Letter from the President James Gilligan

Ninth Annual Meeting of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy, April 28-30, 2000

in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.


The International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy was founded in 1991 to promote and encourage mental health professionals working psychotherapeutically with individuals who have engaged in violent, criminal, or other antisocial behavior. It also aims to promote education and encourage research in this field. The association includes members of the mental health professions as well as the legal profession from around the world.

The annual conference gives you an opportunity to meet other professionals and exchange clinical, educational and research experience within this important and rapidly evolving field.

The theme of the Ninth Annual Meeting has been chosen in order to emphasise the unique new perspective that the field of forensic psychotherapy has brought to the way that we as a society (and a species) deal with the problem of human violence. The traditional way of attempting to solve the problem that violence poses for human survival has been to punish it (with more violence of our own) after it occurs, while devoting virtually no resources to the attempt to learn from those we punish why they became violent, what they need in order to avoid reoffending, and by what measures, and to what extent, we can prevent others from becoming violent in the first place. This conference will be dedicated to the proposition that it is time to reverse that traditional emphasis, and focus instead on seeking answers to those questions, especially through the psychodynamic treatment of violent offenders. The conference will be devoted, therefore, to summarising what we have learned so far, and to the new theories and techniques that we are developing by which to learn more, through contributions by forensic psychotherapists from around the world.

The Organising Committee hereby invite you to join the conference and to forward abstracts of papers you would like to present, in plenum, workshops or seminars, to James Gilligan, M.D., P.O. Box 385, West Stockbridge, MA 01266, USA (Fax: 413-232-7946; e-mail: jamesgilliganmd@worldnet.att.net).

Deadline for abstracts to be considered: January 4th, 2000.

The conference fee will include attendance at a film relevant to the theme of the conference, followed by a panel discussion, on the Thursday night preceding the formal sessions, a dinner-dance in the Italian Renaissance courtyard of the Fogg Art Museum of Harvard University on the Saturday night of the conference, and lunches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Discounts have been obtained for hotel accomodations at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Cambridge, and should also be available for airfare from most locations. Members of the I.A.F.P. will receive a discount on their registration fee, as will all those who register prior to March 1, 2000.

Looking forward to seeing you in Cambridge in 2000!


To register for the conference, please contact:

Continuing Education Program

Massachusetts Mental Health Center

Harvard Medical School

74 Fenwood Road

Boston, MA 02115, USA

Tel: 617-734-1300, extension 469

Fax: 617-232-4570

e-mail: kimberly_parody@hms.harvard.edu