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