Sunday, August 20, 2017
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Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Reviewed by Sandra Rosieur, Counsellor, London

This book explores the personal and interpersonal complexities taking place within the therapeutic community, together with destructive processes that have external origins (such as governmental and health-care commissioning). These ‘attacks’ take place under the guise of policy changes, uncertainties around funding and commissioning, service cuts and, in some cases, they result in the closure of iconic services, such as the Henderson Hospital...

Noelle Sammon, Research Assistant, HSE Psychology Department, Abbey Town House, Roscommon.

Individuals with an Intellectual Disability (ID) who wish to become, or have become, parents can face considerable difficulties in their interaction with the legal system in Ireland. Becoming a parent is something that can present quite a struggle for individuals with an ID (McConnell and Llewellyn 2002). Historically cases have been brought before the courts by the parents of individuals with an ID, in order to prevent them from having a child through enforced sterilisation (McConnell and Llewellyn 2002)...

Tara Deehan, Counselling Psychologist, Arbour Hill Prison on the issues affecting those imprisoned with an intellectual disability.

International and national statistics suggest that at any given time, approximately 10% to 28% of the prison population present with an intellectual disability (ID). These studies also include people who present with specific learning disabilities and who have not been formally diagnosed with an intellectual disability. It is ethically questionable whether a person with an ID should be imprisoned in the first instance. Research suggests that a lack of community support is a primary contributor to the prevalence of those with an ID within the criminal justice system...

by Donal Fitzsimons, Manager of Disability Services, HSE Mid-Leinster–Midlands Area

When you or I offend and break the law in Ireland we can expect the full rigors of that law, with all its sanctions apportioned. We expect the law to deal with us in a fair and balanced way and if we are found guilty we must pay for the crime. However, if you have an intellectual disability and you break the law you may have a very different experience...

Alan Corbett, Chair of the Training Committee of the Institute of Psychotherapy and Disability, on the victims of sexual abuse with intellectual disabilities

The word ‘forensic’ relates to the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of crime. My work as a forensic psychotherapist should then logically be concerned with victims and perpetrators of crime. Because, however, most of my clients tend to be people with an intellectual disability, crime and the criminal justice system are remarkably...

by Siobhán Nic Coitir, Senior Counselling Psychologist/Intern Forensic Psychologist & Patrick Randall, Director, Forensic Psychological Services highlight the need for more specialists with experience of intellectual disability within the criminal justice system...

Forensic Psychological Services (FPS) provides clinical and forensic services to organisations and to individuals in the public and private sectors. Referrals to FPS are made by the HSE, the gardaí, legal and medical professions, the courts, therapeutic services, professional bodies and individual clients. FPS provides psychological assessments, risk assessments, victim impact statements, parenting capacity assessments, expert witness testimony in family, civil and criminal courts, and individual and group psychotherapy.

Lucy Adamson, Chartered Forensic Psychologist, Jackie O’Connell, Senior Occupational Therapist, Carol Reffin, Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, Anne McLean, Chartered Consultant Clinical Forensic Psychologist work with St. Andrews’s Health Care Service. Caroline Power, Chartered Forensic Psychologist, works with Oaktree Manor, a low-security service for adult males & females with learning disabilities. The authors have a wide range of experience working with adolescents who display sexually harmful behaviour.

It is important to acknowledge when working with young people who have engaged in sexually harmful behaviour (SHB), that we cannot automatically apply what we know about adult sexual offending to young people, and equally what we know about young people and sexuality will not always fit for young people with Developmental Disabilities (DD). The term DD is used here as an umbrella term to incorporate intellectual disabilities and Autism...

by Evan Yacoub, Consultant Psychiatrist, Brothers of Charity Galway, Woodlands Centre, Renmore, Co Galway.

The recent Winterbourne Scandal in the UK (Department of Health 2012) is a reminder of the importance of designing, commissioning and providing services which give people with intellectual disabilities the support they need close to home, and which are in line with well established best practice...

Witnesses with learning disabilities should be assessed first and then treated with special care says Leslie Cuthbert.

Imagine for a moment that you are the decision maker in some kind of hearing, for example, a court case. You’re part of the jury and hear the following exchange between the Judge and the witness giving evidence...