Dr Gwen Adshead

In this talk, Gwen will discuss the implications of attachment theory for the understanding of those mental states which are involved in the commission of violent offending. There is growing evidence that early childhood adversity is a potent risk factor for persistent and severe violent crime. Gwen will explore how childhood adversity leads to disorganised attachment systems; and the parallel disorganisation of how relationships and the people in those relationships are represented in the mind. Specifically, Gwen will discuss the importance of attachment narratives; and the language that offenders use to describe themselves, their offences and their victims. Gwen will conclude with what these findings might imply for interventions for offenders and the services in which they are provided; and discuss recent relevant research.

About the Speaker

Dr Gwen Adshead has been a Consultant Psychotherapist at Broadmoor Hospital since 1998. She is a practising group psychotherapist and a Member of the Institute of Group Analysis. Dr Adshead has published over 100 papers on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Forensic Psychotherapy, and Ethics in Forensic Psychiatry in peer reviewed journals and chapters of books. Her current research interests include moral reasoning in psychopathy and the attachment characteristics of maltreating mothers.