We are a group of professionals, trainees, volunteers, experts by experience and others with an interest in the psychodynamic understanding of offending and its treatment. Our members come from the UK, Germany, the USA, Austria, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Sweden, but we are always keen to develop our international base.
Many who join the IAFP are psychotherapists, psychiatrists and psychologists, although our members also include group therapists, arts therapists, social workers, nurses and lawyers, as well as service users. We share an interest in studying the emotional, social and familial difficulties that offenders face, and in helping to reduce the risks they pose to themselves and others.
A high proportion of offenders suffer from a mental disorder, and are detained in secure settings within the prison or healthcare systems for prolonged periods. It is important that staff working with offenders, are supported, so training, clinical supervision and reflective practice form part of our practice. Likewise, we are interested in understanding the organisational processes that can impact upon treatment, sometimes negatively.
In the field of forensic psychotherapy, we also interact with the criminal justice system at all levels and stages, as well as the sometimes complex social and political attitudes to offenders and their victims.