Chapter

The treatment of psychopathy: clinical nihilism or steps in the right direction?

James R. P. Ogloff and Melisa Wood

in Responsibility and psychopathy

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199551637
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754630 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199551637.003.0009

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry

The treatment of psychopathy: clinical nihilism or steps in the right direction?

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In this chapter, we review the knowledge regarding the treatment of criminal psychopathy. We begin by providing the context in which contemporary approaches to offender rehabilitation are undertaken. We turn to a review of the relevant treatment literature. We conclude by providing a set of considerations for approaching the treatment of psychopaths. At the start, it is important to emphasize that, in our view, the ‘treatment of psychopathy’ does not entail or have as its goal the elimination of the personality characteristics associated with psychopathy. It is still the case that no empirical evidence exists showing that any treatment programme can do that. Rather, the focus is on the reduction of the risk of future violence and offending – in other words, the reduction and elimination of problem behaviours.

Chapter.  10463 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychiatry

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