In the pre-modern era, those who committed serious crimes would invariably be treated with extreme cruelty - often punished, tortured, eviscerated, and executed in the most grisly, sadistic fashion. Over time, the treatment of offenders has become more enlightened and more benign. But have we really progressed sufficiently in our approach to the rehabilitation and cure of vicious perpetrators of savage acts? This book considers the intersection between madness and violence across the ages, and investigates how Sigmund Freud and the early generation of psychoanalysts and psychotherapists challenged the more primitive, punitive models. Professor Kahr also discusses some landmark projects, which help to humanise serious criminal offenders and further our understanding of the ways in which severe early childhood trauma plays an important role in the genesis of extreme criminality.
"Only Brett Kahr could produce such a masterpiece as Dangerous Lunatics. Written in a stunning literary style, Kahr's book combines his unique expertise as a clinician and as an historian to tell this vital tale about how we have treated criminals throughout the ages and how we might do much, much better in the future!" Professor Estela V. Welldon, Emeritus Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy, Portman Clinic, London, and Honorary President for Life of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy
"What a magnificent book! A carefully researched 'tour de force', encompassing a history of criminality and madness through exquisitely described stories. It offers hope that one day we might actually rehumanise the dehumanised, making the world a safer place for all." Dr. Carine Minne, Consultant Psychiatrist in Forensic Psychotherapy, Portman Clinic and Broadmoor Hospital
Brett Kahr is Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology in London and Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis and Mental Health in the Regent's School of Psychotherapy and Psychology at Regent's University London. Additionally, he serves as Consultant Psychotherapist at The Balint Consultancy and as a Trustee of both the Freud Museum London and of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. He is also a member of the Executive Board of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy. Professor Kahr has worked in the mental health profession for over forty years, during which time he has written fifteen books and has served as series editor for more than sixty additional titles. He treats both individuals and couples in private practice in Central London.