This book deals with psychiatric expert evidence as it applies to mental disorders concerning children, adolescents and adults. The full range of psychiatric disorders is examined. A particular innovation is that the disorders are not considered separately but in relation to all age groups. To an increasing extent, disorders appear to move seamlessly between age groups.
While the centre-piece of the book is the discussion of the substantive mental disorders, accounts are also given of the psychological development of individuals from childhood to mature old age, followed by a general discussion of the nature and scope of mental disorders. The purpose of this study of mental disorders, as found in various age groups, is to help understand the issues as they arise in family and child law proceedings. Thus the final part of the book examines particular issues of importance, such as pathology within the family, the socio-cultural background to psychiatric pathology, violent behaviour, the assessment of risk in situations involving the family and children, and also the issues in relation to mental capacity.
Family Psychiatric Practice is an invaluable practical guide for a nonspecialist audience including legal practitioners, the judiciary, social workers, guardians ad litem, and those in ancillary occupations such as the police or teaching who are increasingly involved in child care work and litigation. It will also be of interest to medical experts working in fields alongside psychiatrists and psychologists.
B Mahendra is a consultant psychiatrist and barrister who has written extensively on medico-legal issues. He has now worked for 30 years in all areas of adult psychiatry and undertakes regular expert witness work in family and child law.
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