Observations BMJ Confidential

Gwen Adshead: Posing as a florist

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g3643 (Published 04 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3643

Biography

Very few of us are likely to meet Gwen Adshead, a forensic psychiatrist and psychotherapist, in a professional capacity. For nearly 20 years she worked with seriously disturbed patients at Broadmoor Hospital, to encourage them to understand and accept responsibility for the violent crimes that had brought them there. She now does similar work at Ravenswood House, a medium secure unit. She believes that there is a little evil in all of us and, unlike many in her field, is prepared to use the word (she is writing a book titled A Short Book about Evil). She points out that most crime is committed by sane people, not those who are mentally ill.

What was your earliest ambition?

I wanted to be a doctor from the age of 7, or …

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