Sanctuary for the Abused

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Victim's Bill of Rights



YOUR BILL OF RIGHTS

You have the right to be you

You have the right to put yourself first

You have the right to be safe

You have the right to love and be loved

You have the right to be treated with respect

You have the right to be human - not perfect

You have the right to be angry and protest if you are treated unfairly and abusively by anyone

You have the right to your own privacy

You have the right to your own opinions, to express them, and be taken seriously

You have the right to earn and control your own money

You have the right to ask questions about anything that affects your life

You have the right to make decisions that affect you

You have the right to grow and change, this includes changing your mind

You have the right to say no

You have the right to make mistakes

You have the right to not be responsible for other adult's problems

You have the right to not be liked by everyone

You have the right to control your own life and to change it if you are not happy with it as it is

SOURCE

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Boundary Violations

An Approach to Understanding Dangerousness


by: David Mandel

When it comes to domestic violence perpetrators everyone wants to know: how dangerous is he? Or more specifically, what kind of violence is he likely to do in the future? Domestic violence survivors and their children can think and worry about this on a daily basis as they attempt to avoid or minimize the impact of the abusers’ next attack. In the judicial system, agencies such as adult probation look for information which will help them allocate supervision resources towards the most serious and dangerous offenders. Child protection service agencies want to understand whether a domestic violence abuser can be successfully prevented from harming a victim and her children through restraining and protective orders.

While researchers strive to isolate profile factors of abusers who will kill or do serious damage, anecdotal information from survivors of domestic violence continues to be the best common sense source of information about dangerousness. For instance, men who threaten to kill their partners, who have physically assaulted them when they were pregnant or have forced their partners to engage in unwanted sexual behavior are perceived as some of the most dangerous. Men who stalk their victims, willfully violate court orders and assault them in front of others also fall into this category.

What do these men have in common? Is there an aspect or pattern in their behavior that would be useful in assessing the behavior and dangerousness of all abusers? All these behaviors share a distinct quality which can be described as a "boundary violation." A "boundary violation" is an action which by its very nature penetrates the physical, emotional, and spiritual boundaries of another person. All types of violence share this characteristic to some degree. By examining the extent, severity and the frequency of the "boundary violations" in the behavior of an abuser, we can begin to see a pattern emerge that may be useful in assessing for future dangerousness as well as the path towards successful intervention approaches with an abuser.

First of all, evaluating an abusive man based on his history of violating his victims boundaries orients the assessment process towards an essential dynamic in domestic violence cases. Webster's Collegiate Dictionary uses the words, "break", "disregard", "interrupt" "disturb", "desecrate" and "rape" in association with the words violation or violate. All these words accurately describe the range of experience of battered women and their children at the hands of their abuser. By engaging in a pattern of abuse, a batterer "breaks, interrupts and disturbs" his victim's control over her own time, energy, physical space and even her thoughts. When we understand domestic violence as a boundary violation, we refocus the community dialogue on the serious impact of the behavior on the victim and her children. Our understanding of the abuser changes from seeing him as someone with a "temper problem" or someone who "lost control" to someone who is breaking the trust of his loved ones. And we are implicitly acknowledging the right and need for women and their children to have their own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual boundaries.

Second, by knowing how far a particular abuser has gone in his "boundary violations" we can begin to see his dangerousness more clearly. Was he physically violent to his partner when she was pregnant? If he was, he has demonstrated his willingness and ability to strike out against a very vulnerable form of life. Has he stalked his partner against her wishes and in disregard for court orders against him? If he has, he has demonstrated his unwillingness to respond to either his victim’s request for physical space or legal and social injunctions against his invasion of her space. Has he been violent to his partner in front of others including children, friends, family or in public? If the answer is yes, then he has displayed a willingness to humiliate and shame his partner in addition to assaulting her. Has he been sexually assaulting toward his partner? If the answer is yes, then has demonstrated his willingness to override and ignore her most basic and fundamental right: to control her own body. The questions can continue: Has he broken into her house? Has he spied on her? and so on.

Three useful perspectives emerge from examining the extent, severity and frequency of the boundary violations.

First, a profile develops of the offender centered on the most crucial aspects of his behavior. What social, ethical and moral norms is the abuser willing to violate in order to get his own way? What requests from the victim, her children and legal and social authorities is he willing to disregard in order to get what he wants? The more an abuser indicates his willingness to "break, interrupt, desecrate, and disturb" the normal human needs of his victim and accepted legal and social boundaries, the more dangerous he is.

Second, a picture forms of the abuser's level of disconnection from himself and others. To become abusive, a man must forget about everything except his goal of control. Focusing on revenge or proving oneself right takes all precedent over the impact of his behavior on his children or his partner's feelings for him. He disconnects from his other values, and he disconnects from the real long-term impact of his behavior. The more time a man spends disconnected from himself and others, the more dangerous he is. The greater the degree of disconnection the more dangerous he is.

Third, if you analyze the boundaries an abuser is willing to cross, you may also begin to see which boundaries he respects and won't cross. We know that many abusers, when they become aware of the impact of their behavior on their children, begin to make an effort to change. For instance, a study showed that a number of men who had been physically violent before their partner became pregnant stopped their physical violence during the pregnancy. This kind of information can help the court, social service workers and community agencies begin to develop individual and community strategies designed to leverage these pre-existing patterns.

A battered women intuitively understand many of these things. Her fear level can quickly rise when her partner becomes quiet. His disconnection from her and the family may be a precursor of a violent incident. The same may be true for a sarcastic or critical comment. A outside observer may fail to understand how a small, cutting comment telegraphs so much about his willingness to violate her emotional space. Battered women are constantly trying to discover the boundary the abuser will not cross to hurt her or her children. For instance, a victim might strategize "Let me invite our friends over. He's never violent when other people are around," or "I need to call the police because he always leaves me alone for a few months after the police get involved."

Professionals working with domestic violence may benefit from examining the patterns of abusers from the "boundary violations" perspective. This method of organizing our thinking about abusers can enhance our efforts to develop the most effective assessment and intervention strategies in our work to diminish and ultimately stop domestic violence in our society.

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Abuse is More Than Physical



When the general public thinks about domestic violence, they usually think in terms of physical assault that results in visible injuries to the victim.


This is only one type of abuse.

There are several categories of abusive behavior, each of which has its own devastating consequences. Lethality involved with physical abuse may place the victim at higher risk, but the long term destruction of personhood that accompanies the other forms of abuse is significant and cannot be minimized.


