Influence of the Mind

ABUSE STRATEGY, According to Marie-France Hirigoyen psychiatrist the intent of many emotional abusers is to systematically “destabilize” and confuse their victims (with irrational, threatening behavior that preys on the victim’s fears and self-doubts), to isolate and control them and ultimately to destroy their identity, and often emotional abuse builds over a long period of time until it becomes so unbearable that victims lash out in frustration and anger aka hitting back, only to appear unstable and aggressive themselves, which could be linked to or the cause of rage shooting and rampages.

Often, emotional abuse builds over a long period of time until it becomes so unbearable that victims lash out in frustration and anger, only to appear unstable and aggressive themselves. — This, according to Hirigoyen, is the intent of many abusers: to systematically “destabilize” and confuse their victims (with irrational, threatening behavior that preys on the victim’s fears and self-doubts), to isolate and control them and ultimately to destroy their identity. — psychiatrist Marie-France Hirigoyen, author of Le harcèlement moral

Pushing people to violence consist of abuse or inflicting a damage such as financial loss, homelessness, smear campaign and criminal record, serious illness and cancer, fear linked to honor and used for repetitive humiliation, and then using provocation to push people to anger, rage, and violence so that they appear aggressive and deranged, or dangerous. Any resulting violence is used to 1) repress the targeted citizen and any rage shooting is used to 2) advocating gun control, a defenseless population, which makes citizen more vulnerable to abuse, hidden abuse, tyranny and censorship, and subjugation through organized crime.

“The criminal harassment also involves abuse, degradation, repetitive humiliation, and inflicting damages to provoke victims and tries to manipulate them to “hit back”, retaliation, violence, and gun violence.” Continue reading “Influence of the Mind”

Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Parental Alienation PA, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Social services

Double Chain

The therapist models many of the skills and validates the valid thoughts, wants, and emotional responses of each family member along the way or coaches family members to do this, thus demonstrating or facilitating skillful responses and alternatives for the clients and cheerleading their new steps (Fruzzetti & Ruork, 2018).


Much like the process of individual chain analysis (e.g., Rizvi & Ritschel, 2014), a double chain analysis is an opportunity for both assessment and intervention. The goal is to understand the antecedents and consequences of a problematic behavior in order to facilitate the generation of possible solutions. Typically, in individual chain analysis the therapist and client will discuss the client’s behavioral chain (vulnerabilities, thoughts/judgments, emotions, sensations, actions) and then identify and practice possible solutions to “break the chain.” All events are understood primarily from the perspective of the client. In a double chain analysis, each individual’s chain is described, including points in which their chains intersect and affect each other. These “public” links are shaded in Fig. 1, and only one occurs at any given moment, highlighting actions or verbal behaviors that are relevant to both people. In contrast, the “open” links are drawn for each person simultaneously. A double chain thus can illuminate a great deal about the transaction between one individual’s overt behavior and the other’s dysregulated emotion (and vice-versa), allowing for the selection of specific targets to treat, ultimately replacing problematic reactions and other behaviors with new emotional or relationship skills, as well as mutual understanding.

To begin a double chain analysis, the therapist (with input from the individual client and the family) selects a specific instance (specific day, time, and place) of a problem or conflict. Each family member then goes though the links on the chain, including vulnerabilities, thoughts, urges, emotions, and actions (verbal or other). As shown in Fig. 1, the shaded links represent the public events and the nonshaded links represent private experiences (thoughts, emotions, desires, etc.), that can only be understood once described in an accurate way. Each individual has the opportunity to disclose his or her experiences and validate the other’s experiences. With this greater knowledge of the chain of events, each person can discuss and practice skillful alternatives to “break the chain” and end the interaction in a completely different manner.

