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Fatal torment - From psychosisdriven index offence to trauma: A case study in forensic psychotherapy, trauma therapy and matricide


Kayrouz, R and Vrklevski, LP, Fatal torment - From psychosisdriven index offence to trauma: A case study in forensic psychotherapy, trauma therapy and matricide, Australasian Psychiatry, 23, (1) pp. 54-58. ISSN 1039-8562 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists

DOI: doi:10.1177/1039856214563850


Objective: This paper presents the case of a forensic inpatient who was found ‘Not Guilty by Reason of Mental Illness’ for the murder of his mother and illustrates how psychotic symptoms can mask trauma symptoms, leading to neglect in the treatment of trauma in psychotherapy with forensic inpatients.

Method: A case study of a forensic inpatient diagnosed with schizophrenia that as part of his rehabilitation program received 19 sessions of therapy (i.e. grief counselling, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT) and imagery rescripting). The following measures were administered pre- and post-treatment: (a) The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS), to measure symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress; (b) The Impact of Events Scale-Revised (IES-R), to measure post-traumatic stress symptoms; and (c) The Trauma Attachment and Beliefs Scale (TABS), to measure disruption in beliefs about self and others.

Results: At completion of therapy, he showed a reduction in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and stress symptoms.

Conclusions: Trauma and PTSD-related symptoms in the forensic inpatient population must be assessed and treated alongside psychotic symptoms, where relevant. TF-CBT was effective in reducing PTSD symptoms in this current case study and should be considered as an intervention in forensic inpatient populations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:cognitive behavioural therapy, forensic inpatients, matricide, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, schizophrenia, trauma, trauma therapy
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Other psychology
Research Field:Other psychology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Vrklevski, LP (Ms Lila Vrklevski)
ID Code:110404
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2016-07-26
Last Modified:2016-08-02

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