The book predominantly explores the psychic histories of patients who display their transgenerational conflicts/trauma through forensic acts. It establishes the need to consider the details of patient history in understanding the patient within both the therapeutic encounter and the treatment team milieu. There are many themes of contemporary interest including gang murders, sibling jealousy, fatal eating disorder, personality disorder, and the effects of exclusion and marginalization within group and community dynamics and the global prevalence of mass murder. The author describes the collapse into dyadic thinking and enactment that prevails when the third perspective, classically represented by the father within the Oedipal dynamic, is excluded or absent. Providing detailed case studies he shows how seemingly meaningless explosions of violence or perversion are attempts to master early experiences of trauma and/or exclusion, often passed down unconsciously through the generations. Using the theories of Matte Blanco and notions of the 'critical date' the chapters give unique insight into the timing and triggers of crimes, however apparently random.
Peter Aylward FPC, is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist whose previous police career in the detection of major crime, lead to specializing in forensic psychotherapy at Broadmoor Hospital. He also consults with clinical teams in a variety of other NHS settings including eating disorder, personality disorder, self harm and child care assessments.