Forensic Psychotherapy: Pathologies and Treatment Strategies for working with Violence

Learning Objectives
  1. To be able to work more effectively with psychotherapy patients who have fears of committing acts of violence and to place those fears into the context of adverse childhood experiences and disturbed attachment relationships. To be more able to distinguish between a fantasy of committing a violent act and the likelihood of such an act taking place.
  2. To be able to discuss the effectiveness of psychodynamic psychotherapy in prisons for residents committed of serious sexual violence, and to be able to cite statistics on re-offending as evidence of that effectiveness.
  3. To be able to discuss whether the diagnosis of personality disorder relates to the psychological make-up of people convicted of violent offences.
  4. To have increased understanding and ability to describe at least 4 common defense systems that protect the psyche of the violent criminal - such as denial, projective identification, suicidality - and the function of these restricting their capacity for growth via psychological services.
  5. To understand and describe the importance of carefully placed boundaries when working with forensic patients, the risk of triggers
  6. To outline 3 viable forms of self-protection for the therapist.