Does Psychological Therapy Work? Chapter 16

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Chapter 16 is about different kinds of therapies that can help people with psychological problems. One of these types of therapies is called person-centered therapy, developed by Carl Rogers. It involves the patient and a therapist who doesn't tell clients how to solve their problems. Instead the therapist provides empathetic understanding to the patient, and nonjudgmental acceptance of all the patient's feelings.
The reason this particular therapeutic method caught my eye is because while I was reading about it I thought of an example of how this type of therapy has worked. Last night I was listening to a podcast called Radiolab (listen), and the topic was about the evil side of human nature. Towards the end of the podcast they were talking about Garry Ridgway, also known as The Green River Killer, who is one of history's most prolific serial killers. Tom Jensen interviewed Ridgway after he was caught and got the killer, who before denied many of his crimes, to confess them in detail. While not explicitly stated, the tactic Jenson used to get Ridgway to fess up sounds a lot like person-centered therapy. He remained calm, nonjudgmental, and even empathetic to the killer, saying, "It's okay if you did. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Thousands of people have done it before you. You're not the first one."(Interview by Tom Jensen. NPR. Web.) Though this therapy did allow the interviewers to get vital information for Ridgway's trial, it did not allow them to answer their most burning question: Why did he do it?
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Ooh I so love Radio Lab when it latches on to a cool topic like serial killers!

The reason he did it Annamarie is that he enjoyed it! He's a psychopath. He takes only the arousal and thrill of capturing and killing young women and suffers none of the guilt.

And because he was able to get away with it for so long he was likely highly intelligent and arrogant. The game he played with police and investigators probably added to the thrill.

I read a great book about people like this that you would probably enjoy called "The Psychopath Test"

You might be surprised to learn that psychopaths may be running some of our most successful companies!

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This page contains a single entry by alle0518 published on January 24, 2012 4:26 PM.

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