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Author Topic: Psychopath attorneys  (Read 27297 times)

Figaro

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Re: Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
« Reply #100 on: January 09, 2012, 08:16:12 PM »

[...] People have no rights and he, the psychopath, has no obligations that derive from the "social contract." The psychopath holds himself to be above conventional morality and the law. The psychopath cannot delay gratification. He wants everything and wants it now. His whims, urges, catering to his needs, and the satisfaction of his drives take precedence over the needs, preferences, and emotions of even his nearest and dearest.

Consequently, psychopaths feel no remorse when they hurt or defraud others. They don't possess even the most rudimentary conscience. They rationalize their (often criminal) behavior and intellectualize it. Psychopaths fall prey to their own primitive defense mechanisms (such as narcissism, splitting, and projection). [...] The psychopath projects his own vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and shortcomings unto others and force them to behave the way he expects them to (this defense mechanism is known as "projective identification") [...]


As to the mechanism you mention - I have read about a similar concept in social psychology - that of self-fulfilling prophecy, a process in which we find confirmation and proof for our stereotypes by creating stereotypical behavior in out-group members through our treatment of them. Word, Zanna & Cooper in 1974 conducted a set of experiments that shows such. In the first study, they asked white students to interview job applicants who were either white or black. The students tended to display discomfort when interviewing the blacks; for instance, they sat further away, stammered, and ended the interview earlier. In a second study, the researchers varied the behavior of the student interviewers so that the latter acted towards a job applicant either the way that the interviewers had acted towards whites or the way they had acted towards blacks in the first study. They found that those applicants who had been interviewed in the way that blacks had been interviewed were judged to be more nervous and less effective than the others.


Great post, Violet Bear!

L Liberti

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Re: Psychopath attorneys
« Reply #101 on: January 11, 2012, 01:23:43 AM »

[...] Like the kills of most successful snipers and fighter pilots, the vast majority of the killing done by these men were what some would call simple ambushes, and back shootings. No provocation, anger, or emotion empowered these killings.

[...]


But of course - these are the kinds of nihilistic killers - there is a movie "Mr. Brooks" which depicts a guy who killed people for the hell of it..


Examining his modus operandi, from the fastidious preparation and cleaning up of the crime scene before departing, it looks like Brooks was obsessed with not getting caught (he responds to Smith's inquiry as to whether the person they would agree on killing could be someone who he knew, by saying, that you never kill someone you know, that's the surest way to get caught) - and yet, as Smith lies dying, Brooks reveals that he used many different MOs before becoming the meticulous Thumbprint Killer.


Serial offenders modify and perfect their MO as they become more adept at what they do. The improvement or slight adjustment to an offender's MO is something for investigators to bear in mind in analyzing a criminal pattern over time and formulating a behavioral profile. This is especially true in the first stages of profiling when the investigator begins his or her profile from the paradigm of the Organized/Disorganized continuum.
Senator Geary: Was there always a buffer involved?
Willi Cici: A what?
Senator Geary: A buffer. Someone in between you and your possible superiors who passed on to you the actual order to kill someone.
Willi Cici: Oh yeah, a buffer. The family had a lot of buffers!

2 young 2 be in debt

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Re: Psychopath attorneys
« Reply #102 on: January 15, 2012, 03:07:24 AM »

[...] People have no rights and he, the psychopath, has no obligations that derive from the "social contract." The psychopath holds himself to be above conventional morality and the law. The psychopath cannot delay gratification. He wants everything and wants it now. His whims, urges, catering to his needs, and the satisfaction of his drives take precedence over the needs, preferences, and emotions of even his nearest and dearest.

Consequently, psychopaths feel no remorse when they hurt or defraud others. They don't possess even the most rudimentary conscience. They rationalize their (often criminal) behavior and intellectualize it. Psychopaths fall prey to their own primitive defense mechanisms (such as narcissism, splitting, and projection). [...] The psychopath projects his own vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and shortcomings unto others and force them to behave the way he expects them to (this defense mechanism is known as "projective identification") [...]


