Forensic psychiatry and the perturbation of psychiatrists' attention and neutrality during psychotherapy.

R. I. Simon,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law 22(2): 269-77, 1994.
Most psychiatrists who practice the specialty of forensic psychiatry also conduct a general psychiatric practice. The free-floating attention necessary for the conduct of psychotherapy can be distracted by the many exigent demands a forensic practice places on the clinician. On the other hand, forensic psychiatrists are exposed to challenging cases and learn clinical skills ordinarily not obtainable from the general practice of psychiatry. The conduct of general practice is quite different from that of forensic practice. Understanding the essential differences should help maintain the equanimity of the psychiatrist and preserve the psychiatrist's attention to his or her patients.