Steven N. Sparta, Ph.D., ABPP

A nationally recognized psychologist,
dedicated to excellence

"I will always strive to think and act appropriately, using my education, training and experience to further agreed upon goals. I invite open communication and always want the complete confidence of the client."
– Dr. Steven Sparta

Download Dr. Sparta's Curriculum Vitae

Brief Professional Biography

Clinical and Forensic Psychologist in San Diego

Steven N. Sparta Forensic Psychologist

Dr. Steven Sparta, Ph.D. has received wide and frequent recognition for professional excellence. He provides professional services to adults, children and families to the general public, including psychological treatment or evaluation. He also consults with attorneys or has been appointed by the court in many legal proceedings.

Dr. Sparta is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (Voluntary), University of California at San Diego School of Medicine; Adjunct Professor of Psychology San Diego State University; and Adjunct Professor of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law. In this capacity he has taught or supervised students in law, medicine (psychiatry) and psychology. He is dual boarded in clinical and forensic psychology, from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) and maintains an independent practice of psychology. He was a member of the National Examining Faculty for the American Board of Forensic Psychology where he chaired committees examining candidates for board certification in forensic psychology through the oldest recognized credentialing organization for psychologists.

Formerly, he was Chief Psychologist through the psychiatry division of Children's Hospital San Diego. While at Children's Hospital, he consulted with the child abuse team, multiple pediatric medical clinics, and directed psychology services/internship training at the outpatient psychiatry clinic, a facility associated with which is associated with the psychiatry department at UCSD Medical School. Dr. Sparta was appointed a Commissioner of the San Diego County Juvenile Justice Commission and previously served on a sub-committee of the Judicial Council of California which drafted California Rules of Court governing psychological evaluations in child custody matters. In 1984 he was given a certificate of recognition for his volunteer services involving domestic violence at the Battered Women's Program of the San Diego YWCA. He has also served in a variety of positions related to psychology/mental health including volunteering his time to community entities.

Psychological Evaluations and Mental Health Services Dr. Steven Sparta has been frequently appointed by the Superior Court of California to conduct psychological evaluations or provide mental health services. He was invited to teach judges at the Juvenile Law and Procedure Institute of the California Center for Judicial Education; conducted forensic psychology workshops nationally and in Canada for the American Board of Professional Psychology; provided invited presentations regarding psychology and family law for sponsoring organizations including the American Bar Association, American Psychological Association or San Diego County Bar Association, as well as continuing education in psychological aspects of family law for the Rutter Group/Thompson West in California. Although not an attorney, he was appointed an Adjunct Professor of Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law where he has lectured on psychology-law applications.

Volunteer Work In addition to teaching, consulting, publishing and a practice in clinical and forensic psychology involving adults and children, he has volunteered his time to a variety of people and organizations. He served on the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Center for Children, founded in 1887, the oldest accredited nonprofit organization serving children with mental and emotional difficulties. He has been recognized by the California Legislative Assembly and community non-profit organizations. Dr. Sparta was appointed to serve a three-year term for the State Bar of California, Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct, as the Public Member, 2016-2019.

Honors and Awards Dr. Sparta was elected Chair of the Ethics Committee of the American Psychological Association , the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. While serving on the Ethics Committee, he also served as a member of the task force which helped write the Ethical Principles for Psychologists and Code of Conduct (Ethics Code). The APA Ethics Code has been adopted by a variety of state licensing boards including California as representing the standard of care for the practice of psychology. He has also volunteered service on the APA Committee on Professional Practices and Standards, where he helped write the APA Guidelines on Psychological Evaluations in Child Protection Matters.

In 2010 Dr. Steven Sparta was awarded the Distinguished Contribution to Psychology award from the San Diego Psychological Association, provided for leadership and profound contributions toward psychology. Through his volunteer work as president of the San Diego Psychological Association, he was given a Certificates of Recognition and Appreciation from the California Legislative Assembly. In 2001 he was selected as a Distinguished Practitioner (in Psychology) of the National Academies of Practice, Washington DC. Dr. Sparta was elected president of the San Diego County Psychological Association, served as a Board Member chapter representative to the California Psychological Association and has been invited to participate in a number of committees/task forces or serve in an advisory capacity, including sponsoring organizations from the San Diego District Attorney, the San Diego Board of Supervisors, Mental Health Association, and others.

Presentations and Consultation Dr. Steven Sparta was invited with the Hon. Stephen Hjelt to provide in-service training to the State of California Board of Psychology expert consultants on psychological standards of practice in divorce/family law matters. He has acted as an expert consultant to licensing boards. He has been frequently invited to give presentations related to professional ethics and standards of psychological care or assessment. In 2010 Dr. Sparta was appointed an expert consultant to a national committee examining HIPAA Privacy/Confidentiality Issues in Psychological Testing, through the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration.

Books, Publications, and Writings Dr. Steven Sparta published with co-editor Gerald P. Koocher the critically acclaimed volume, "Forensic Mental Health Assessment of Children & Adolescents", published by Oxford university Press. This publication was highly praised, and included reviews which noted it was "historically significant", "an absolutely essential and state-of-the art book for practitioners, scholars and students", "a seminal work", and "a masterpiece."
Read Book Reviews

Dr. Steven Sparta has also published a number of book chapters including "Assessment of Childhood Trauma" published in the Comprehensive Handbook of Psychology-Forensic Psychology; "Expert Mental Health Testimony in Child Abuse Cases" published in the "Handbook for the Treatment of Abused & Neglected Children"; "Learned Helplessness after Traumatically Induced Neurological Impairment"; and "The Professional's Role in Discussing Death with Seriously Ill Children & Families."
Selected Publications

(The above content is current as of January 2016)

Download Dr. Sparta's Curriculum Vitae