As to the mechanism you mention - I have read about a similar concept in social psychology - that of self-fulfilling prophecy, a process in which we find confirmation and proof for our stereotypes by creating stereotypical behavior in out-group members through our treatment of them. Word, Zanna & Cooper in 1974 conducted a set of experiments that shows such. In the first study, they asked white students to interview job applicants who were either white or black. The students tended to display discomfort when interviewing the blacks; for instance, they sat further away, stammered, and ended the interview earlier. In a second study, the researchers varied the behavior of the student interviewers so that the latter acted towards a job applicant either the way that the interviewers had acted towards whites or the way they had acted towards blacks in the first study. They found that those applicants who had been interviewed in the way that blacks had been interviewed were judged to be more nervous and less effective than the others.


Great post, Violet Bear!


My dear Figaro - I'm sorry but Violet Bear's post can not be that "great," for the fact that it refers to an experimental study of dubious value - I was reading the other day Leon Festinger's experimental study on cognitive dissonance and I could not help but be skeptical of his method and assumptions. Here it is for y'all to draw your own conclusions, in case mines appear not persuasive enough to ya :)

In Festinger's classic 1959 experiment, students were asked to spend an hour on boring and tedious tasks (e.g., turning pegs a quarter turn over and over again). The tasks were designed to generate a strong, negative attitude. Once the subjects had done this, the experimenters asked some of them to do a simple favor. They were asked to talk to another subject (actually an actor/confederate) trying to persuade them that the tasks were interesting and engaging. Some participants were paid $20 (inflation adjusted to 2010, equating to $150) for this favor, while another group was paid $1 ($7.50 in 2010 dollars) - the control group was not asked to perform the favor at all.

After someone has performed dissonant behavior, they may find external consonant elements. Par exemple, a snake oil salesman may find a justification for promoting falsehoods (let's say, a large personal gain) - but may otherwise need to change his views about the falsehoods themselves.



When asked to rate the boring tasks at the conclusion of the study (not in the presence of the other "subject"), those in the $1 group rated them more positively than those in the $20 and control groups.

This was explained by Festinger as evidence for Cognitive Dissonance. The researchers theorized that people experienced dissonance between the conflicting cognitions, "I told someone that the task was interesting", and "I actually found it boring." When paid only $1, students were forced to internalize the attitude they were induced to express, because they had no other justification. Those in the $20 condition, however, had an obvious external justification for their behavior, experienced less dissonance, thus did not force themselves to internalize.
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Will you walk me 2 my car

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Re: Psychopath attorneys
« Reply #103 on: January 20, 2012, 11:30:12 PM »

My dear Figaro - I'm sorry but Violet Bear's post can not be that "great," for the fact that it refers to an experimental study of dubious value - I was reading the other day Leon Festinger's experimental study on cognitive dissonance and I could not help but be skeptical of his method and assumptions. Here it is for y'all to draw your own conclusions, in case mines appear not persuasive enough to ya :)

In Festinger's classic 1959 experiment, students were asked to spend an hour on boring and tedious tasks (e.g., turning pegs a quarter turn over and over again). The tasks were designed to generate a strong, negative attitude. Once the subjects had done this, the experimenters asked some of them to do a simple favor. They were asked to talk to another subject (actually an actor/confederate) trying to persuade them that the tasks were interesting and engaging. Some participants were paid $20 (inflation adjusted to 2010, equating to $150) for this favor, while another group was paid $1 ($7.50 in 2010 dollars) - the control group was not asked to perform the favor at all.

After someone has performed dissonant behavior, they may find external consonant elements. Par exemple, a snake oil salesman may find a justification for promoting falsehoods (let's say, a large personal gain) - but may otherwise need to change his views about the falsehoods themselves.



When asked to rate the boring tasks at the conclusion of the study (not in the presence of the other "subject"), those in the $1 group rated them more positively than those in the $20 and control groups.

This was explained by Festinger as evidence for Cognitive Dissonance. The researchers theorized that people experienced dissonance between the conflicting cognitions, "I told someone that the task was interesting", and "I actually found it boring." When paid only $1, students were forced to internalize the attitude they were induced to express, because they had no other justification. Those in the $20 condition, however, had an obvious external justification for their behavior, experienced less dissonance, thus did not force themselves to internalize.


