chapter  114
14 Pages

Group Psychotherapy

WithJohn Gordon, Gabriel Kirtchuk

The discovery during a literature search of the provision of group psychotherapy in such an extreme situation is startling but also indicative of the extensive application of group approaches in a wide spectrum of forensic settings, ranging from prisons to mental hospitals and covering all levels of security.2-6 If groups are considered to be effective on death row-“Group psychotherapy has been shown to be remarkably successful with many of the condemned inmates, leading to increased medication compliance, less severe mental illness symptoms and a decrease in suicidal ideation”1-one might wonder whether they could not make a contribution to multidisciplinary treatment interventions for mentally ill offenders. Even in the limiting case of psychopaths, regarded by most experts3-5,7 as so manipulative, lacking in empathy, and unconcerned about their interpersonal impacts on others as to completely subvert group interactions, the possibility of treatment has not been entirely foreclosed. More structured groups, for example, with consistent confrontation of boundary violations, may be effective with such antisocial personalities.8