest challenge for beating a polygraph, however, is that it entails a significant risk of detection which, in these days of sophisticated software and recording equipment, makes success far from certain. Indeed, trying to affect the results can make things worse. Recent scientific research offers little hope for people relying on websites and books on how to beat the polygraph, and there is some evidence that the use of these methods by truth-telling examinees reduces their chances of passing the test. For these reasons we discourage examinees from trying to affect their test results.
What are the advantages of using an APA member to conduct a polygraph examination?
Not all polygraph examiners are APA members, and it is important to know the difference. Those who wish to qualify as APA members must have successfully completed an accredited polygraph education program meeting rigorous APA requirements. As APA members they are also required to maintain their continuing education hours. Those who want to practice certain specialties have additional requirements. All APA members are bound by the APA Bylaws, Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, and must use only evidence-based valid polygraph procedures. Members also benefit from APA’s peer-reviewed publication to keep them apprised of the latest developments in techniques, technologies, and best practices. The APA sponsors educational seminars as well as online professional development not available elsewhere which ensures its members have access to the best information for conducting valid and reliable polygraph examinations. The APA is the largest professional polygraph association in the world. It attracts examiners who are committed to delivering the best possible polygraph services. To repeat: Not all polygraph examiners are APA members, and it is important to know the difference.
How accurate is the polygraph?
There are several polygraph approaches and applications, and polygraph accuracy is not the same for all of them. In a 2003 meta-analysis conducted by the US National Research Council, median accuracy was placed between 85% and 90% for event-specific testing or testing on single issues. This estimate was based on a range of polygraph techniques, from the unvalidated to the experimental to the best available. Subsequent research that focused only on techniques that employed empirically derived practices converged on a decision accuracy near or slightly above 90%.
Lower accuracy is expected in multiple-issue and screening testing. Those accuracies will vary as a function of how many relevant questions are used and how broad they are: the fewer number and scope of relevant questions will produce the best accuracy. As with all assessment methods, accuracy can be affected by the training and competency of the testing examiner. In a meta- analysis conducted by the US National Research Council, the median accuracy of mixed issue testing or testing on multiple issues was placed between 80% and 84%.
What are some considerations that could make someone unsuitable for a polygraph test?
Conditions that would render a person unsuitable:
- Active psychosis
- Severe developmental impairments
- Drug or alcohol induced impairment
- Anyone who is not able to consent to participate in the examination
- Anyone under the age of consent* (in some circumstances parents may provide consent on behalf of their child)
- Anyone who is unable to remain seated and still for seven minutes at a time.
- Anyone in extreme distress
- Health conditions that preclude the placement of the polygraph sensors
Note: An examinee experiencing a temporary illness may be rescheduled to take the examination after their recovery from the illness.
Certified Polygraph Associates
Polygraph Exams throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania
Owned and operated by Jessica Rose Freda, a member of the polygraph industry’s private sector.
The mission statement of Certified Polygraph Associates has been, and always will be, to provide its clients with accurate, reliable and confidential information. Ms. Freda, received her certification from the Academy for Scientific Investigative Training (ASIT), an American Polygraph Association accredited school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ms. Freda’s training was conducted by Mr. Nathan J. Gordon, a well-respected educator, former President of the American Polygraph Association, and the developer of the acclaimed Forensic Assessment Interview and Integrated Interrogation Technique.
Ms. Freda also was also fortunate to train under Mr. William Fleisher. Mr. Fleischer, with over 40 years of experience, has lectured on polygraph and behavioral analysis for law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the United States and overseas. Ms. Freda’s credentials include her memberships in the American Polygraph Association, the British/European Polygraph Association, the ISOPE (International Society of Polygraph Examiners) and the National Polygraph Association. Ms. Freda is also a recurring guest lecturer on the utilization of polygraph at Temple University and Temple Law School.
The Utility of Polygraph in Sex Addiction Therapy
Polygraph testing is a valid and reliable way to discern truth from deception on a wide range of issues including in therapeutic settings. In the past polygraph and professionals working in psychology were at odds. However improved technology and better standards in polygraph have brought the two camps together. Now, polygraph plays a critical role in the risk assessments done by psychologists in post-conviction sex offender cases. Virtually every state now includes polygraph in their post-conviction release process for sex offenders.