2 young 2, could you please expand a bit on the CD theory?

Just Say No!

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Re: Dissonance & Jim Jones Case
« Reply #104 on: January 21, 2012, 11:29:48 PM »
Will you walk, the CD Theory is all too complex to fully explain it here - I'd focus instead on the practical applications of the Dissonance Theory. That's because one of the reasons it has inspired much research is its ability to explain phenomena not readily explainable by common sense. For instance, dissonance theory has been used as a way to understand events that totally confound our imagination - like the enormous power certain cult leaders like Jim Jones, David Koresh, and Marshall Herff Applewhite have had over the hearts and minds of their followers.

Take for instance Jim Jones. It goes without saying that the massacre at Jonestown was tragic in the extreme. It is beyond comprehension that a single person could make hundreds of people kill themselves and their own children.


"Jim" Jones was the founder and leader of the "Peoples Temple," best known for the Nov 18, 1978 mass suicide of 909 Temple members in Jonestown, Guyana, along with the killings of 5 other people at a nearby airstrip. Over 200 children were murdered at Jonestown, almost all of whom were forcefully made to ingest cyanide by the elite Temple members. Jones was born in Indiana and started the Temple in that state in the 1950s. Jones and the Temple later moved to California, and both gained notoriety with the move of the Temple's headquarters to San Francisco in the mid-1970s. The incident in Guyana ranks among the largest mass suicides in history, and was the single greatest loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster until the events of Sep 11, 2001.

Now you may have heard about the all-too-familiar technique of the foot-in-the-door. Escalation is perpetuating. Once a small commitment is made, it sets the stage for ever-increasing commitments. The behavior needs to be justified, so attitudes are changed; this change in attitudes influences future decisions and behavior. Suppose you would like to enlist someone's aid in a massive undertaking, but you know the job you have in mind for the person is so difficult, and will require so much time and effort, that the person will surely decline. What do you do? You may get the person involved in much smaller aspects of the job, ones so easy that s/he wouldn't dream of turning down. Such serves to commit the individual to the "cause." Once people are thus committed, the likelihood of their complying with the larger request increases.

Jim Jones extracted great trust from his followers one step at a time. There was a chain of ever-increasing commitments on the part of his followers. Once a small commitment is made, the stage is set for ever-increasing commitments. It's easy to understand how a charismatic leader like Jones might extract money from his church's members. Once they have committed themselves to donating a small amount in response to his message of peace and universal brotherhood, he's able to request and receive a great deal more. Next, he induces people to sell their homes and turn over the money to the church. Soon, at his request, several of his followers pull up stakes, leaving their families and friends, to start life anew in the strange and difficult environment of Guyana. There, not only do they work hard (thus increasing their commitment), but they also are cut off from potential dissenting opinion, inasmuch as they are surrounded by true believers.

Jones takes sexual liberties with several married women among his followers, who acquiesce, but reluctantly; Jones claims to be the father of their children. He had sexual relations with his men followers as well, and made them believe they were all homosexuals, while he was the only heterosexual. Finally, as a prelude to the climactic event, Jones induces his followers to perform a series of mock ritual suicides as a test of their loyalty and obedience. Thus, in a step-by-step fashion, the commitment to Jones increases. Each step in itself is not a huge, ludicrous leap from the one preceding it.

breach of contract

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Re: Psychopath attorneys
« Reply #105 on: January 27, 2012, 08:00:48 PM »

[...]

