Forensic psychotherapy explores the roots of violent, sexual and antisocial behaviour. It is a relatively recently created discipline that applies psychoanalytic knowledge to the assessment, management and treatment of mentally disordered offenders, forming a bridge between traditional forensic psychiatry – with its focus on diagnosis and risk – and traditional psychotherapy – with its focus on understanding why things happen. As a discipline, forensic psychotherapy seeks to understand the conscious and unconscious motivations that underpin specific offending behaviours. We need to understand not only the detail of the crime, but also the offender as a whole person within his environment, including the criminal justice environment. It aims to understand the perpetrator, the victim, and the victim within the perpetrator.
In this collection, leading international experts in forensic psychotherapy explore the different aspects and developments within the field. These include first hand experiences of shaping the emerging discipline within the UK, Europe and the United States; working therapeutically with high-risk offenders in prisons and secure hospitals; exploration of female violence and work with incarcerated mothers and babies; and the latest developments in forensic psychotherapy training. This book will be of interest to professionals and academics working within the fields of forensic mental health, criminal justice, psychiatry, psychology, criminology, and sociology. This book was originally published as two special issues of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy.