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Adshead, G. (2013). All Words Make a Life Sentence: Attachment and Narratives in Forensic Psychotherapy. Att: New Dir. in Psychother. Relat. Psychoanal., 7(1):1-19.

(2013). Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 7(1):1-19


All Words Make a Life Sentence: Attachment and Narratives in Forensic Psychotherapy

Gwen Adshead

In this paper, I describe the use of attachment theory as a paradigm for understanding how failures of mentalisation lead to violence; and how this may be detectable in the ways people use language. I present evidence based on studies of narratives of offenders; and from my own work as a therapist in a high secure hospital. Lapses of monitoring of reason and discourse indicate disorganisation of mind; and careful attention to the language of offenders is essential when considering risk and recovery potential.

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