Lege Artis Medicinae

["Punishment-therapy” - chances of psycho-rehabilitation for mentally ill offenders under forced medical treatment]

BACSÁK Dániel, KRÁMER Lili

JANUARY 20, 2020

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2020;30(01-02)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.33616/lam.30.008

[When examining the life course of mentally disordered offenders it is unavoidable to take into consideration the legal definition of in­sanity that exempts an individual from ordinary punishment in the given context of criminal law. As technical as it is, legal language describes and prescribes institutional responses on how to deal with mentally disordered offenders - not being independent from the everyday societal stereotypes on mental illness. In Hungary, the definition of criminal liability consists of medical and legal elements. Thus, in practice court appointed psychiatric experts are solely relied upon in determining whether or not the accused are criminally liable - the formal decision is in the hands of the court. If no criminal liability is determined by the experts, the court has to acquit the accused. In some special cases this acquittal opens the way to criminal psychiatric detention that is maintained by the Hungarian Prison Service. The aims of criminal psychiatric detention are twofold: rehabilitation and punishment. We suggest that it is nearly impossible to serve both of the aforementioned aims simultaneously. Furthermore, our article argues that the philosophy of care is focused on punishment and biomedical treatment nowadays, rather than rehabilitation and holistic bio-psycho-social treatment. The approach of treatment in operation makes successful recovery of patient-detainees difficult. Moreover, there are systemic issues as well: limited effects of review proceedings, holes in the psychiatric-social institutional care system and the general societal stigmatisation of people with mental illnesses can unreasonably prolong discharging “guilty patients”, thus, they stay detained 4-5 years longer. ]

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[Meditation of the guest editor-in-chief]

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[Personality development in East and West, and some clinical implications ]

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[Exploring human personality focused mainly on trait and state markers of behaviour so far. Nevertheless, the concept of the universal, culture-independent model of personality carries more disturbing difficulties: hardly understandable inter-cultural conflicts, culture-related mental disorders and scientific experiences with unexpected outcomes. It can be hypothesized, that beside personality concept represented by the Euro-Atlantic civilisation and mainstream psychology there is an alternative concept of personality. Opposed to the independent, autonomous ego concept of individualistic cultures, collectivistic (primarily far-eastern) cultures are providing an interdependent model. According to this model, the core element of personality are determined rather by social embedding instead of the person’s own characteristics, which are secondary to the personal traits and characteristics. This study attempts to briefly outline the concept of interdependent personality, with some illustrative clinical examples. ]

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[The fact that there are two significant Hungarian pioneers in humanistic psycho­therapy is still not recognised in the Hungarian academic community. In order to redress this omission the author compares and considers the careers of András Angyal and Béla Mittelmann. Both individuals left Hungary in 1920, settling first in Europe and subsequently in America, where they separately enjoyed successful careers. According to the author the trajectory of their lives is quite representative of many Hungarian emigrants during this period in history. This study examines the course of their life and explores their main achievements in the context of their contemporary relevance and enduring legacies. In the case of Angyal, it is the holistic-organismic theory of personality and influence on Maslow, which are his paramount achievements. As regards Mittelmann his topical contribution has been to the practice of “coaching” on the one hand and the application of dance and body therapy to recovery on the other. ]

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[In Hungary, there was a ward related psychotherapy already since the 1960s, yet without any national network to the 1980s. In Debrecen the spreading of the psychotherapeutic approach started in the psychiatric facilities since the 1990s. Daytime Hospital was founded first in the County Hospital and later on in the Department of Psychiatry of the University. The latter option was provided by separating the psychiatry from neurology. This study presents the development of the day care at the Psychiatric Department along the opportunities and shows the structure of the actually functioning system finally reports on our future plans respectively. Initially started the occupational therapy, gymnastics, community cooking and walking, which did not require any separate rooms. The 22-bed psychotherapeutic unit was established 2014 with its joined capacity for 11 persons in the Daytime Hospital. The County Hospital is engaged primarily in socio-therapy of psychotic psychiatry pa­tients, however the Psychiatric Department is rehabilitating mainly patients with affective spectrum disorders. Patients are treated in socio-therapy and psychotherapy small groups for a half or one year. Afterward they enter the outpatient program, may join the Patient Club or decide for therapeutic occupation aiming the best way of recovery. According to the feedback, there is a long-term change in the mental state of the patients leading to improvement in their quality of life, which we plan to prove by an efficacy research program. ]

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