n South African Journal of Psychiatry - Limited access to an individual's mental content - a constraint on the strength of our knowledge in the courts : editorial

Volume 15, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1608-9685
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6786



Access to an individual's mental content is dependent on its disclosure by that individual. Such disclosure may be direct, i.e. described by the individual, or indirectly disclosed through other ways of communication (gestures, etc.). In addition, we may be able to deduce indications that would support or refute particular mental content from the individual's behaviour. If mental content is not disclosed, we mental health workers are left with mere indications of an individual's mental content (in his or her suggestive behaviour, for example). Even when such indications are very strong, they remain mere indications.

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