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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 168195 Find in a Library
Title: Burglar (From A Practical Guide to Forensic Psychotherapy, P 194-198, 1997, Estela V Welldon and Cleo Van Velsen, eds. -- See NCJ-168168)
Author(s): J Whale
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
London, N1 9JN, England
Sale Source: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
118 Pentonville Road
London, N1 9JN,
United Kingdom
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper examines some of the issues of assessment and treatment that relate to the burglar, based on the observations of a patient the author treated.
Abstract: The author defines burglary as "trespass on property with intent to steal." It may also include intent to do grievous bodily harm, rape, or unlawful damage to property. It is important to keep this definition in mind when assessing and treating the burglar, since trespass and theft may also pervade the psychopathology. This intrudes upon the treatment process in subtle ways that must be addressed for successful treatment. In the case presented, the assessment was designed to determine what the burglary symbolized for the potential patient and whether treatment was an appropriate option. As the assessment progressed, it became clear that the prospective patient had an ability to care for others of which he was almost ashamed. He was asking for help because he wanted to stop stealing. The assessment concluded that therapy was an appropriate option. The therapy revealed that the patient had a need to intrude, steal, and penetrate what is not allowed. Gradually an understanding emerged of pathological mourning for a father who had suddenly died just as he began to know and love him. It was pertinent that his most recent offense had occurred on the anniversary of his father's death. At this stage in therapy, the patient has become more caring of others and shows less arrogance or contempt. He has found alternative ways of achieving a thrill by using his significant artistic abilities. Throughout assessment and treatment, it is important to keep the therapeutic boundaries intact. Precise time-keeping may be crucial, since this can have dynamic implications for the patient in relation to theft of the therapist's time.
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Burglary; Case studies; Forensic psychiatry; Offender mental health services; Psychiatric services; Psychotherapy; Treatment techniques
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