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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships
Why are we Murderous?

The Psychodynamic Treatment of the Forensic Patient

Saturday 17 October 2015

In partnership with the

09.30   Registration and coffee
10.00   Dr Estela Welldon

Intergenerational factors in the treatment of the forensic patient
The early childhoods of forensic patients are usually characterised by rejection, neglect, hostility and violence with parents and grandparents who have themselves been victims of domestic trauma and who are not emotionally equipped to deal with frustrations of parenting. This background of severe emotional poverty is the main antecedent for an intergenerational pattern of abusive behaviour in which, as a means of survival, these individuals block painful memories and turn to violence to create a sense of justice for themselves. The aim of Forensic Psychotherapy is to understand this person by making him/her aware of the "forgotten" painful experiences responsible for their present violent behaviour, and thus end the cycle of abuse.
10.50   Coffee
11.20   Dr Carine Minne

Changing the Game: a meaningful therapeutic approach for addressing the needs of gang members
On behalf of Paul Kassman and herself, Dr Carine Minne will present an overview of the history of gangs, current issues surrounding gangs in the community and in prisons, and the reasons why a therapeutic approach for gang members was developed. Their clinical needs will be emphasised and illustrated with material from the group sessions held in a prison.
12.10   Professor Gill McGauley

From prodrome to offence and beyond
A key assumption, central to forensic psychotherapy, is that the offence has a meaning to the individual and can be understood in the context of the offender's internal world, developmental history and relationships. The offence is considered as a symptom. Once an offence has been committed a line has been crossed where psychic reality has been acted out in external reality. Just as with physical diseases the offence often has a prodromal period - a time when the disease process has begun but is not yet clinically manifest. If the underlying symptoms and mechanisms are not recognised and understood by the patient then the risk of similar offending remains. In this presentation Professor Gill McGauley will use clinical material to explore how forensic psychotherapy can help us recognise and understand more about this prodrome to murderous attacks. She will present qualitative and quantitative data to illustrate how the patientís representation of their index offence, their offence narratives and capacity to mentalize can help us predict the unfolding of both aggressive and prosocial behaviour.
13.00   Lunch (lunch is included at this conference)
14.00   Panel discussion
14.20   Dr Sandra Grant

Killers: Them and Us
The International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy has at its core a focus on the psychodynamic understanding and treatment of offenders. This knowledge is also applied to explore the meaning of such behaviours in a societal and cultural context. All cultures have taboos on killing other human beings, with different sanctions, yet all have exceptions to this rule. The exceptions are not merely legitimised, but often strongly held ethical beliefs. Thus the meaning of killing differs widely in different contexts and cannot be reduced simply to individual psychopathology. Dr Sandra Grant shall consider the meaning and impact of killing for all of us, and when observation can become collusion. While defences such as splitting and projective identification are prominent in the discussion there will also be consideration of catharsis, sublimation and displacement with specific reference to film and literature.
15.10   Tea
15.40   Professor Brett Kahr

The forensic tendency in the neurotic, 'normal' person
Fortunately, most people who attend for psychotherapy have never perpetrated acts of criminality and do not suffer from an overtly diagnosable mental illness. A small cohort of non-forensic patients will, however, commit a variety of offences, none of which constitute a breach of the law of the land but which, nevertheless, cause significant suffering to themselves and to others. In this presentation, we shall explore the psychodynamics of the sub-clinical "non-forensic" patient, concentrating on how and why such individuals function in this quasi-forensic fashion and what impact their unconscious "criminality" might have. We will question whether the definition of forensic psychotherapy might need to be expanded in recognition of the broader range of unconscious sadism that we often encounter in our work.
16.30   Panel discussion
17.00   End

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Please read our booking conditions before making your booking

Early bird: £108 (SOLD OUT)
A maximum of 15 earlybird tickets are available
Self-funded: £130
CPD Hours

Certificates of attendance for 6.5 hours will be provided at the event

5th Floor Lecture Theatre
Tavistock Centre
120 Belsize Lane

09.30 Registration and drinks
10.00 Start
10:50 Coffee
13:00 Lunch
15:10 Tea
17.00 End