Mental Health Law and the Seeds of Therapeutic Jurisprudence
The Roots of Modern Psychology and Law: A Narrative History (Thomas Grisso & Stanley Brodsky eds., 2018, Forthcoming)
19 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2018 Last revised: 1 Mar 2018
Date Written: February 23, 2018
This is a chapter in a book on the development of modern psychology and law. The editors invited a dozen people who are active today in some segment of law and psychology to prepare, in narrative form, a short essay on the work they were doing in the seventies and how it relates to their work today. The book celebrates the 50th anniversary of the American Psychology-Law Society.
In my case, I began teaching and writing in the area of mental health law in 1970 and am today focusing on therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ), which was officially “born” in 1987. Preparing the chapter enabled me to review my work during the seventies, and the exercise exposed “seeds” of what was to become the framework for TJ.
It turns out that all of the elements of the TJ framework were present by 1979, and all appear in my first book, Mental Health Law: Major Issues (1981). Preparing the chapter enabled me, for the first time, to understand why the seeds took until 1987 to germinate and form the TJ perspective.
Keywords: mental health and law, law and psychology, therapeutic jurisprudence, TJ, American Psychology-Law Society history
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