In the session, one or more people may be dysregulated, and conducting a double chain analysis (or any meaningful exchange) may be difficult. DBT couple and family therapists may need to utilize various session-management strategies in order to run the session effectively. These include blocking dysfunction early, inviting accurate expression, providing at least minimal validation to soothe negative emotional arousal, making sure not to show up parents or partners (instead, try to make them look good and build competence), real-time skill coaching in the session, and the therapist may even employ a “revolving door” in which more regulated and collaborative family members spend short periods of time in the waiting area while the therapist tries to understand, block, and teach or coach relevant skills to the more dysregulated family member to allow for meaningful discourse in the session together (see Fruzzetti & Payne, 2015, for more details about these strategies).

Continue reading “Double Chain”

Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Child Maltreatment, Child Protection, Parental Alienation PA, PERSONALITY DISORDERS


Family intervention in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a core part of multiple required functions of DBT, providing opportunities for skill training (including relationship-specific skills that are not covered in individual DBT), skill generalization, and direct intervention into the social and family environment. In order to intervene with parents, partners and other family members efficiently and effectively, therapists must first conduct a careful assessment. The core relationship transaction of emotion vulnerability/dysregulation and inaccurate expression leading to invalidating responses (and vice versa) is highlighted, as are the treatment targets in DBT with families, which inform assessment targets. Then, two core assessment procedures are explored, with clinical examples: (a) conducting “double chain” analyses, demonstrating how one person’s social or relationship responses affect the other’s emotional arousal (and vice versa); and (b) direct behavior observation of family interactions, which allow treatment targets to be identified efficiently. These two assessment strategies may also be combined. Implications for family interventions are discussed.

Despite our current zeitgeist of “brain” disorders and “individual psychopathology,” research tells us clearly that individual psychological problems and disorders are multiply-determined, and primarily occur in a relational context, affected in no small way by those relationships (Brown & Harris, 1978Fruzzetti, 1996). People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and related problems often struggle in relationships that significantly affect their lives and can either promote or interfere with treatment progress. And, of course, people with BPD and/or severe problems managing their emotion have a big influence on their own relationships and on others.

Consistent with this view, most modern models of developmental psychopathology are transactional, highlighting the bidirectional (or reciprocal) relation between parent behaviors and children’s behavior problems. Similarly, partner involvement, or couple interactions, have been shown to be relevant in the development or exacerbation of many forms of psychopathology (Fruzzetti, 1996Fruzzetti & Worrall, 2010), and partner involvement and/or couple interventions can aid in the prevention, treatment, or prevention of relapse in a variety of problems (cf. Baucom, Whisman, & Paprocki, 2012). Of course, different models consider different transactional factors, but the focus on mutual influence of factors over time is consistent across models (e.g., Leve & Cicchetti, 2016Serbin, Kingdon, Ruttle, & Stack, 2015). Indeed, a specific bio-social or transactional model is utilized in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to understand the development of borderline personality and related disorders of emotion dysregulation. This framework maintains that BPD specifically and emotion dysregulation in general are the product of (and are maintained by) an emotionally vulnerable individual transacting with, and within, an invalidating social environment (Crowell, Beauchaine, & Linehan, 2009Fruzzetti, Shenk, & Hoffman, 2005Fruzzetti & Worrall, 2010Grove & Crowell, 2017). Of course, in the present model the specific parent behaviors (and other caregivers, and later peer and partner behaviors) are invalidating responses, and the child’s (and later adolescent’s and adult’s) behaviors are inaccurate expression, vulnerability to becoming emotionally dysregulated, and pervasive emotion dysregulation.

DBT affords multiple pathways to help patients not only improve their relationship skills and employ those skills unilaterally (Linehan, 2015Rathus & Miller, 2014), but also to intervene directly in their close relationships to help improve them via parent, partner, and family skill training (Fruzzetti, 2006Fruzzetti, in pressHoffman, Fruzzetti, & Swenson, 1999) or DBT family therapy (Fruzzetti, 2018Fruzzetti & Payne, 2015Fruzzetti, Payne, and Hoffman, in press). Thus, there may be a variety of reasons why a DBT therapist may want to assess directly (and likely intervene with) the client’s family and client-family member transactions. Continue reading “DBT”

Posted in Alienation, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Psychopath, PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS, Sociopath

Non-Verbal Clues

Those who have engaged with psychopaths or narcissists often retroactively report having had an initial feeling that something was off, but they did not heed it. Some actually said that they felt queasy or sensed a coldness in the individual, but brushed it aside because they wanted to like the person or were flattered by his attention.

