Fear of death or of murder? Challenges confronted in the modified psychoanalytic setting established by forensic psychotherapy

Welldon, Estela and Doctor, Ronald (2019) Fear of death or of murder? Challenges confronted in the modified psychoanalytic setting established by forensic psychotherapy. In: Psychoanalysis, Law, and Society. Relational Perspectives Book Series . Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 253-267. ISBN 978-0367194505

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Abstract

The fear, not only of death, but also of murder could be closely related in the forensic patient when gross, unconscious, archaic memories of loss and despair may be evoked by transferential interpretations within therapeutic relationships. This could produce compelling and potent feelings of revenge and acting out, which would need to be contained. When the fear of death occurs in the therapist’s countertransference feelings, beyond the secure settings of forensic psychotherapy, massive acting out may occur in the therapist to counteract his or her own threat of death. Karl A. Menninger (1938) wondered: “Is it hard for the reader to believe that suicides are sometimes committed to forestall the committing of murder? There is no doubt about it. Nor is there any doubt that murder is sometimes committed to avert suicide.”

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Criminology > Forensic Psychotherapy
Department/People: Honorary Staff
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/1997

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