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Explorations in Forensic Psychology, 1st Edition

By Margo C. Watt
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Soft Cover
304 pages
ISBN-10: 0176532269
ISBN-13: 9780176532260
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 1st

In creating this collection of cases at the intersection of psychology and law, author Margo C. Watt looked for diverse cases that had a particularly unusual element – cases that truly begged the question: “What kind of a person does such a thing?” The result is a casebook that offers intriguing and tantalizing answers to this question supported by evidence-based analysis. It is a welcome and informative addition to the library of anyone interested in the abnormal and criminal actions that may leave us scratching our heads about the nature of human behaviour. At the very least, readers will gain a better sense of how clinical forensic psychologists try to figure out why people do the things they do.


  • All cases present a common analytic framework that includes an Introduction, History of the Case, DSM-5 Diagnosis, Case Formulation, Treatment Goals and Planning, Summary and Discussion, Questions that Remain to be Answered/Considered.
  • Profiles "Substance Use Disorder" among Health Care Professionals in the case of New Brunswick's Dr. Thomas Crawford.
  • Challenges gender role beliefs with coverage of Female Sex Offenders, including Ontario's Jennifer Dorland, a teacher who had sex with a male student.
  • Looks at four cases of Youth Who Kill in four different times/decades and explores the overall question of why children kill. Case coverage includes Nova Scotia's recently accused youth murderer, Christopher Falconer.
  • Explores the perturbing effect of Wilful Blindness in the case involving the wife of Penn State's sex-molesting ex-coach, Jerry Sandusky.
  • Begins with an in-depth, penetrating analysis of the astonishing case that captured our attention in 2010 – Russell Williams, who was sentenced to serve two concurrent life sentences for the brutal murders of Marie-France Comeau and Jessica Lloyd.
  • Includes the case of the Black Widow, 78-year-old Melissa Shepard, who was convicted of spiking her newlywed husband's coffee with a noxious substance while on a honeymoon in the fall of 2012 (Shepard had also been convicted of manslaughter in 1992 in the death of her second husband, Gordon Stewart, whom she drugged and ran over twice with a car.).
  • Includes exploration of the disturbing and criminal aspects of "stalking" behaviour, and the psychological aspects that drive someone to do it.
  • Explores the curious phenomena of "Hybristophilia," typically seen in cases of women who fall in love with people on death row.

Table of Contents

  • Case 1: Cruel and Disgraceful Conduct: Russell Williams
  • Case 2: ??Will You Walk into My Parlour?? Said the Spider to the Fly?: A Black Widow
  • Case 3: "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil ? Do No Evil??: Wilful Blindness
  • Case 4: "Every Move You Make, Every Step You Take, I?ll Be Watching You?: Stalking
  • Case 5: Hybristophilia: Distorted Lovemaps?
  • Case 6: First, Do No Harm (to Others or Yourself): Substance Use Disorder among Healthcare Professionals
  • Case 7: Female Sex Offenders: She-Wolves in Sheep?s Clothing?
  • Case 8: Mad, Bad, or Sad? Youth Who Kill

Author Information

Margo C. Watt

Dr. Margo C. Watt is a registered Clinical Forensic Psychologist. She is a Full Professor at St. Francis Xavier University and an Adjunct Professor at both Dalhousie and Acadia Universities. Her clinical interests include the research and treatment of anxiety and related disorders. Her publications in this domain include "Overcoming the Fear of Fear: How to Reduce Anxiety Sensitivity", a self-help book based on 10+ years of research conducted in collaboration with Dr. Sherry Stewart from Dalhousie University. Dr. Watt also conducts forensic risk assessments for the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). Her research interests and publications in this area include assessment and prediction of risk (for violence and recidivism); personality characteristics of specific types of offenders (e.g., women offenders); and stress among correctional staff. Dr. Watt teaches Clinical and Forensic Psychology at StFX, and recently developed a two-year Special Concentration in Forensic Psychology for undergraduates. She was the recipient of the President's Research Award in 2009 and the Outstanding Teaching Award in 2013.