Neither a perfectly-crafted mask nor the world’s most charming repartee can fully camouflage a lack of emotional empathy, which is the defining hallmark of both psychopathy and narcissism. A person cannot wholly fake that which they do not experience, even if they say and do “all the right things.” So while your conscious mind focuses on an individual’s statements and conversational style, your subconscious registers possible discrepancies between that person’s outward comportment and his hidden feelings. Stay attuned to both avenues of information if you suspect you are in the presence of a person who wants to manipulate you, or who is nothing like the entity they are conjuring in conversation. Continue reading “Non-Verbal Clues”

Posted in Alienation, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dark Triad, Parental Alienation PA, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Psychopath, PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS, Sociopath

Asks no personal questions or asks very pointed questions.


You may walk out of a social encounter or a date and realize you have not been asked one single question about yourself, despite having learned a ton about the individual (see above). Pay attention to the degree of informational asymmetry: Does he disclose an enormous amount without asking or expecting you to reciprocate?

What’s going on: If nothing is asked of you and no interest expressed, then script delivery is the entire point of the encounter. If he asks a ton of questions but moves quickly from one to another, rather than allowing the conversation to organically unfold, he may be mining you for data, including information that can be used to gain a sense of your vulnerabilities. When chatting with a new target, psychopaths frequently strive to elicit information about stressors or life problems, so that they can ingratiate themselves with offers of assistance. This is an effort to gain your trust, of course. Continue reading “Asks no personal questions or asks very pointed questions.”

Posted in Borderline Personality Disorder, Dark Triad, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Psychopath, PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS, Sociopath

Repeats “confidential” information that he’s already shared with you.

The stories about the wife who took his fortune or the top-secret government contract may be repeated verbatim or near verbatim from one encounter to the next. Sure, we all have our pet narratives and canned stories that engender eye rolls amongst those who have heard them multiple times. So pay close attention to the nature of the information that is repeated.

What’s going on: If self-serving or self-aggrandizing information is repeatedly recycled, the individual is likely using a script, one that he’s forgotten that he’s already deployed with you. Psychopaths in particular are glib, and mendacity is their lingua franca. Sometimes they lie for no reason other than their own amusement. But they also lie to further specific agendas, and that is when they are most likely to go on auto-pilot in the delivery of false, scripted stories. Because people are interchangeable in the eyes of a psychopath or a narcissist—one-dimensional beings in whom they have no genuine interest—it can be hard for them to remember what they’ve said, and to whom. Continue reading “Repeats “confidential” information that he’s already shared with you.”

Posted in Alienation, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dark Triad, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Psychopath, PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS, Sociopath

5 Things Psychopaths and Narcissists Will Do in Conversation

Individuals with psychopathic or narcissistic traits* frequently use false personas to interact with others, sometimes tailoring their masks so that they appear to share the interests of their targets. From small talk to bombastic speeches, any spotlight presents the opportunity to craft a mask, and to test, dominate, or even malign unwitting interlocutors.

Fortunately, there are conversational clues to such extreme duplicity: a person’s focus on you is too intense; his self-disclosure too early, too pat. The tactics below may read as at odds with one another (i.e. asking no questions or asking too many probing questions). But in context there is always a method to a psychopath’s conversational aberrance.

1) Confides in you immediately.