CONTROL
Controlling behavior is a way for the batterer to maintain his dominance over the victim. Controlling behavior, the belief that he is justified in the controlling behavior, and the resultant abuse is the core issue in abuse of women. It is often subtle, almost always insidious, and pervasive. This may include but is not limited to:
Checking the mileage on the odometer following her use of the car

Monitoring phone calls, using caller ID or other number monitoring devises, not allowing her to make or receive phone calls


Not allowing her freedom of choice in terms of clothing styles, makeup or hairstyle. This may include forcing her to dress more seductively or more conservatively than she is comfortable


Calling or coming home unexpectedly to check up on her. This may initially start as what appears to be a loving gesture, but becomes a sign of jealousy or possessiveness


Invading her privacy by not allowing her time and space of her own, reading her mail, computer communications or listening to her phone calls


Forcing or encouraging her dependency by making her believe that she is incapable of surviving or performing simple tasks without the batterer or on her own

Using the children to control the mother by using the children as spies, threatening to kill, hurt or kidnap the children, physical and/or sexual abuse of the children, and threats to call Child Protective Services if the mother leaves the relationship


PHYSICAL ABUSE
According to the AMEND Workbook for Ending Violent Behavior, physical abuse is any physically aggressive behavior, withholding of physical needs, indirect physically harmful behavior, or threat of physical abuse. This may include but is not limited to:
Hitting, kicking, biting, slapping, shaking, pushing, pulling, punching, choking, beating, scratching, pinching, pulling hair, stabbing, shooting, drowning, burning, hitting with an object, threatening with a weapon, or threatening to physically assault

Withholding of physical needs including interruption of sleep or meals, denying money, food, transportation, or help if sick or injured, locking victim into or out of the house, refusing to give or rationing necessities


Abusing, injuring, or threatening to injure others like children, pets, or special property


Forcible physical restraint against her will, being trapped in a room or having her exit blocked, being held down


The batterer hitting or kicking walls, doors, or other inanimate objects during an argument, throwing things in anger,destruction of property


Holding the victim hostage


SEXUAL ABUSE
Sexual abuse is using sex in an exploitative fashion or forcing sex on another person. Having consented to sexual activity in the past does not indicate current consent. Sexual abuse may involve both verbal and physical behavior. This may include, but is not limited to:
Using coercion, guilt, or manipulation.

Not considering the victim's genuine desire to have sex. This may include making her have sex with others, have unwanted sexual experiences, or be involuntarily involved in prostitution

Using her circumstances to lure her into an inappropriate relationship

Exploiting a victim who is unable to make an informed decision about involvement in sexual activity because of being asleep, intoxicated, drugged, disabled, too young, too old, in an already abusive relationship or dependent upon or afraid of the perpetrator


Laughing or making fun of anther's sexuality or body, making offensive statements, insulting, or name-calling in relation to the victim's sexual preferences/behavior


Making contact with the victim in any nonconsensual way, including unwanted penetration (oral, anal or vaginal) or touching (stroking, kissing, licking, sucking or using objects) on any part of the victim's body
Exhibiting excessive jealousy resulting in false accusations of infidelity and controlling behaviors to limit the victim's contact with the outside world

Having affairs with other people and using that information to taunt the victim

Making fun of or being judgmental or nasty to the victim during sex

Withholding sex from the victim as a control mechanism


EMOTIONAL ABUSE AND INTIMIDATION
According to the AMEND Workbook for Ending Violent Behavior, emotional abuse is any behavior that exploits anther's vulnerability, insecurity, or character. Such behaviors include continuous degradation, intimidation, manipulation, brainwashing, or control of another to the detriment of the individual(AMEND 3). This may include but is not limited to:
Insulting or criticizing to undermine the victim's self-confidence. This includes public humiliation, as well as actual or threatened rejection

Threatening or accusing, either directly or indirectly, with intention to cause emotional or physical harm or loss. For instance, threatening to kill the victim or himself, or both


Using reality distorting statements or behaviors that create confusion and insecurity in the victim like saying one thing and doing another, stating untrue facts as truth, and neglecting to follow through on stated intentions. This can include denying the abuse occurred and/or telling the victim she is making up the abuse. It might also include crazy making behaviors like hiding the victim's keys and berating her for losing them.


Consistently disregarding, ignoring, or neglecting the victim's requests and needs


Using actions, statements or gestures that attack the victim's self-esteem and self-worth with the intention to humiliate


Telling the victim that she is mentally unstable or incompetent

Telling her its "her own fault"

Forcing the victim to take drugs or alcohol


Not allowing the victim to practice her religious beliefs, isolating her from the religious community, or using religion as an excuse for abuse


Using any form of coercion or manipulation which is disempowering to the victim


ISOLATION
Isolation is a form of abuse often closely connected to controlling behaviors. It is not an isolated behavior, but the outcome of many kinds of abusive behaviors. By keeping her from seeing who she wants to see, doing what she wants to do, setting and meeting goals, and controlling how she thinks and feels, he is isolating her from the resources (personal and public) which may help her to leave the relationship.

By keeping the victim socially isolated the batterer is keeping her from contact with the world which might not reinforce his perceptions and beliefs. Isolation often begins as an expression of his love for her with statements like if you really loved me you would want to spend time with me, not your family.

As it progresses, the isolation expands, limiting or excluding her contact with anyone but the batterer. Eventually, she is left totally alone and without the internal and external resources to change her life.


Some victims isolate themselves from existing resources and support systems because of the shame of bruises or other injuries, his behavior in public, or his treatment of friends or family.

Self-isolation may also develop from fear of public humiliation or from fear of harm to herself or others. The victim may also feel guilty for the abuser's behavior, the condition of the relationship, or a myriad of other reasons, depending on the messages received from the abuser.


VERBAL ABUSE: COERCION, THREATS, BLAMING
Verbal abuse is any abusive language used to denigrate, embarrass or threaten the victim. This may include but is not limited to:
Threatening to hurt or kill the victim or her children, family, pets, property or reputation
Name calling ("ugly," "bitch," "whore," or "stupid")
Telling victim she is unattractive or undesirable
Yelling, screaming, rampaging, terrorizing or refusing to talk (the 'silent treatment')
Threatening to take victim's children from her
USING MALE PRIVILEGE
As long as we as a culture accept the principle and privilege of male dominance, men will continue to be abusive. As long as we as a culture accept and tolerate violence against women, men will continue to be abusive.

According to Barbara Hart in Safety for Women: Monitoring Batterers' Programs:

All men benefit from the violence of batterers. There is no man who has not enjoyed the male privilege resulting from male domination reinforced by the use of physical violence. . . . All women suffer as a consequence of men's violence.

Battering by individual men keeps all women in line. While not every woman has experienced violence, there is no woman in this society who has not feared it, restricting her activities and her freedom to avoid it. Women are always watchful knowing that they may be the arbitrary victims of male violence.

Only the elimination of sexism, the end of cultural supports for violence, and the adoption of a system of beliefs and values embracing equality and mutuality in intimate relationships will end men's violence against women.


Domestic violence is about power and control. A feminist analysis of woman battering rejects theories that attribute the causes of violence to family dysfunction, inadequate communications skills, women's provocation, stress, chemical dependency, lack of spiritual relationship to a deity, economic hardship, class practices, racial/ethnic tolerance, or other factors.

