Understanding Dunblane and Other Massacres: Forensic Studies of Homicide, Paedophilia, and Anorexia (BOK)
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The book predominantly explores the psychic histories of patients who display their transgenerational conflicts/trauma through forensic acts. It establishes the need to consider the details of patient history in understanding the patient within both the therapeutic encounter and the treatment team milieu. There are many themes of contemporary interest including gang murders, sibling jealousy, fatal eating disorder, personality disorder, and the effects of exclusion and marginalization within group and community dynamics and the global prevalence of mass murder. Peter Aylward describes the collapse into dyadic thinking and enactment that prevails when the third perspective, classically represented by the father within the Oedipal dynamic, is excluded or absent. Providing detailed case studies he shows how seemingly meaningless explosions of violence or perversion are attempts to master early experiences of trauma and/or exclusion, often passed down unconsciously through the generations. Using the theories of Matte Blanco and notions of the 'critical date' the chapters give unique insight into the timing and triggers of crimes, however apparently random.The final chapter, on the Dunblane Massacre, illuminates the thinking in previous chapters about the crucial importance of triangulating to militate against exclusion/marginalization whose humiliating feelings can be the bedrock of not only the paedophilic and anorexic but more strikingly the murderous impulse. The significant implications for the penal, health and particularly the education system are discussed with recommendations suggested. This is endorsed in the foreword by Lord Alderdice who writes that "it is in the interests of communities to act through informed understanding, and I very much hope that his [Aylward's] lead is followed".