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Professional and Therapeutic Boundaries in Forensic Mental Health Practice

Professional and Therapeutic Boundaries in Forensic Mental Health Practice

Edited by Anne Aiyegbusi and Gillian Kelly

Part of the Forensic Focus series

Quick Overview

For clinicians who work therapeutically with clients in forensic settings, the capacity to maintain boundaries is critical to safety as well as good treatment outcomes. The contributors to this multi-disciplinary book address the challenges of establishing boundaries in forensic settings to support practitioners in this aspect of their work.
Details Price Qty
Paperback / softback
2012, 9.57in x 7.09in / 243mm x 180mm, 288pp
ISBN: 978-1-84905-139-2
2012, ePUB, 288pp
ISBN: 978-0-85700-328-7
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People who use forensic mental health services are defined by the fact that they have violated boundaries, often in many ways. For clinicians employed to work therapeutically with this client group however, the capacity to initiate and maintain boundaries is critical to safety as well as to good treatment outcomes.

This book provides a thorough introduction to the subject of professional and therapeutic boundaries and their particular complexities within forensic mental health settings. The contributors, all experts in their respective fields, address the challenges of establishing working boundaries within forensic mental health services from multiple perspectives. They explore the ways in which boundaries can be initiated and maintained in different areas of forensic mental health work, including in psychotherapy, mental health nursing, arts therapies, forensic psychiatry and family therapy, and when working with different client groups, including children and adolescents, offenders with severe personality disorders in high security settings and sex offenders. Consideration is also given to boundaries and homicide, maternal boundary violations and boundaries in a forensic learning disability service.

This authoritative, interdisciplinary resource will support all forensic mental health practitioners in this crucial aspect of their work.


'there are benefits to be obtained from "dipping into and drawing pointers from" particular chapters.'
- Prison Service Journal, Michael Brookes, Director of Therapeutic Communities at HMP Grendon and visiting Professor at Birmingham City University

'This is an authoritative and highly readable book, both thoughtful and insightful. It is essential reading for all therapists committed to understanding and managing the difficult, and at times impossible, tasks encountered in managing boundaries in all forensic settings...The editors of this book have done a masterful job of weaving together the perspectives of clinicians and experts from a wide range of forensic settings to address this most essential subject.'
- Estela Welldon, Founder and Honorary Elected President for Life, International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy and author of Mother, Madonna, Whore and Playing with Dynamite.

'Forensic mental health practice requires careful and intelligent management of the relational dynamics between professionals and clients in a wide range of health and criminal justice settings. Work in this specialist field stands or falls on the effective management of boundaries. This collection of papers, contributed by practitioners from a wide range of services, offers access to the learning necessary to support safe and effective practice, including risk management. Additionally, this volume has the potential to make a significant contribution to the professional development of a growing workforce at the centre of this complex work'.'
- Nick Benefield, Department of Health Advisor for Personality Disorder and Joint Head of the Department of Health/National Offender Management Service Offender Personality Disorder Policy Team


Contributions by: Gwen Adshead