A complex and pervasive issue for many paranoid people is the combination of sexual identity confusion, longings for same-sex closeness, and associated preoccupations with homosexuality. A connection between paranoia and homosexual preoccupations has been frequently noted by clinicians and has been confirmed by some empirical studies. Paranoid people, even the minority of them who have acted on homoerotic feelings, may regard the idea of same-sex attraction as upsetting to a degree that is scarcely imaginable to the non-paranoid. As the brief triumph of Nazism demonstrates, when paranoid trends are shared by a whole culture or subculture, the most horrific possibilities arise. The paranoid preoccupation with homosexuality has sometimes been explained as reflecting "unconscious homosexual impulses." This locution is misleading, in that it is not usually genital urges that stimulate homophobia; it is loneliness and the wish for a soulmate. Because as children we were comfortable with peers of the same sex before we became comfortable with opposite-sex peers, and because people of the same sex are more like us than people of the opposite sex, when we are withdrawn from everyone, we are attracted to someone of the same sex. Unfortunately, the patient becomes aware of this attraction, misinterprets it as homosexuality, and this sets off the defenses. In other words, at the core of the self-experience of paranoid people is a profound emotional isolation and need for a "consensual validation" from a "chum."


So is this this kind of homosexual yearning, more of a "state of mind," rather than something that gets (sometimes) physically expressed (in a more or less normal homosexual act) - because, truth-be-told, I don't exactly see gay people today, that have sex with hundreds, or even thousands, of other men, considering same-sex attraction as "upsetting," as you put it. I am aware that you and I are talking about two different kinds of gay people here, but I am sort of confused as to how exactly does each one feel about how they are and what they do. Could someone please provide some insight?

Thanks, in advance, breach of contract.

naykid

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Re: Psychopath attorneys
« Reply #106 on: January 28, 2012, 07:56:05 PM »

[...]

A complex and pervasive issue for many paranoid people is the combination of sexual identity confusion, longings for same-sex closeness, and associated preoccupations with homosexuality. A connection between paranoia and homosexual preoccupations has been frequently noted by clinicians and has been confirmed by some empirical studies.

Paranoid people, even the minority of them who have acted on homoerotic feelings, may regard the idea of same-sex attraction as upsetting to a degree that is scarcely imaginable to the non-paranoid.

As the brief triumph of Nazism demonstrates, when paranoid trends are shared by a whole culture or subculture, the most horrific possibilities arise.

The paranoid preoccupation with homosexuality has sometimes been explained as reflecting "unconscious homosexual impulses." This locution is misleading, in that it is not usually genital urges that stimulate homophobia; it is loneliness and the wish for a soulmate. Because as children we were comfortable with peers of the same sex before we became comfortable with opposite-sex peers, and because people of the same sex are more like us than people of the opposite sex, when we are withdrawn from everyone, we are attracted to someone of the same sex.

Unfortunately, the patient becomes aware of this attraction, misinterprets it as homosexuality, and this sets off the defenses. In other words, at the core of the self-experience of paranoid people is a profound emotional isolation and need for a "consensual validation" from a "chum."


So is this this kind of homosexual yearning, more of a "state of mind," rather than something that gets (sometimes) physically expressed (in a more or less normal homosexual act) - because, truth-be-told, I don't exactly see gay people today, that have sex with hundreds, or even thousands, of other men, considering same-sex attraction as "upsetting," as you put it. I am aware that you and I are talking about two different kinds of gay people here, but I am sort of confused as to how exactly does each one feel about who they are and what they do. Could someone please provide some insight?

Thanks, in advance, breach of contract.


Take Hitler: They say there is insufficient evidence that Hitler was an overt homosexual. But it seemed clear he had latent homosexual tendencies, and that he worried a lot about them. He was terribly concerned, for example, lest he give the impression of showing feminine traits - which, indeed, he did. A colleague of the himself-homosexual English diplomat and historian Sir Harold Nicolson, spoke of Hitler as being "the most profoundly feminine man that he had ever met, and that there were moments when he became almost effeminate."

Hitler also revealed fears of homosexuality by protesting so much that he had no feminine characteristics whatsoever. He was totally masculine - tough, hard, cold, ruthless, brutal. His tendency to think in terms of disjunctive stereotypes about men and women (strong, iron-willed, effective males vs. weak, emotional, incompetent female) is in itself revealing. Such thinking demonstrates a strong conflict and confusion between masculine and feminine natures. To him, sexual differences appeared as exaggerated and mutually exclusive opposites, as roles to be played, rather as natural attributes of human personality. In Hitler's case, as in Himmler's, the fantasized tough male role developed into sadism, murder and destruction.