These issues may be associated with battering of women, but they do not cause it. Removing these factors will not end men's violence against women.


Batterers behave abusively to control their partner's behavior, thereby achieving and maintaining power over their partners and getting their own needs and desires met quickly and completely.

There are also many secondary benefits of violence to the batterer. A batterer may choose to be violent because he finds it fun to terrorize his partner, because there is a release of tension in the act of assault, because it demonstrates manhood, or because violence is erotic for him. Violence is a learned behavior and batterers choose to use violence. The victim is not part of the problem.

The victim may accept responsibility for causing the batterer to lose their temper, but the truth is, the abuser must be held accountable for his behavior.


Four widespread cultural conditions allow and encourage men to abuse women. These are:
Objectification of women and the belief that women exist for the "satisfaction of men's personal, sexual, emotional and physical needs" (includes such things as using 'love' as a coercion method; the use of prostitutes; use of guilt; use of marital 'obligation')

An entitlement to male authority with a right and obligation to control, coerce, and/or punish her independence

That the use of physical force is acceptable, appropriate, and effective


Societal support for his dominance, controlling and assaultive behavior. By failing to intervene aggressively against the abuse, the culture condones the violence


ECONOMIC ABUSE
Financial abuse is a way to control the victim through manipulation of economic resources. This may include, but is not limited to:
Controlling the family income and either not allowing the victim access to money or rigidly limiting her access to family funds. This may also include keeping financial secrets or hidden accounts, putting the victim on an allowance or allowing her no say in how money is spent, or making her turn her paycheck over to him

Causing the victim to lose a job or preventing her from taking a job. He can make her lose her job by making her late for work, refusing to provide transportation to work, or by calling/harassing/calling her at work


Spending money for necessities (food, rent, utilities) on nonessential items (drugs, alcohol, stereo equipment, hobbies)


Material from Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh Volunteer Training Manual, AMEND, and the AzCADV safety plain Manual were used to develop this section.

ORIGINAL HERE

(note: women can be just as abusive as men)

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Confusion Technique

ONE TECHNIQUE USED BY ABUSERS & SEDUCERS
Confusion Technique



The birth of Milton H. Erickson’s Confusion Technique:
Milton Erickson’s Collected Papers-Volume I-pg. 259

"One windy day as I was on my way to attend that first formal seminar on hypnosis conducted by Clark Hull in 1923 , a man came rushing around the corner of a building and bumped hard against me as I stood bracing myself against the wind. Before he could recover his poise to speak to me, I glanced elaborately at my watch and courteously, as if he had inquired the time of day, I stated “It’s exactly 10 minutes of two,” although it was actually closer to 4:00pm, and I walked on. About a half a block away I turned and saw him still looking at me, undoubtedly still puzzled and bewildered by my remark."
"I continued on my way to the laboratory and began to puzzle over the total situation and to recall various times I had made similar remarks to my classmates, and acquaintances and the resulting confusion, bewilderment, and feeling of mental eagerness on their part for some comprehensible understanding. Particularly did I recall the occasion on which my physics laboratory mate had told his friends that he intended to do the second (and interesting) part of a coming experiment. I learned of this, and when we collected our experimental material and apparatus and were dividing it up into two separate piles, I told him at the crucial moment quietly but with great intensity, “THAT SPARROW REALLY FLEW TO THE RIGHT, THEN SUDDENLY FLEW LEFT, AND THEN UP, AND I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THAT.” While he stared blankly at me, I took the equipment for the second part of the experiment and set busily to work with the equipment for the first part of the experiment. Not until the experiment was nearly completed did he break the customary silence that characterized our working together. He asked, “How come I’m doing this part? I wanted to do that part.” To this I replied simply, “It just seemed to work out naturally this way.”
Confusion techniques are techniques that disrupt the regular pattern of a person’s conscious processing strategy, thereby enabling the development of hypnotic processes. In the therapeutic context, confusion techniques utilize whatever the client is doing to inhibit hypnosis or other therapeutic developments as the basis for inducing those developments. More precisely put, is that such hypnotic techniques are naturalistic communications which disrupt rigid mentally set patterns.

Confusion techniques are based on the following assumptions:
1. There are many automatic and predictable patterns in a person’s behavioral processes, such as the handshake;

2. Disruption of any of these patterns creates a state of uncertainty dominated by undifferentiated arousal (e.g. confusion);

3. Most people strongly dislike the state of uncertainty, and are hence extremely motivated to avoid them;

4. The arousal will increase unless the person can attribute it to something (“this happened because …”);

5. As uncertainty increases, so does the motivation to reduce it;

6. The person who is highly uncertain will typically accept the first viable way by which the uncertainty can be reduced (e.g. suggestions to drop into hypnosis).

In accord with the utilization of these assumptions, most confusional techniques follow the basic steps listed below:

a) Identify pattern(s) of expression - identify a regular pattern such as a handshake, or a particular idiosyncratic pattern of the individuals, such as fiddling with the hair when nervous.

b) Align with the pattern - this involves pacing the client until the appropriate context arises. The application of rapport and respect is critical in this step to prevent the client from pulling away from the hypnotherapist.

c) Introduce confusion via interrupting or overloading the pattern - interruptions should be short and quick, usually entailing a few interruption patterns, e.g. the handshake induction involves, initial fluctuation of sensations upon the hand, followed by the lifting of the wrist with the opposite hand, a ghostly wondering look in the eyes followed with an imperceptible release of the hand being shook. This, in turn, should provide a bewilderment and uncertainty to be further utilized.

d) Amplify the confusion - once uncertainty is produced in the subject, the hypnotherapist continues to act in a completely congruent and meaningful way, which amplifies the client's confusion.

e) Utilize the confusion - at this point the client is willing to accept any simple suggestion to reduce or eliminate the confusion, at which time the hypnotherapist can simply state "That's right … go deeply into trance … now … John."

Clinical Applications of Confusion Techniques:
An Ericksonian hypnotherapist uses confusion to support the person by creating an opportunity to disengage from the rigid limits of normal ways of being and experience the "Self", in more nurturing ways. Confusion techniques can liberate a person from a false and limiting identity.

The hypnotherapist must develop, maintain, and communicate a belief that the client is an intelligent, capable, and unique individual deserving the utmost respect, and that the intent of hypnotic communication is to support the person.

Confusion should usually be introduced gradually, after rapport has been established with the client, perhaps after the 2nd or 3rd sessions. The hypnotherapist should establish that his intent is to fully respect and protect the client’s needs and values while stimulating his ability and desire to develop the desired changes. The hypnotherapist should also make clear that fulfilling these intentions will require that he communicates in a variety of ways, one of them being confusion.

In some circumstances, confusion techniques should not be used. This particularly applies to those already deeply confused, such as suicidal individuals, and people in grieving. With these people, confusion is already present – the hypnotherapist only needs to utilize it.

