This presentations suggests that a key assumption, central to forensic psychotherapy, is that the offence has a meaning to the offender and can be understood in the context of their internal world, developmental history and relationships. The offence is considered as a symptom. Once it 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 manifested. 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 theoretically explores how forensic psychotherapy can help us recognise and understand more about this prodrome to murderous attacks. She presents qualitative and quantitative data to illustrate how the patient’s representation of their index offence, their offence narratives and capacity to mentalise can help us predict and treat the unfolding of both aggressive and prosocial behaviour.
Video lecture with captions and slides – 30 mins
About the Speaker
Gill McGauley was a Consultant in Forensic Psychotherapist and Professor of Forensic Psychotherapy and Medical Education. She worked clinically for Central and North West London Foundation NHS Trust where she developed and delivered psychotherapy services for women with a personality disorder in HMP & YOI Holloway and HMP & YOI Bronzefield.