Psychotherapy for Individuals with Psychopathy/Antisocial Personality Disorder

Many experts believe that these characteristics are difficult, if not impossible, to ameliorate (Harris & Rice, 2006), and the findings of some studies suggested that treatment makes psychopaths more dangerous (e.g., Rice, Harris, & Cormier, 1992; Seto & Barbaree, 1999). Possibly as a result of the entrenched therapeutic pessimism about psychopathy, very few empirical studies have examined psychopathy’s responsiveness to psychological interventions. To date, no randomized controlled trials of psychological interventions for psychopathy have been published in the clinical literature. Recent reviews, however, conclude there is little compelling empirical evidence that psychopathy is either immutable or amenable to psychological treatment, mainly because of a lack of treatments based on sound theoretical models of psychopathy (e.g., Salekin et al., 2010).

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