The client’s processes should be the basis for selecting or developing confusion techniques. The general utilization principle that "whatever a person is doing is exactly that which will allow trance to develop", can help the hypnotherapist realize what type of confusion technique might work, and how and when it should be applied.

Key elements & workings of Confusion Techniques:
The various forms of confusion techniques developed are based on the assumption that, as humans, we require understanding, and somewhat of a comprehension to what we experience, otherwise we tend to shut down and go inside, in order to possibly make sense of the confusing occurrence.

There are various techniques employed to do this, such as the handshake induction, pantomime, shock, and various forms of verbal techniques.

The handshake induction employs the method of confusion via a pattern interrupt. Any specific pattern, which has been learned and requires a sequence of steps from beginning to end, if interrupted causes a momentary point of confusion. The key to its use is via the operator catching the moment, and offering a simple suggestion such as, “Now, Alice…just drop … deeply into trance”. Given such an understandable, easy point of direction, the confused individual accepts the suggestion and follows it.

When employing the confusion technique verbally, steps are taken via verbal wording to overload the subject’s mental abilities. This can be done using a play on words such as “knows, nose, nos”. Furthermore, irrelevancies and nonsequiturs can also be employed to achieve the desired results.

Considerations when providing suggestions for confusion to set in are that the operator speaks in a casual, but earnest manner conveying an intent, and expectation of understanding. A steady flow of language with only enough pauses for the subject to almost begin a reply, yet constantly interrupted with new trains of thought.

Eventually the play with words becomes confusing, distracting, and inhibiting, which causes the subject to develop a need for some form of communication which can be readily comprehended, and easily responded to.

Thus, “the Confusion Technique is a play on words or communication of some sort that introduces progressively an element of confusion into the question of what is meant, thereby leading to an inhibition of response called for but not allowed to be manifested and hence to an accumulating need to respond”. “The culmination occurs in a final suggestion permitting a ready and easy response satisfying to the subject, and validated by each subject’s own, though perhaps unrecognized on a conscious level, of experiential learnings”.

Milton’s Confusion Technique as printed in “The Collected Papers”,
Volume I pgs. 258, 259"


"It is primarily a verbal technique, although pantomime can be used for confusional purposes as well as for communication. As a verbal technique, the Confusion Technique is based upon plays upon words, an involved example of which can be readily understood by the reader but not by the listener, such as “Write right right, not wright or write.” Spoken to attentive listeners with complete earnestness, a burden of constructing a meaning is placed upon them, and before they can reject it, another statement can be made to hold their attention. This play on words can be illustrated in another fashion by the statement that a man lost his left hand in an accident and thus his right (hand) is his left. Thus two words with opposite meanings are used correctly to describe a single object, in this instance the remaining hand. Then too, use is made of tenses to keep the subject in a state of constant endeavor to sort out the intended meaning. For example one may declare so easily that "the PRESENT and the PAST can be so readily summarized by the simple statement, “That which now IS WILL soon be WAS yesterday’s FUTURE even as it WILL BE tomorrow’s WAS.” Thus are the past, the present, and the future all used in reference to the reality of “today”.
The next item in the Confusion Technique is the employment of irrelevancies and non sequiturs, EACH OF WHICH TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT appears to be a sound and sensible communication (i.e. - schizophasia or "word salad"). Taken IN CONTEXT they are confusing, distracting, and inhibiting and lead progressively to the subjects’ earnest desire for an actual need to receive some communication which, in their increasing state of frustration, they can readily comprehend and to which they can easily make a response. It is in many ways an adaptation of common everyday behavior, particularly seen in the field of humor, a form of humor this author has employed since childhood.

A primary consideration in the use of a Confusion Technique is the consistent maintenance of a general casual but definitely interested attitude and speaking in a gravely earnest, intent manner expressive of a certain, utterly complete expectation of their understanding of what is being said or done together with an extremely careful shifting of tenses employed. Also of great importance is a ready flow of language, rapid for the fast thinker, slower for the slower minded, but always being careful to give a little time for a response but never quite sufficient. Thus the subjects are led almost to begin a response, are frustrated in this by then being presented with the next idea, and the whole process is repeated with a continued development of a state of inhibition, leading to confusion and a growing need to receive a clear-cut, comprehensible communication to which they CAN MAKE a ready and full response."

Values of Confusion Techniques:
The values of the confusion technique are twofold. In experimental work it serves excellently to teach experimenter's a facility in the use of words, a mental agility in shifting their habitual patterns of thought, and allows them to make adequate allowances for the problems involved in keeping the subjects attentive and responsive. Also it allows experimenters to learn to recognize and to understand the minimal cues of behavioral changes within the subject. A final value is that long and frequent use of the confusion technique has many times effected exceedingly rapid hypnotic inductions under unfavorable conditions such as acute pain of terminal malignant disease and in persons interested but hostile, aggressive, and resistant.

The following was used by Milton Erickson on two separate accounts with different patients. Italicized words indicate tonal markings. “The Collected Papers”, Volume I pgs. 285, 286"
"You know and I know and the doctors you know know that there is one answer that you know that you don't want to know and that I know but don't want to know, that your family knows but doesn't want to know, no matter how much you want to say no, you know that the no is really a yes, and you wish it could be a good yes and so do you know that what you and your family know is yes, yet they still wish it were no. And just as you wish there were no pain, you know that there is but what you don't know is no pain is something you can know . And no matter what you knew no pain would be better than what you know and of course what you want to know is no pain and that is what you are going to know, no pain. [All of this is said slowly but with utter intensity and with seemingly total disregard of any interruption of cries of pain or admonitions of "Shut up".] Esther [John, Dick, Harry, or Evangeline, some family member or friend] knows pain and knows no pain and so do you wish to know no pain but comfort and you do know comfort and no pain and as comfort increases you know that you cannot say no to ease and comfort but you can say no pain and know no pain but you can say no pain and know no pain but know comfort and ease and it is so good to know comfort and ease and relaxation and to know it now and later and still longer and longer as more and more relaxation occurs and to know it now and later and still longer and longer as more and more and more relaxation and wonderment and surprise come to your mind as you begin to know a freedom and a comfort you have so greatly desired and as you feel it grow and grow you know, really know, that today, to-night, tomorrow, all next week and all next month, and at Esther's [John's] 16th birthday, and what a time that was, and those wonderful feelings that you had then seem almost as clear as if they were today and the memory of every good thing is a glorious thing "… (IF YOU THINK THAT WAS TOUGH, YOU SHOULD TRY RE-TYPING IT WITH ONE FINGER)
One can improvise indefinitely, but the slow, impressing, utterly intense, and quietly, softly emphatic way in which these plays on words and the unobtrusive introduction of new ideas, old happy memories, feelings of comfort, ease, and relaxation as presented usually results in an arrest of the patient's attention, rigid fixation of the eyes, the development of physical immobility, even catalepsy and of an intense desire to understand what the author so gravely and so earnestly is saying to them that their attention is sooner or later captured completely. Then with equal care the operator demonstrates a complete loss of fear, concern, of worry about negative words by introducing them as if to explain but actually to make further helpful suggestions.
"And now you have forgotten something, just as we all forget many things, good and bad, especially the bad because the good are good to remember and you can remember comfort and ease and relaxation and restful sleep and now you know that you need no pain and it is good to know no pain and good to remember, always to remember, that in many places, here, there, everywhere you have been at ease and comfortable and now that you know this, you know that no pain is needed but that you do need to know all there is to know about ease and comfort and relaxation and numbness and dissociation and the redirection of thought and mental energies and to know and know fully all that will give you freedom to know your family and all that they are doing and to enjoy unimpeded the pleasures of being with them with all the comfort and pleasure that is possible for as long as possible and this is what you are going to do."
"Usually the patients' attention can be captured in about five minutes, but one may have to continue for an hour or even longer. Also, and very important, one uses words that the patients understands. Both of the above patients were college graduates.

