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Stratton, K. Russell, J. (2016). Editorial. J. Child Psychother., 42(3):257-258.

(2016). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 42(3):257-258



Kate Stratton and Jo Russell

For this special issue focusing on forensic work with children and young people, we are pleased to welcome Graham Music as our guest editor and are grateful to the expert team he has gathered whose clinical work and thinking compose the collection that follows.

What is ‘forensic’? What does ‘forensic’ mean? It is one of those words much used and much misunderstood. In popular imagination ‘forensic’ is likely to conjure up images of police tape and chalk outlines of dead bodies, popular crime shows featuring over involved and improbably handsome pathologists or documentaries about paedophilia and serial killing that may offer a questionable mix of serious investigation and titillating voyeurism. Technically ‘forensic’ refers simply to a behaviour or event that has or could have a criminal consequence; it concerns offending, the transgressing of a law. What comes through repeatedly in the collection that follows is the unavoidable causal thread that the children and young people whose capacity to offend has brought them for treatment are precisely those who have already been most reprehensibly offended against. It is the nature and the inevitability of the journey from victim to perpetrator, and how we may most hopefully intervene to alter this course for a happier and healthier one that preoccupies our author-clinicians and produces the rich content of their papers.

In addition to the articles gathered from work at the Portman, we are very pleased to be able to include a Clinical Commentary on a session from the therapy of a young man in foster care, a survivor of neglect and abuse, who is struggling on the cusp of his own adolescence with both a legacy of attachment issues and with how a prematurely awakened sexuality can now emerge into an ordinary teenage experience of sexual intimacy.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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