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27 Jun

An EXCELLENT review of a book…It has peaked my interest significantly:) I may have to go get this and add my thoughts/reactions at a later date. Please comment/post or tweet if you have read this or have any suggestions for books I should consider:D

Book of words

With a book dedicated to analyzing psychopaths, a group that often brings to mind stereotypical terms such as ‘deranged,’ ‘emotionless’ and ‘dangerous,’ it is hard not to be attracted to it.

I was half expecting to read about the infamous Jack the Ripper or some other brutal serial killers, only to have author Jon Ronson dig deep into the mind boggling business for psychopaths.

“I remembered those psychologists who said psychopaths made the world go around. They meant it: society was, they claimed, an expression of that particular sort of madness.”

Starting off with the most widely used diagnostic test for psychopathy, the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, which the book’s title is based on, Ronson laid the foundation with an ‘official’ definition.

“Psychopaths are predators who use charm, manipulation, intimidation, sex and violence to control others and to satisfy their own selfish needs,” Bob Hare, creator of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist…

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Change as a Process – Role of Client Resistance

12 Jun

One thing I like to say is that change is hard!  If change was easy, there would be no need for therapists, counselors, social workers, etc.  Furthermore, change is a process that is difficult and can be a lot of work and/or painful (Polcin, 2003).  It is therapeutic change, and a break down of client resistant behaviors that therapists strive to engage.  Moreover, resistance has multiple purposes and causes depending on the nature of therapeutic involvement (voluntary or non-voluntary) or extent of content to be disclosed (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2009).  Some examples of resistant client behaviors can include:   (1) too much talking, (2) lack of talking, (3) late/early arrivals, (4) lack of preparation or too much preparation, and (5) too much or lack of emotional control (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2009). (See below for References)

Lynn Shallcross wrote an excellent article on client resistance and the role of client resistance/managing that resistance as a counselor.  Click the text to go to the full article!

“You can’t change anyone else; you can only change yourself. Many counselors have used this common bit of wisdom to help clients overcome problems, but it’s crucial that counselors internalize that idea themselves, says Clifton Mitchell, a professor and coordinator of the community agency concentration in the counseling program at East Tennessee State University.”

References:

Polcin, D. L. (2003). Rethinking Confrontation in Alcohol and Drug Treatment: Consideration of the Clinical Context. Substance Use & Misuse, 38(2), 165.

Somers-Flanagan, J and Somers-Flanagan, R. (2009). Clinical Interviewing. 4th. Ed. Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.

Reflecting on the Present Moment

7 Jun

Reflecting on the Present, Importance of Grounding

This image and quote from the Dalai Lama holds a lot of meaning. In stressing over the future or worrying excessively, many develop anxiety responses. In focusing on the past, trauma and pain from the past can prevent enjoyment of present. In being consumed with pleasing others or being “perfect,” the individual can neglect self.

Bully the Movie…(Better Late Than Never)

8 May

For anyone that doesn’t know, I’m a big advocate for awareness concerning the lasting effects of bullying.  Bullying is more than children being “just kids”…rather it can be a sanctioned form of harassment enabled by the actions or in-actions of adults/culture/etc.  The documentary Bully, which aired last month, really embodies the true depth of Bullying and it’s effects.  Bellow is the Official Trailer for the Movie.  I highly recommend that if you haven’t seen it, you go see it.  It is impossible to change something that is not acknowledged.  For an earlier blog post I did on Bullying go HERE.

Therapist-In-A-Box

29 Sep

Now you too can start a “Psychiatric ‘Lemonade’ Stand” Like Lucy in Peanuts.  Impress your friends and family, treat that obnoxious anxiety triggered by late night graduate school papers…

CLICK ME TO LEARN MORE

(Note: This product is meant for amusement only…not to be taken seriously.  Avoid counter-transference, multiple roles, and use at your own risk.)

Bullying: Mental/Physical Abuse and Harassment …

29 Sep

Bullying, in many ways, is the last “acceptable” form of mental/physical abuse.  Parents, eager to support a child as an adult against workplace harassment and discrimination, view that same harassment and discrimination IN the school system as “kids just being kids.”  Then, once those same children grow up, we as a society are shocked that these “now adults” expect to get away with harassment or assault for minor slights – club/college brawls, road rage, etc.  Moreover, victims of bullying have little recourse.  Reporting abuse/harassment to school administration may result in the perpetrators receiving “detention” or suspension (and possibly eventual expulsion); however, the initial perception of detention as a “slap-on-the-wrist” often causes the bully to retaliate later against the victim.  The victim, having not been protected by the system, resolves self to not report future incidents out of fear of escalation.

There needs to be extensive research into appropriate consequences/deterrents to Bullying behavior.  Some consequences such as involving authorities early on, may be seen as extreme by parents seeking to protect the bully; however, I personally feel that addressing the seriousness of such actions early may have 2 distinct benefits: (1) prevention of escalated retaliation/protection of the victim, and (2) emphasis on the seriousness of harassing/abusive behaviors in the public setting – behaviors that as an adult will not be ignored as “kids-being-kids” and could result in jail time.

The following are a series of resources for victims of Bullying:

  1. National Bullying Prevention Center
  2. Stop Bullying. Gov
  3. Resources to Help Stop Bullying by Ellen Degeneres – including The Trevor Project, Pacer Center, and GLSEN (among others)
  4. Free Anti-Bullying Lesson Resources – Power Points, Lesson Plans, etc.

The National Association of School Psychologists has the following to say about Bullying:

Bullying is a widespread problem in our schools and communities. The behavior encompasses physical aggression, threats, teasing, and harassment. Although it can lead to violence, bullying typically is not categorized with more serious forms of school violence involving weapons, vandalism, or physical harm.  It is, however, an unacceptable anti-social behavior that is learned through influences in the environment, e.g., home, school, peer groups, even the media.  As such, it also can be unlearned or, better yet, prevented. (Cohn & Canter, 2003)

(Click the Quote for the complete article by: Andrea Cohn, and Andrea Canter, PhD, NCSP)