When such cases are referred to me, I make a practice of getting preliminary information of personality type, history, interests, education, and attitude, and then in longhand I write out a general outline of the order and frequency with which these special items of fact are worked into the endless flow of words delivered with such earnestness of manner.

Once the patients begin to develop a light trance, I speed the process more rapidly by jumping steps, yet retaining my right to mention pain so that patients know that I do not fear to name it and that I am utterly confident that they will lose it because of my ease and freedom in naming it, usually in a context negating pain in favor of absence of diminution or transformation of pain.

Then one should bear in mind that these patients are highly motivated, that their disinterest, antagonism, belligerence, and disbelief are actually allies in bringing about the eventful results, nor does this author ever hesitate to utilize what is offered. The angry, belligerent man can strike a blow that hurts his head and not notice it, the disbeliever closes his mind to exclude a boring dissertation, but that excludes the pain to, and from this there develops unwittingly in the patients a different state of inner orientation, highly conducive to hypnosis and receptive to any hypnotic suggestion that meets their needs; sensibly one always inserts the hypnotic suggestion that if ever the pain should come back enough to need medication, the relief from one or two tablets of aspirin will be sufficient. "And if any real emergency ever develops, a hypo will work far greater success than ever." Sometimes sterile water will suffice."

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Friday, October 20, 2017

LEAVING THE PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE





from this terrific blog

I’ve been asked what to expect once you’ve decided you’re leaving the passive aggressive spouse or partner. Being passive aggressive, they can actually move in two or three different directions, but they are still pretty predictable once you are prepared for all and can figure in which way he/she is moving.



I should warn you that if this is your choice, you should be well prepared ahead of time. The things that are very important to you you should slowly be packing away somewhere so they are easy to move out fast once you break the news. Remember that most stuff is just that, stuff. It can be replaced. Things that belonged to your grandmother cannot. Be real on what you really want and need.

Squirrel some money away. You don’t have to take thousands from the grocery money every month, but $20 here, $20 there, adds up. No matter what they say about “Money not buying happiness” it makes life a whole lot easier if you have some, even if you’re just moving in with family.

If you’re leaving the passive aggressive, you cannot expect him to be co-operative. He may, if he’s the 1st kind I’m going to talk about below, but don’t expect it. He’s used to punishing you for his parents mistakes, he’s certainly not going to be easier on you now that he figures in his mind that you’ve “wronged” him.


1) The first kind of passive aggressive will just pretty basically walk away. Think about it. He was never really connected to you anyway. The reason you’re probably leaving is because there’s no affection any more, no intimacy, not much of anything. It’s a little bruising to our ego that he doesn’t even try to get us back, but it’s the way they are. Even if his heart is breaking inside, you will probably never know it. He would never admit. He’ll not do anything to fix it. He is the victim. This is also one of the ways he figures he can punish you. He just moves on.

2) The second way they can act once you’ve decided you’re leaving the passive aggressive, is actually rather hostile. You’re the bitch, he could never please you, get your stuff and get out, you can take your stuff, but only your stuff and nothing else. If you remember, almost everything in your marriage that went wrong was “your fault” whether he cheated on you, or constantly belittled you, what ever it was, don’t expect that to change. And don’t expect them to co-operate in any way. Many times they will fight for something during the divorce that they don’t even want, just to keep you from getting it. At least when you get the blame this time, it will have a better ending in sight.

3) Then there’s the passive aggressive that is oh, so sorry. He’ll change. He’ll do what ever you want, just come back home (or let him come home). “I wouldn’t have been that way if you had just…” and it’s still all about what you did wrong. If they agree to change, or see a therapist or what ever it is you’re asking of them, it is usually only a temporary ploy. The same kind of temporary ploy they used to land you in the first place. Once they feel they are back on secure ground, all the changes go out the window.

It is not unusual to be talking about what needs to happen with a passive aggressive, you’re to the point that you’re willing to share a house again, and he will turn the tables on you. All of a sudden, he isn’t sure he wants to come back, or he wants you to concede that most everything is your fault and you will change. Remember, the bottom line of almost any passive aggressive is that everything is always someone else’s fault. They rarely take any responsibility for anything going wrong, in their marriage, in their job, in their lives.

If you have children, you can either expect him to fight for custody, and should he win, within a short time you’ll get the kids most of the time anyway, because generally he doesn’t really want them all the time. He just wants to punish you. Or, he will rarely see them, or be late for every visitation, or call frequently to change plans. Really not much different then when you were married to him and he “forgot” to pick up the kids, etc. The only difference now is you don’t have to live with it 24/7. Don’t think he’s going to be any different once you’ve left him than he always was.

I hope this helps a little. Of course each situation is different because each person is different. These are just the basics. If you have any comments or questions, feel free. The one thing I will say about leaving a passive aggressive is that once you are out for good, I haven’t known a whole lot of the “escapees” that would go back.

(NOTE: Passive Aggressive Personality disorder was rolled INTO Narcissistic Personality Disorder a few years ago.  PA is now a component of NPD)



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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Liar, Liar?


How to tell when you're not exactly
being told the straight story

By Cynthia Hubert

You think you can tell when he's lying. His eyes dart back and forth. He can't keep his hands still. He stutters and stumbles over his words.

Deception is written all over him, right? Not necessarily.

Nailing a fibber is not nearly as easy or instinctive as most people think, say scientists, authors and other keen observers of the art of deception.

"There is no simple checklist," says Gregory Hartley, a former military interrogator who applies the techniques he used on enemy combatants in a new book for civilians, "How To Spot a Liar."

But with a little practice, Hartley insists, you, too, can become a human lie detector.

It is a skill that has challenged us through the ages, says Dallas Denery, a professor of medieval history at Bowdoin College in Maine who is working on a book about the history of lying. "The problem of lies and liars has been with us forever," he says. "In the Judeo-Christian tradition, history really begins with a lie, with Adam and Eve and the serpent."

