Using the Law to Enhance Wellbeing: Applying Therapeutic Jurisprudence in the Courtroom

Lorie L. Sicafuse, Brian H. Bornstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The notion that the law should be used as a therapeutic agent has become increasing popular among social scientists and legal professionals. This chapter provides an overview of the ways in which the courts can promote individual wellbeing using therapeutic jurisprudence. Specifically, it describes how legal professionals can apply therapeutic principles to address the underlying causes of complex and controversial legal transgressions such as drug-related offenses, domestic violence, and prostitution. In doing so, they can help maximize positive physical and psychological outcomes for defendants, victims, and the community. Although applications of therapeutic jurisprudence are likely beneficial in many cases, additional research is needed to assess the long-term outcomes of this approach and to explore strategies aimed at maximizing its success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStress, Trauma, and Wellbeing in the Legal System
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199301492
ISBN (Print)9780199829996
StatePublished - Jan 24 2013


  • Courtroom
  • Courts
  • Innovations
  • Legal system
  • Stress
  • Therapeutic jurisprudence
  • Trauma
  • Wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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