RWA breakout session 6: Confessions of a psychopath

Ken Milling  (Psychoanalyst, Jungian):  Confessions of a psychopath – what writers get wrong

Books, tv and film are filled with stereotypes and common misportrayals of bad guys, broken families and other dysfunctional characters.
– how writers can look beyond the same-old-same-old of dameage and disorders for the really gritty and interesting aspects of what turns a perfectly functional personality dysfunctional?

From a clinical perspective, highly unlikely for a therapist to meet a psychopath, as they would not go into therapy (particularly white collar).
– violent psychopath is actually easy to stop to a degree
– white collar psychopath is much harder to detect and therefore to do something about
– higher rate of males than females, but research is thin on the ground

How do martial arts practitioners who are non-violent in every other part of their lives(work, family, friends etc)  turn on their ability to fight in an instant and be incredibly violent?
– almost able to switch into an ‘animal state’ in an instant
– however they are able to empathise, and a psychopath is not able to empathise – key difference

The brilliant mind toying with the authorities:
– manipulations and lies as a primary tool for the psychopath
– polygraph tests and the psychopath
– can be masters of lies and deception
– can be very difficult to catch a psychopath out and contrary to popular belief there are many white collar psychopath

Predator / Prey relationship
– what can a person do to change themselves from prey to predator with an anti-social personality?
– why is one person taken in and another isn’t?  It is not to do with intelligence, rather to do with intuition (facial expressions, body language, experience)

No country for old men clip – predator / prey dynamic (Javier Bardem at Gas station)
– what triggered the coin toss? – asked a personal question (come from Texas, Dallas plates on the car) – tapped into the paranoia.  Menacing
– what could the shop keeper have done differently (if anything) – probably nothing.  He kept attempting to engage but was being cut off (no mirroring)
– what would have happened if he had lost? – would have died.  probably then though implied at night

Blame the parents
– mirroring and the primary caretaker/s
lack of empathy
eg Richard Kuklinski – abusive father and ‘cold mother’

born or made?
– may be a predisposition, but if they had nice parents they might not take that path in life

The PTSD Soldier
Lt Col Dave Grossman – on killing
– only 15 – 20% of soliders interviewed by Brigadier General Marshall during WWII would use their wearpons
– why did 80 – 85% of soldiers ‘refuse’ to kill?
– many soldiers would die rather than override their innate drive to not kill
– two sub groups: – psychopaths and non-psychopathic killers
– those who were non-psychopathic killers were able to return home and live normal lives, and feel empathy for their victims

The puppy kicker
– cruelty to animals

The trigger
A graudual development
– differentiating between psychological development and ‘triggers’
– the psychopath can experience daily triggers that stimulate their rage

The insane warlord and his henchman
Hitler vs Stalin
Hitler – paranoid, probably had a lot of mental issues, had a lot of psychopath henchmen
Stalin – a match for Hitler, absolutely paranoid

Bond – charming and manipulative.  good image for the corporate psychopath
Darth Vader – tyrannical, jungian shadow

spychopath and sociopath – what is the difference
Positives out of a negative:
obession – get things done
ruthlessness – brave soldier
disassociation – firemen
viciousness – detective interviewing a psychopath
omnipotence – Winston churchill
insatiability – CEO in a successful company

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