In a 2003 report on polygraph by the National Academy of Sciences, the panel stated, “We conclude that specific incident polygraph tests can discriminate lying from truth telling at rates well above chance but below perfection.” Much of the criticism of polygraph, including the criticism by the NAS is focused on pre-employment screening tests, not specific incident testing such as sex addiction disclosure testing.
In a 2020 meta-analysis of polygraph research, Charles Honts, Professor of Psychology at Boise State University (2020) found polygraph accuracy rates to be 91.6%. Across dozens of studies, the ability of humans to determine truth or deception is 54%. This includes police, prosecutors, judges, and the general public. So, polygraph provides significant information gain to therapists.
In a study by Elliot, Egan, and Grubin (2017) titled the “Bogus Pipeline Effect,” the researchers found that participants in the study who faced the prospect of undergoing a polygraph examination provided dramatically more information (86% vs. 36%) compared to a control group where polygraph was not mentioned. So, therapists who use polygraph increase the amount of information they obtain simply by including the polygraph in their client discussions.
There is now very little debate in the scientific community that when properly administered polygraph can be of significant value to end users. Sex addiction therapists who use polygraph have by and large been very happy with the information produced. Therapists should be careful to only use examiners who are full members of the American Polygraph Association. That information can be verified at the APA website: Polygraph.org and using the “Find a Member” search.
Mark Smith, Certified Polygraph Examiner
Member: American Polygraph Association, New Jersey Polygraph Association
JR POLYGRAPH SERVICES
Phone: (484) 632-6050 |
Polygraph Certification from Northeast Counterdrug Training Center or NCTC (American Polygraph Association accredited school)
Specialty certification, Post-Conviction Sex Offender Testing (PCSOT), from the National Polygraph Academy (American Polygraph Association accredited school)
Full membership in the American Polygraph Association (APA), American Association of Police Polygraphists (AAPP), and the Mid-Atlantic Police Polygraph Cooperative (MAPPC)
Where?: I conduct polygraph examinations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.
How much does it cost?
Fidelity polygraph $400.00
Criminal polygraph $400.00
Therapeutic polygraph $400.00
Pre-employment polygraph $300.00
PCSOT polygraph $400.00
How accurate is a polygraph test?
In 2011, the Meta-analytic Survey of Criterion Accuracy of Validated Polygraph Techniques was released by the American Polygraph Association. In the report, it contains information concerning the accuracy of the validated techniques given specified scoring methods. So, to answer the question mentioned above correctly, you must know what format and what method of scoring will be utilized. Please see the APAreport to get a detailed account of each technique/scoring method. My answer to the above question would be that for a single issue test (concerning a known event), one can expect the test to have an accuracy rate of 90% to 93%, and a multi-facet/issue test would have an accuracy range from 82% to 88%.
Will I fail because I am nervous?
NO. The polygraph test results will not be affected because you are nervous during the test. Everyone who takes a polygraph test (even the individuals who are going, to tell the truth) will be nervous during the test. If being nervous during the test caused someone to fail, no one would ever pass a polygraph test. Yet, people pass all the time.
Who can take a polygraph test?
Anyone over the age of 12 that can demonstrate abstract thinking, a basic understanding of right and wrong, who knows the difference between truth from a lie, can anticipate rewards or consequences for being truthful or being dishonest and can consistently orient themselves to time, date and location.
How long does it take?
The average polygraph test lasts 2 to 3 hours. Many individuals are surprised when they hear this, but specific information must be reviewed, including a detailed account of what questions will be asked, and a determination of suitability is made before the examination.
Can the test be beaten?
No research shows that the polygraph test can be “fooled” or “beaten” by naive examinees or examinees that have read about how the polygraph test works. The research clearly shows that the accuracy of the polygraph test is not diminished in any way concerning the examinees above.
Who gets the results?
The only individuals that get the results are the examinee (person who takes the test), and to any individual that the examinee gives written consent indicating that they can get the results.
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