Research Topic

Therapeutic Process and Well-Being in Forensic Psychiatry and Prison

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About this Research Topic

The admission to forensic psychiatry and prison is accompanied by a massive loss of autonomy, freedom, and sense of control. A large proportion of inmates experience closed accommodation as an extreme burden and not a few lose any hope, which is reflected in the high suicide rates that can be observed in ...

The admission to forensic psychiatry and prison is accompanied by a massive loss of autonomy, freedom, and sense of control. A large proportion of inmates experience closed accommodation as an extreme burden and not a few lose any hope, which is reflected in the high suicide rates that can be observed in forensic psychiatry and prison. Across therapeutic settings, approaches focusing on well-being and quality of life have gained awareness and significance in recent years. Finally, prevention programs are of particular importance, since they can help to avoid closed accommodation with all its negative consequences.

The present topic theme will focus on various aspects that help to promote the therapeutic process and well-being in forensic psychiatry and prison. First of all, the inmates should expect a positive outcome of the therapeutic process and be optimistic about achieving their self-imposed goals. A central aspect of therapy is not to focus on the weaknesses, i.e. the criminal behavior of the patient but primarily to reflect his strengths. Rather than tackling negative facets such as deficiencies and failures, therapists should strengthen those resources that support inmates to achieve their life goals without harming others.

But also, the context of accommodation is important since it includes not only the equipment (for example, cooking facilities and attractive common areas) but also social relationships with fellow inmates and staff members. An appreciative optimistic climate, in which inmates and staff meet with respect for personal borders, and a climate that cares for minorities should form the social framework. Legally and ethically correct conduct cannot be taught theoretically, it must be lived and experienced in everyday life.

This Research Topic aims to collect examples on how to succeed in promoting therapy motivation and well-being despite a compulsory context. We want to start an intense discussion about treatment standards and therapeutic approaches. We, therefore, welcome all different type of papers including systematic reviews, meta-analysis and original research using observational or interventional design, case-reports, and theoretical reflections.


Keywords: Forensic Psychiatry, Prison, Well-being, Quality of Life, Prevention


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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