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Forensic Psychology – Behavioural Explanations for Offending

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Honorary Professor Dr Geraldine Akerman (Cardiff Metropolitan University) explores behavioural explanations for offending, contextualised in the experiences of a forensic psychologist working with people in prison and secure hospital environments. In the first lecture, we think about the concept of labelling and discuss the impacts it can have on an individuals’ self-perceptions and the way others perceive them. In the second lecture, we discuss interventions that are in place at these institutions to help ensure those in custody can lead better lives upon their release. In the third lecture, we attempt to answer the question ‘who commits which offences?’, as well as highlighting the issues with profiling in this way. Next, we delve into the role of attachment in offending behaviour. In the fifth lecture, we return to this in the context of case formulation, by using the psychodynamic model as a method of comprehensively understanding an individual’s criminal actions. In the sixth and final lecture, we think about research methods, specifically the person-centric considerations of performing research in the field of forensic psychology.

About the Lecturer

Honorary Professor Dr Geraldine Akerman is a chartered forensic psychologist, a doctoral researcher in the Department of Applied Psychology at Cardiff Metropolitan University, as well as a visiting lecturer at the University of Birmingham and Buckinghamshire New University. Dr Akerman’s forensic psychology role involves working with adult males in a prison-based therapeutic community to help reduce the risk of reoffending. Some of Dr Akerman’s recent publications include 'The Development of a fantasy modification programme for a prison-based therapeutic community' (2008) and 'The Development of a Psychometric Measure of Current Sexual Interest' (Submitted).

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