Prof. Dr. Michael Fitzgerald

The predator / prey dilemma: Can we reduce the risk of criminal psychopathy by neutralizing power and training affective mentalization?

Keywords: Criminal Psychopathy, Affective Mentalization, ReAttach


Professor Dr. Michael Fitzgerald was the Henry Marsh Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Trinity College, Dublin. He is the first professor of child and adolescent psychiatry in Ireland specialising in autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Professor Dr. Michael Fitzgerald has diagnosed over 3,000 persons with ASD.  He is a Clinical and Research Consultant to the Irish Society for Autism and an Honorary member of the Northern Ireland Institute of Human Relations.

He has a doctorate in the area of autism and has been a researcher in this area since 1973. He trained at St. Patrick’s Hospital Dublin, Chicago Medical School, and The Maudsley Hospital and the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in London. He has clinically diagnosed over 3000 individuals with Autism and Asperger’s syndrome and has served on the Government Task Force on Autism and the family as well as similar task forces for the Department of Health in Northern Ireland.
Other special interests are Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Criminal Psychopathy.

His other major research contribution is in the area of epidemiology of child and adolescent psychiatry in Ireland. He has been involved in research collaboration in 18 countries and in initiating master’s degree programs at Irish universities. He has lectured extensively throughout the world including in London at the Royal Society, British Academy, and the British Library and also in New York, Buenos Aires, Tbilisi, Melbourne and many European countries as well as in China, Malaysia, Korea, and Hawaii.

He became an associate member of the British Psychoanalytic Society and the International Psychoanalytic Association in 1980 and was the first to practice here with this recognition. He is a member of the British Institute of Psychoanalysis. He initiated the first Masters programme in Adult Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in the 1980’s. In the 1990’s he developed with Dr. Mary Smith a Masters programme in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at Trinity College Dublin and with Nessa Childers, Ross Skelton, Ann Murphy and others a Masters programme in Adult Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at Trinity College Dublin.

He founded the Journal the Irish Forum for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and the Irish Journal for Child Psychotherapy. He founded the Irish Standing Conference on Psychotherapy. He has been a tutor in Psychotherapy Queens University Belfast. He has supervised staff in training in psychotherapy at St. Ita’s Hospital, St. Loman’s Hospital, Artane Day Centre, Vergemount Hospital and St. Patrick’s Hospital Dublin.


He has contributed to National and International Journals on autism another relevant topics. He has a large number of peer-reviewed publications and has written, co-written and co-edited 32 books, including Japanese and Polish translations.


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