In Decoding Madness, forensic neuropsychologist and psychoanalyst Dr. Richard Lettieri gives a behind-the-scenes look at criminal psychology through case studies from his over 30 years of experience as a court-appointed and privately retained psychologist dealing with some of the most heinous crimes imaginable.From cases like Tina, who seriously injured her boyfriend and stabbed his son to death, to Michael who stabbed his mother in the back, believing she was the evil force causing the sun to descend upon the earth and gobble him up, Decoding Madness is filled with gripping stories and forensic analysis told from the author's perspective. Through psychological examination, it is his job to conclude whether these individuals are truly guilty and understand their actions are wrong, or if these individuals are not guilty due by reason of insanity and instead require treatment. Integrating insights from psychoanalysis, psychology and neuroscience, Dr. Lettieri contends that the legal system's view of human nature as governed by rationality is anachronistic. Nonetheless, he argues that our criminal justice system is slowly bending towards the humane.Decoding Madness offers a nuanced and in-depth psychological understating of defendants and their personal complexities beyond the usual clinical accounts offered by forensic psychologists. The book introduces the novel idea of the daimonic as a basic force of human nature that is the source of our constructive and destructive capacities. The venue of the criminal justice system, with its daily exposure to primal emotions, serves as a petri dish to investigate the full spectrum of our basic makeup.Dr. Lettieri brings these points home by presenting a nuts-and-bolts look into what it takes to complete psychological examinations of defendants accused of committing heinous crimes.
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