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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 39 (1997) 2, 121 - 135

Short report

Forensic psychotherapy, a form of psychiatric psychotherapy?

T.H. Que, H. Groen

The main question in this article is whether forensic psychotherapy is a form of psychiatric psychotherapy. By describing the forensic-psychotherapeutic practise in the Netherlands the answer to this question is affirmative. Forensic psychotherapy is focused on decreasing the danger as well as the possibility of recidivism. Significant for this is the relationship between the (danger of) delict and the psychopathology as well as the state of tension as a consequence of the triad: the society (represented by the criminal judge), the patient and the therapeutist. Because of this state of tension, but also because of psychotherapy often being a part of a more extensive treatment plan, forensic psychotherapy can only be effected adequately teamwise. Besides the psychotherapeutist the team needs a (reporting) functionary who primarily takes care of the contacts with the society. Finally, in this article the required specific ability of the therapeutist is discussed as well as the difference between psychotherapy in jail and forensic psychotherapy.