The question of Hitler's latent homosexuality can also be approached indirectly. It can be stated with some confidence that Hitler must have had latent homosexual tendencies because he showed clear indications of paranoia. This does not mean that all homosexuals are paranoid, but it does mean that all paranoids have fears of homosexuality. The direct connection between homosexuality and paranoia was first noticed by Freud, who concluded that paranoia "invariably arises from an attempt to subdue an unduly powerful homosexual wish."

There is a terrifically strong need to deny homosexuality; the very thought of sexual contact with another man is "completely intolerable." Moreover, the need felt by a paranoid for approval is especially acute; his megalomania is in itself an expression of his need for proof that he is important. There is a high incidence of constipation in paranoid individuals. All paranoids have strong anal components, problems with order and cleanliness, and obsessions with purity and vice, as well as impurity and infections of others. Anal sadistic fantasies are directed towards the father, because he is seen as the rival for the mother's love; the intensity of the drive to be loved is supported mainly "by the intense need to neutralize and erotisize a tremendous hate." When the unconscious hate is so great, the attempt to erotisize it fails, and the individual turns to sadism.

While homosexual feeling and paranoid delusions may be in bitter conflict, both are, in a sense, dependent on each other and are defenses against one another. Thus, it seems quite possible that Hitler developed paranoid delusions, in part, to fight his homosexual feelings. As long as he persecuted and attacked homosexuals, he felt he was successfully combating his own inadmissible inclinations toward homosexuality.

naykid

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Re: Psychopath attorneys
« Reply #107 on: January 28, 2012, 08:42:37 PM »
With one part of the equation (paranoia) in mind, let us further examine the other part (homosexuality). People have looked into the actual social milieu Hitler was part of to deduce that he, too, practiced homosexuality. For instance,

  • Hitler's Youth leader, Baldur von Schirach was bisexual and a pedophile;
  • Hitler's private attorney, Reich Legal Director, was homosexual;
  • Minister of Justice, an adamant fag basher Hans Frank was a homosexual (typical);
  • Hitler's adjutant Wilhelm Bruckner was bisexual;
  • Walter Funk, Reich Minister of Economics and Hitler's personal financial advisor has frequently been called a "notorious" homosexual;
  • Hitler's second in command Hermann Goering liked to dress up in drag;
  • Rudolph Hess, the handsome Hess, nicknamed "Miss Emma" was gay;
  • All of his personal bodyguards were gay;
  • Even his chauffeur was gay.

Hitler quit school at age 16 and in 1909 moved to Vienna, where he twice took and failed the Art Academy's entrance examination. Shortly after his move, August Kubizek, a young man from his hometown, joined him and they lived together for 4 months. Intensely jealous, Hitler wrote Kubizek, "I cannot endure it when you consort and converse with other young people." For the next several years, Hitler drifted aimlessly. Despite immense Nazi efforts to erase as much of his past as possible (by destroying his massive police records, for example) it is known that he spent 5 months at a men's hostel known as "a hub of homosexual activity." In May 1913, he moved with another young man to Munich (said to be "a regular El Dorado for homosexuals") and, in September 1914, joined the Bavarian army. He spent the war years as a behind-the-lines messenger, enjoying a long and active sexual relationship with another runner, Ernst Schmidt. At war's end, Hitler returned to Munich and more homosexual activities. He met at that time Capt. Ernst Roehm, a well-connected army officer who soon offered him his first job — as a political spy for the army within a newly organized workers' party.

Hitler's rise largely was due to the two brilliant homosexuals who mentored and tutored him: Roehm, a notorious pederast and a contemporary, and Dietrich Eckart, 21 years his senior. Roehm, a career staff officer during the war, had access to both secret army funds and to military and right-wing groups such as the ultranationalist, anti-Semitic and homoerotic Freikorps — the fiercely anticommunist terrorist squads that sprang up, especially in eastern Germany, in response to the political chaos of the early Weimar Republic. Eckart was a fiercely anti-Semitic journalist and playwright who taught Hitler political tactics and introduced him to Munich and Berlin society, as well as to other wealthy people throughout the country.

