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July 1949

OBSERVATIONS ON CRIMINAL PATIENTS DURING NARCOANALYSIS

Author Affiliations

NEW ORLEANS

Arch NeurPsych. 1949;62(1):82-92. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1949.02310130088005
Abstract

NUMEROUS difficulties are encountered in diagnosing and treating a psychiatric patient who has been hospitalized through legal action because of criminal behavior. The precepts of therapy, which include (1) participation of the patient, (2) assistance to the patient in formulating for himself new, healthy attitudes in place of his unhealthy ones and (3) release of constructive elements of the personality rather than institution of changes by use of authority or pressure, are extremely difficult to attain. Zilboorg, in investigating the possibilities of psychotherapy with criminals in Sing Sing Prison, commented on the difficulty official prison physicians had in exerting true therapeutic influence on the prisoner.1 The patient committed as criminally insane is faced with numerous barriers and restrictions placed there to minimize the possibilities of his escaping or doing harm to himself or to others. Despite progress in the direction of regarding criminal behavior as symptomatic of an underlying

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