Fast forward to modern times and a 2002 study suggesting that most people lie in everyday conversation. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts observed people talking for 10 minutes and found that 60 percent of them lied at least once, telling an average of two to three fibs. Some of the lies were benign, but others were extreme, including one person who falsely claimed to be a rock star.

"We didn't expect lying to be such a common part of daily life," one of the researchers, Robert Feldman, observed after the study was published.

Over the years, CIA agents, police detectives, psychologists, lawyers and others have tried a variety of methods to identify liars, from polygraph machines to "voice stress analysis" to analysis of barely perceptible facial movements that can give away hidden feelings. None of the techniques has been foolproof.

And the search for the truth continues. The science of liars and lying remains a hot topic in research circles, and book after book offers the latest theory about how to tell when a spouse is cheating, a witness is lying in court or a car salesman is overstating the value of a vehicle.

Check out just a few of the titles on the subject at www.amazon.com: "Lies and Liars: Pinocchio's Nose and Less Obvious Clues," "Liar! A Critique of Lies and the Act of Lying," "When Your Lover Is a Liar," and "The Concise Book of Lying." It's enough to shatter your trust in humanity.

John Mayoue, an Atlanta divorce lawyer who has represented famous clients - including Jane Fonda in her breakup with Ted Turner - says lying is rampant in his business.

"In the courtroom, there is no end to the lying, particularly if money is at stake," Mayoue says. "The more money, the bigger the lies."
The greatest lie in relationships, he says, is "Honey, I love you but I'm no longer in love with you. That's someone's way of saying they're cheating on you."
The Internet culture has made lying practically a sport, Mayoue observes. "You just have to assume that you're in the midst of a liar's ball when you're online," he says. "It's a fantasy realm. I can't see you. I can't look at signals. I can't test you. There is no verification."
 
In court and in daily life, Mayoue believes, a person's eyes tell the truest story.

"Looking at someone in an unwavering manner and answering the question is very telling," he says. "When I see eyes shift side to side and up and down, it just causes suspicion."

Hartley, the former interrogator, agrees that body language can hint at deception. But not always, he says. "Your eyes drift naturally when you're searching for information," he says. "I've never met anyone who doesn't move their eyes when looking for details."

The key to uncovering a lie, he says, is knowing how the liar behaves normally, when he or she is relaxed, and picking up on changes in voice patterns, eye movement and other body language.

"You've got to ask the right questions, then observe how that person responds," Hartley says.

Signs of stress, which may signal that someone is lying, include flared nostrils and audible breathing, shaky hands and elbows moving closer to the ribs, according to Hartley.
"Stress does horrible things to our brains," he says. "Stress hormones can virtually turn off your brain and make you become reactive."
For the most notorious liars, the tendency to fib may be biological, suggests a study by researchers at the University of Southern California.
Pathological liars, the scientists found, have structural differences in their brains that could affect their abilities to feel remorse and learn moral behavior and might give them an advantage in planning deceitful strategies, the researchers discovered.
Other scientists have suggested that pathological liars owe their behavior to the psychiatric diagnosis known as narcissism, and may truly believe their own falsehoods.

But the average, everyday fibber lies to achieve a goal, says communication expert Laurie Puhn, author of the best-selling book "Instant Persuasion, How To Change Your Words To Change Your Life." Most people lie to avoid hurting someone's feelings, to avoid a commitment or a task, to cover up bad behavior or to elevate themselves professionally or personally, she says.

Puhn advises people who suspect someone is lying to ask unexpected questions, look for contradictions in their statements and ask a follow-up question a couple of days later about the suspected lie.
"If someone says they had to work late to deal with a new client and you are suspicious, ask them about it a week later," she says. "They're likely to answer, 'What new client?' It's hard for liars to keep their lies straight."
Bettyanne Bruin, who parlayed her experiences with a former partner into a book and a support group for people who have been deceived, says the first step toward detecting a liar is overcoming denial.
"People tend to ignore the red flags," says Bruin, author of "Shattered: Six Steps From Betrayal to Recovery." "Their gut tells them what is going on, but they really do want to believe the best about the person they love."

The most critical sign that a partner is lying, she says, is defensiveness.
"Liars are very defensive when you question them," says Bruin. "They will become very resistant and angrier and angrier upon each attempt to probe." Often, she says, they make their partners feel guilty about questioning them. "They'll say, 'You're being unreasonable,' or 'Why are you treating me this way?'"
Types of lies
Joseph Tecce, an associate professor of psychology at Boston College who has studied liars and lying, identifies six types of untruths, some more egregious than others.

He classifies them as:

The 'protective' lie, which can shield the liar from danger.

The 'heroic' lie, created to protect someone else from danger or punishment.

The 'playful' lie, such as an angler's fib about the size of his fish.

The 'ego' lie, designed to shield someone from embarrassment.

The 'gainful' lie, which somehow enriches the fibber.

And the 'malicious' lie, told to deliberately hurt someone else.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Brainwashing Agitates Victims Into Submission



(Abusers use similar methods with their targets & victims!! Read on:)
Was Elizabeth Smart -- the Utah teenager snatched from her bedroom, then remarkably rescued -- brainwashed into staying with her captors?

Her father, Ed Smart, said Thursday he knows "that she's been through brainwashing," though he has not asked his daughter for details about her nine-month ordeal.

The American view of mind control is more sensational than clinical. The public tends to remember how attorney F. Lee Bailey defended heiress Patty Hearst in the 1970s, claiming she was brainwashed into joining her kidnappers in their crime spree.

But where, exactly, did he get the idea?

"Brainwashing" is one of the few Chinese phrases to have made its way directly into English in translation, thanks to the Korean War. Chinese Taoist temples often displayed the two characters "Xi Xin," pronounced "shee shin," meaning "Wash Heart." It was an adjuration to all those entering to purge their hearts of base thoughts [i.e. Chinese Thought Reform] and desires, and rise to a higher spiritual plane.

The Chinese communists adopted this phrase during political "struggle sessions," in which an erring comrade would be urged by the group to straighten out, fly right, get back in tune with the common goal. The very word for "comrade" in Chinese is tongzhi, meaning "share goal."

Only one slight change was made: Instead of washing the heart, one was urged to wash the brain, "Xi Nao," purify one's thoughts.

During the Korean War, captured American soldiers were subjected to prolonged interrogations and harangues by their captors, who often worked in relays and used the "good-cop, bad-cop" approach, alternating a brutal interrogator with a gentle one. It was all part of "Xi Nao," washing the brain. The Chinese and Koreans were making valiant attempts to convert the captives to the communist way of thought. Soldiers sometimes caved in, sometimes did not. For some reason, sociologists later noted, the Turks proved the toughest to persuade, while Americans were a mixed lot. Some were converted, some actually defected and at least one was living in China as late as the 1980s.