He was betrayed by a wife who took everything, but has succeeded in rebuilding his fortune. He’s on retainer with the NSA: Can’t get into it today, but you’ll be reading about it in the news this year. Yes, he is married, but only because his wife is highly unstable; she would fall apart if he leaves right now. Whatever the disclosure, it comes before he even knows whether or not you are trustworthy. And it involves a way in which he is vulnerable or powerful; wholly transparent or movie-star mysterious. Continue reading “5 Things Psychopaths and Narcissists Will Do in Conversation”


Psychopathic Traits Are Associated With Reduced Fixations to the Eye Region of Fearful Faces

Impairments in processing fearful faces have been documented in both children and adults with psychopathic traits, suggesting a potential mechanism by which psychopathic individuals develop callous and manipulative interpersonal and affective traits. Recently, research has demonstrated that psychopathic traits are associated with reduced fixations to the eye regions of faces in samples of children and community-dwelling adults, however this relationship has not yet been established in an offender sample with high levels of psychopathy. In the current study, we employed eye-tracking with paradigms involving the identification and passive viewing of facial expressions of emotion, respectively, in a sample of adult male criminal offenders (n = 108) to elucidate the relationship between visual processing of fearful facial expressions and interpersonal and affective psychopathic traits. We found that the interpersonal-affective traits of psychopathy were significantly related to fewer fixations to the eyes of fear faces during the emotion recognition task. This association was driven particularly by the interpersonal psychopathic traits (e.g., egocentricity, deceitfulness), whereas fear recognition accuracy was inversely related to the affective psychopathic traits (e.g., callousness, lack of empathy). These findings highlight potential mechanisms for the subset of the interpersonal-affective traits exhibited by psychopathic individuals. (PsycINFO Database Record) Continue reading “Psychopathic Traits Are Associated With Reduced Fixations to the Eye Region of Fearful Faces”


You might be able to spot a psychopath by their eyes

Lead author, Dr. Dan Burley, from Cardiff University’s School of Psychology, said: “Our findings provide physical evidence of an emotional deficit common to psychopathic offenders.

“The pupil has long been known to be an indicator of a person’s arousal. Card sharks have learnt to look carefully at the eyes of their opponents to gauge if they have a great hand, and many an astute salesperson knows to up their price if your eyes reveal your excitement at their product. Likewise, the pupil usually dilates when an image shocks or scares us. The fact that this normal physiological response to threat is reduced in psychopathic offenders provides us with an obvious physical marker for this condition.”

Professor Nicola Gray, a clinical and  from Swansea University, who provided clinical supervision for the project, added: “This is one of the first times we have objective, physiological, evidence of an emotional deficit underpinning the offending behaviour of psychopathic offenders that does not depend on invasive methods or expensive equipment. We hope to be able to develop this methodology to assist with clinical assessment and intervention in offender populations.”

Interestingly, the psychopathic offenders’ eyes showed a normal response to positive images, such as puppies or happy couples, showing that psychopathy is not associated with an overall difficulty in responding to emotion, but rather a specific insensitivity to threatening information.

Professor Robert Snowden from Cardiff University, who supervised the research, concluded: “many psychopathic offenders appear to be bold, confident, and can act in cold-blooded manner. It’s much easier to act bold if you have no feelings of fear, and to be cold-blooded if there is no emotion to get in the way of the act.” Continue reading “You might be able to spot a psychopath by their eyes”


How to spot a psychopath? It’s all in their EYES

  • A psychopath’s pupils do not dilate when they look at distressing or sad scenes 
  • This is the exact opposite behaviour as is expected for a non-psychopath 
  • Most people experience some empathy and their pupils dilate as a response 
  • Researchers say this shows psychopathy is not associated with an overall difficulty in responding to emotion, but insensitivity to threatening information

Experts discovered that the eyes of people that suffer from the personality disorder have a unique reaction to horrific scenes – their pupils do not widen. Pupils of non-psychopaths dilate when they see upsetting or distressing images as part of a natural response.

While the eyes of a psychopath behaved abnormally when looking at distressing scenes, the researchers were amazed when they saw their eyes behaved normally when looking at positive pictures.Lead author, Dr Dan Burley, from Cardiff University’s School of Psychology, said: ‘Our findings provide physical evidence of an emotional deficit common to psychopathic offenders. Continue reading “How to spot a psychopath? It’s all in their EYES”