Most of the top ranking SS from the very beginning were also homosexual. Ernst Roehm, whom Hitler was a protégé, created the Nazi party on the idea of being proud so called ultra-masculine, male supremacist pedophiles. When you cast a net with that kind of bait what kind of fish do you think you are going to catch? In fact, they actually thought because of their homosexuality they were ultra-masculine because they didn't need women for anything, including sex and companionship. The idea was that because they had no personal need for women, homosexual men were superior to even heterosexual men. They believed that homosexual men were the foundation of all nation-states and represented the elite strata of human society. Naturally, to support their argument they drew much of their pride from the accomplishments of the Greeks, quite possibly the gayest civilization ever to walk to earth.

that guest

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Re: Psychopath attorneys
« Reply #108 on: January 30, 2012, 08:21:13 PM »

[...]

The theory or the "model" at the base of author's reflections is Bion's model "container-contained", also called his "theory of thinking". [...] It is at one and the same time: the model of conception (penis-in-vagina), gestation (embryo-in-uterus), alimentation (nipple-in-mouth) and elimination (faeces-in-colon). This fundamental pattern -- 'one thing inside another', as Bion simply calls it -- in its many variations and permutations, forms the model for all human somatopsychological experience from the very beginning of life.

Bion posits a "place" or an "object", which he calls the "container", whose purpose is to take up a "something" which needs to be contained. Through this process both container and that-which-is-to-be-contained are transformed, and something new, a "third" element comes into being. [...] Bion's starting point is what he refers to as the "proto-mental", the somato-psychic level of experiences, consisting of emotional entities "in the raw", which to he gives the name "beta elements". According to Bion, these bits of raw sense data are, as it were, "looking for", or "in search of" a place where they can grow and be transformed into thoughts, dreams ideas, myths, etc. For in Bion's theory of thinking, all thoughts exist a priori to their being actually thought; that is to say, they are simply 'there' in some potential space/time, independent of there being a thinker to think them. Bion's image of thoughts simply being "there" without having found a thinker to think them yet, is reminiscent of Luigi Pirandello's drama "Six Characters in Search of an Author." They, too, these six characters "exist" ostensibly a priori to an author's mind having created them, and their search can be thought of as being analogous to the "searching" of thoughts for a mind, for a thinker to think them.

When these "thoughts without a thinker" find such a "nesting place" in the mind of a "host" (mother, therapist, consultant, supervisor, leader etc.) so to speak, they can then be transformed into so-called "alpha elements" through the state of mind which Bion has named "reverie", and the process which he has called "alpha function." He emphasizes, however, that he neither knows what alpha-function is or how it functions, he just knows that it does! [...] It all depends, he says, on the presence of "negative capability", i.e. the capability to take in without judging and without explanation, the ability just to "be with one's experience", to tolerate uncertainty, mystery and doubt without any "irritable grasping for facts and reason."

When the containing object (the psyche of the container) takes up the contained (i.e. the projected, the not-understood, the painful, needy, as yet uncontained, unthinkable beta elements) from the subject, it must be capable of carrying out this metabolic, disentangling process within itself, in order to be able to feed it back to the subject in small, digestible doses, so that it can now be metabolised by the subject and used for mental growth, rather than being simply expelled, "spat out" again as mentally indigestible.

Negative capability, which enables the object to "dream" (reverie) upon, to ponder and reflect upon these projected parts, requires a state of mind which Bion calls "patience" and which gradually changes into a state of mind which he calls "certainty" when the "to-be-contained" has been understood, detoxicated and re-presented to the subject. [...] This, then, is the process which, according to Bion, has to take place in every mother, in every therapist, consultant or supervisor, in every leader if he  has the intention of being helpful to his/her "baby" (patient, client, supervisee, client system, team, staff, organisation, company, nation or people), and to the extent to which the necessity of performing a containing function for those who are to follow his or her lead is both recognised and possible.