British journalist Edward Hunter translated the term brainwashing in his 1953 book, Brain-Washing in Red China, which described communist techniques for controlling the minds of nonbelievers.

The word gained wide currency, given a powerful assist by the 1962 film The Manchurian Candidate, which revolved around the plot device of brainwashing. In the film, with the flip of a queen of diamonds card, a pre-programmed and seemingly normal person could be turned into an assassin. The device was revived in a later film, Telefon, starring Charles Bronson.

In 1968, when Michigan Gov. George Romney claimed that the Johnson administration had "brainwashed" him about Vietnam, Sen. Eugene McCarthy quipped that, in Romney's case, "a light rinse would have done." Romney, who was creating excitement in the Republican presidential nomination contest, quickly faded, clearing the way for Richard Nixon.

But it was the 1970s kidnapping of Hearst, 19-year-old heiress to the publishing fortune, that brought brainwashing into the courtroom. Hearst was held in a closet and tortured for several months by the Symbionese Liberation Army, which she then joined and aided in several armed robberies -- changing her name to Tania. Her attorney, Bailey, said she had been brainwashed. The defense didn't succeed. Hearst was sentenced to seven years in prison.
(Later during the trial of Cameron Hooker (the "Girl in a Box" trial) in California, brainwashing was proved to be a legitimate defense and Hooker was sentenced to life in prison for what he had done to his victim.)

The brainwashing defense has recently been tried again to explain the behavior of men arrested for their association with terrorists and terrorism. A friend of John "American Tailbone" Walker's told People magazine that Al-Qaeda had brainwashed Walker. Slate magazine reported that Abd-Samad Moussaoui, the brother of Zacarias "20th Hijacker" Moussaoui, believes that, in Britain, his brother "became prey to an extremist brainwashing cult."

The real soldiers who survived the Korean War and returned to the United States carried with them the stigma and guilt of having been captured and having survived the war and their interrogations. "Survivor's guilt" is a common trait among prisoners of war.

So brainwashing became a pejorative, and the phrase "you've been brainwashed," a term of reproach, as if the prisoner had become addlebrained, or a simpleton, during his captivity.

Sometimes the brainwashing sessions backfired ludicrously. There is the story of one British soldier who, during an interrogation session, was asked how much land his family owned. The Englishman replied that he had only a window box in a flat back in London where he grew geraniums.

The translator didn't understand what a window box was and asked the dimensions of the plot of ground. When the soldier showed him, with his hands, the interrogator brightened immediately.

"Ah, then you should be on our side! Obviously you are a small land owner and have been exploited terribly!" he said.

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Monday, October 16, 2017

The Differences Between A Sociopath And A Narcissist

by

When we try to analyze the people we cross paths with in society, it is possible to misinterpret our analysis for lack of a better understanding. For those who have crossed paths with a sociopath and a narcissist (on separate occasions), it may seem like there is little to no difference between the two when in fact one can be mistaken for the other. Both are considered to be  social terrorists, however, there are distinguishing characteristics that would imply neither of them are one in the same. Therefore, I would like to explain briefly the differences in character between these two personality disorders…

Narcissist will 

Sociopath will 

Here’s a few more brief distinguishing characteristics:

Both think they are superior to anyone and everyone, both think they deserve special treatment, both process the world differently, and both play to “win”. However, it is possible for both personality traits to be combined into one, which is called a “Narcissistic Sociopath,”  and is more dangerous than the two of them separately.


SOURCE

From what I know: All Sociopaths are also Narcissists.  Not all Narcissists are/or become Sociopaths.
One can be a Narcissistic Sociopath but NEVER a Sociopathic Narcissist.  The spectrum only moves one way. - Barbara

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Diagnosis: EVIL

For the Worst of Them,
the Diagnosis May Be 'Evil'


By BENEDICT CAREY

Predatory killers often do far more than commit murder. Some have lured their victims into homemade chambers for prolonged torture. Others have exotic tastes - for vivisection, sexual humiliation, burning. Many perform their grisly rituals as much for pleasure as for any other reason.

Among themselves, a few forensic scientists have taken to thinking of these people as not merely disturbed but evil. Evil in that their deliberate, habitual savagery defies any psychological explanation or attempt at treatment.

Most psychiatrists assiduously avoid the word evil, contending that its use would precipitate a dangerous slide from clinical to moral judgment that could put people on death row unnecessarily and obscure the understanding of violent criminals.

Still, many career forensic examiners say their work forces them to reflect on the concept of evil, and some acknowledge they can find no other term for certain individuals they have evaluated.

In an effort to standardize what makes a crime particularly heinous, Dr. Michael Welner, an associate professor of psychiatry at New York University, has been developing what he calls a depravity scale, which rates the horror of an act by the sum of its grim details.

And a prominent personality expert at Columbia University has published a 22-level hierarchy of evil behavior, derived from detailed biographies of more than 500 violent criminals.

He is now working on a book urging the profession not to shrink from thinking in terms of evil when appraising certain offenders, even if the E-word cannot be used as part of an official examination or diagnosis.

"We are talking about people who commit breathtaking acts, who do so repeatedly, who know what they're doing, and are doing it in peacetime" under no threat to themselves, said Dr. Michael Stone, the Columbia psychiatrist, who has examined several hundred killers at Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Center in New Hampton, N.Y., and others at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, where he consults and teaches. "We know from experience who these people are, and how they behave," and it is time, he said, to give their behavior "the proper appellation."

Western religious leaders, evolutionary theorists and psychological researchers agree that almost all human beings have the capacity to commit brutal acts, even when they are not directly threatened. In Dr. Stanley Milgram's famous electroshock experiments in the 1960's, participants delivered what they thought were punishing electric jolts to a fellow citizen, merely because they were encouraged to do so by an authority figure as part of a learning experiment.

In the real world, the grim images coming out of Iraq -the beheadings by Iraqi insurgents and the Abu Ghraib tortures, complete with preening guards - suggest how much further people can go when they feel justified.

In Nazi prisoner camps, as during purges in Kosovo and Cambodia, historians found that clerks, teachers, bureaucrats and other normally peaceable citizens committed some of the gruesome violence, apparently swept along in the kind of collective thoughtlessness that the philosopher Hannah Arendt described as the banality of evil.

"Evil is endemic, it's constant, it is a potential in all of us. Just about everyone has committed evil acts," said Dr. Robert I. Simon, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical School and the author of "Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream."

Dr. Simon considers the notion of evil to be of no use to forensic psychiatry, in part because evil is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, shaped by political and cultural as well as religious values. The terrorists on Sept. 11 thought that they were serving God, he argues; those who kill people at abortion clinics also claim to be doing so. If the issue is history's most transcendent savages, on the other hand, most people agree that Hitler and Pol Pot would qualify.

