The authors examine the specific problems of delinquents’ psychotherapy, from the psychoanalytic and phenomenological point of view. The most difficult problem which the psychiatrist comes up against is to induce the delinquent to undertake himself to a relation which is generally felt as a threat against his narcissism. The purpose of the treatment is to increase his possibilities of choice. Moreover, the ambiguity of the psychotherapist’s position, more connected to the penal process, must be plainly grasped by himself, to avoid directing the relation on the criminal acts rather than on the delinquent’s personality, in a too limited prospect of social readaptation.

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