This appears to be quite interesting to me - could someone provide a link where I can read the whole thing - I mean, Bion's theory of the Container/Contained?

blinker on

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Re: Psychopath attorneys
« Reply #109 on: January 31, 2012, 07:01:19 PM »

[...]

The theory or the "model" at the base of author's reflections is Bion's model "container-contained", also called his "theory of thinking". [...] It is at one and the same time: the model of conception (penis-in-vagina), gestation (embryo-in-uterus), alimentation (nipple-in-mouth) and elimination (faeces-in-colon). This fundamental pattern -- 'one thing inside another', as Bion simply calls it -- in its many variations and permutations, forms the model for all human somatopsychological experience from the very beginning of life.

Bion posits a "place" or an "object", which he calls the "container", whose purpose is to take up a "something" which needs to be contained. Through this process both container and that-which-is-to-be-contained are transformed, and something new, a "third" element comes into being. [...] Bion's starting point is what he refers to as the "proto-mental", the somato-psychic level of experiences, consisting of emotional entities "in the raw", which to he gives the name "beta elements". According to Bion, these bits of raw sense data are, as it were, "looking for", or "in search of" a place where they can grow and be transformed into thoughts, dreams ideas, myths, etc. For in Bion's theory of thinking, all thoughts exist a priori to their being actually thought; that is to say, they are simply 'there' in some potential space/time, independent of there being a thinker to think them. Bion's image of thoughts simply being "there" without having found a thinker to think them yet, is reminiscent of Luigi Pirandello's drama "Six Characters in Search of an Author." They, too, these six characters "exist" ostensibly a priori to an author's mind having created them, and their search can be thought of as being analogous to the "searching" of thoughts for a mind, for a thinker to think them.

When these "thoughts without a thinker" find such a "nesting place" in the mind of a "host" (mother, therapist, consultant, supervisor, leader etc.) so to speak, they can then be transformed into so-called "alpha elements" through the state of mind which Bion has named "reverie", and the process which he has called "alpha function." He emphasizes, however, that he neither knows what alpha-function is or how it functions, he just knows that it does! [...] It all depends, he says, on the presence of "negative capability", i.e. the capability to take in without judging and without explanation, the ability just to "be with one's experience", to tolerate uncertainty, mystery and doubt without any "irritable grasping for facts and reason."

When the containing object (the psyche of the container) takes up the contained (i.e. the projected, the not-understood, the painful, needy, as yet uncontained, unthinkable beta elements) from the subject, it must be capable of carrying out this metabolic, disentangling process within itself, in order to be able to feed it back to the subject in small, digestible doses, so that it can now be metabolised by the subject and used for mental growth, rather than being simply expelled, "spat out" again as mentally indigestible.

Negative capability, which enables the object to "dream" (reverie) upon, to ponder and reflect upon these projected parts, requires a state of mind which Bion calls "patience" and which gradually changes into a state of mind which he calls "certainty" when the "to-be-contained" has been understood, detoxicated and re-presented to the subject. [...] This, then, is the process which, according to Bion, has to take place in every mother, in every therapist, consultant or supervisor, in every leader if he  has the intention of being helpful to his/her "baby" (patient, client, supervisee, client system, team, staff, organisation, company, nation or people), and to the extent to which the necessity of performing a containing function for those who are to follow his or her lead is both recognised and possible.


This appears to be quite interesting to me - could someone provide a link where I can read the whole thing - I mean, Bion's theory of the Container/Contained?


that guest - are you trying to be a smart a s s here, pulling our legs, or what?!

This guy is an a s s - and when I say an a s s, I mean a TOTAL A S S - and you want a link where to read all his crap?! Container-Contained, d i c k-in-a-p u s s y and * & ^ % like that!

But it's not his fault, it's the fault of all the a s s e s that read and print him!

I mean, we've read a lot of crazy stuff before, Freud too used to be a moron, but not THIS moronic! Or better to say, because we've been reading him for such a long time, we've kinda gotten used to his * & ^ % a little by little!

Anyways, looks like that's how this thing works, they see people kinda accept one guy's * & ^ %, and they go for their own * & ^ %, hoping they won't look to people as idiotic as they truly are!