"When you start talking about evil, psychiatrists don't know anything more about it than anyone else," Dr. Simon said. "Our opinions might carry more weight, under the patina or authority of the profession, but the point is, you can call someone evil and so can I. So what? What does it add?"

Dr. Stone argues that one possible benefit of including a consideration of evil may be a more clear-eyed appreciation of who should be removed from society and not allowed back. He is not an advocate of the death penalty, he said. And his interest in evil began long before President Bush began using the word to describe terrorists or hostile regimes.

Dr. Stone's hierarchy of evil is topped by the names of many infamous criminals who were executed or locked up for good: Theodore R. Bundy, the former law school student convicted of killing two young women in Florida and linked to dozens of other killings in the 1970's; John Wayne Gacy of Illinois, the convicted killer who strangled more than 30 boys and buried them under his house; and Ian Brady who, with his girlfriend, Myra Hindley, tortured and killed children in England in a rampage in the 1960's known as the moors murders.

But another killer on the hierarchy is Albert Fentress, a former schoolteacher in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., examined by Dr. Stone, who killed and cannibalized a teenager, in 1979. Mr. Fentress petitioned to be released from a state mental hospital, and in 1999 a jury agreed that he was ready; he later withdrew the petition, when prosecutors announced that a new witness would testify against him.

At a hearing in 2001, Dr. Stone argued against Mr. Fentress's release, and the idea that the killer might be considered ready to make his way back into society still makes the psychiatrist's eyes widen.

Researchers have found that some people who commit violent crimes are much more likely than others to kill or maim again, and one way they measure this potential is with a structured examination called the psychopathy checklist.

As part of an extensive, in-depth interview, a trained examiner rates the offender on a 20-item personality test. The items include glibness and superficial charm, grandiose self-worth, pathological lying, proneness to boredom and emotional vacuity. The subjects earn zero points if the description is not applicable, two points if it is highly applicable, and one if it is somewhat or sometimes true.

The psychologist who devised the checklist, Dr. Robert Hare, a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, said that average total scores varied from below five in the general population to the low 20's in prison populations, to a range of 30 to 40 - highly psychopathic - in predatory killers. In a series of studies, criminologists have found that people who score in the high range are two to four times as likely as other prisoners to commit another crime when released. More than 90 percent of the men and a few women at the top of Dr. Stone's hierarchy qualify as psychopaths.

In recent years, neuroscientists have found evidence that psychopathy scores reflect physical differences in brain function. Last April, Canadian and American researchers reported in a brain-imaging study that psychopaths processed certain abstract words - grace, future, power, for example - differently from nonpsychopaths.

In addition, preliminary findings from new imaging research have revealed apparent oddities in the way psychopaths mentally process certain photographs, like graphic depictions of accident scenes, said Dr. Kent Kiehl, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale, a lead author on both studies.

No one knows how significant these differences are, or whether they are a result of genetic or social factors. Broken homes and childhood trauma are common among brutal killers; so is malignant narcissism, a personality type characterized not only by grandiosity but by fantasies of unlimited power and success, a deep sense of entitlement, and a need for excessive admiration.

"There is a group we call lethal predators, who are psychopathic, sadistic, and sane, and people have said this is approaching a measure of evil, and with good reason," Dr. Hare said. "What I would say is that there are some people for whom evil acts - what we would consider evil acts - are no big deal. And I agree with Michael Stone that the circumstances and context are less important than who they are."

Checklists, scales, and other psychological exams are not blood tests, however, and their use in support of a concept as loaded as evil could backfire, many psychiatrists say. Not all violent predators are psychopaths, for one thing, nor are most psychopaths violent criminals. And to suggest that psychopathy or some other profile is a reliable measure of evil, they say, would be irresponsible and ultimately jeopardize the credibility of the profession.

In the 1980's and 1990's, a psychiatrist in Dallas earned the name Dr. Death by testifying in court, in a wide variety of cases, that he was certain that defendants would commit more crimes in the future - though often, he had not examined them. Many were sentenced to death.

"I agree that some people cannot be rehabilitated, but the risk in using the word evil is that it may mean one thing to one psychiatrist, and something else to another, and then we're in trouble, " said Dr. Saul Faerstein, a forensic psychiatrist in Beverly Hills. "I don't know that we want psychiatrists as gatekeepers, making life-and-death judgments in some cases, based on a concept that is not medical."

Even if it is used judiciously, other experts say, the concept of evil is powerful enough that it could obscure the mental troubles and intellectual quirks that motivate brutal killers, and sometimes allow them to avoid detection. Mr. Bundy, the serial killer, was reportedly very romantic, attentive and affectionate with his own girlfriends, while he referred to his victims as "cargo" and "damaged goods," Dr. Simon noted.

Mr. Gacy, a gracious and successful businessman, reportedly created a clown figure to lift the spirits of ailing children. "He was a very normal, very functional guy in many respects," said Dr. Richard Rappaport, a forensic psychiatrist based in La Costa, Calif., who examined Mr. Gacy before his trial. Dr. Rappaport said he received holiday cards from Mr. Gacy every year before he was executed.

"I think the main reason it's better to avoid the term evil, at least in the courtroom, is that for many it evokes a personalized Satan, the idea that there is supernatural causation for misconduct," said Dr. Park Dietz, a forensic psychiatrist in Newport Beach, Calif., who examined the convicted serial murderer Jeffrey Dahmer, as well as Lyle and Erik Menendez, who were convicted of murdering their parents in Beverly Hills.

"This could only conceal a subtle important truth about many of these people, such as the high rate of personality disorders," Dr. Dietz said. He added: "The fact is that there aren't many in whom I couldn't find some redeeming attributes and some humanity. As far as we can tell, the causes of their behavior are biological, psychological and social, and do not so far demonstrably include the work of Lucifer."

The doctors who argue that evil has a place in forensics are well aware of these risks, but say that in some cases they are worth taking. They say it is possible - necessary, in fact, to understand many predatory killers - to hold inside one's head many disparate dimensions: that the person in question may be narcissistic, perhaps abused by a parent, or even charming, affectionate and intelligent, but also in some sense evil. While the term may not be appropriate for use in a courtroom or a clinical diagnosis, they say, it is an element of human nature that should not be ignored.

Dr. Angela Hegarty, director of psychiatry at Creedmoor who works with Dr. Stone, said she was skeptical of using the concept of evil but realized that in her work she found herself thinking and talking about it all the time. In 11 years as a forensic examiner, in this country and in Europe, she said, she counts four violent criminals who were so vicious, sadistic and selfish that no other word could describe them.

One was a man who gruesomely murdered his own wife and young children and who showed more annoyance than remorse, more self-pity than concern for anyone else affected by the murders. On one occasion when Dr. Hegarty saw him, he was extremely upset - beside himself - because a staff attendant at the facility where he lived was late in arriving with a video, delaying the start of the movie. The man became abusive, she said: he insisted on punctuality.

FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES - original article click here

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