Prologue to Violence: Child Abuse, Dissociation, and Crime by Abby Stein

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By Abby Stein

Despite mounting references to the "transgenerational transmission of violence," we nonetheless lack a compelling figuring out of the linkage among the interpersonal violence of adolescence and the legal violence of maturity. In Prologue to Violence, Abby Stein attracts at the gripping narratives of sixty five incarcerated matters and vast fabric from legislations enforcement records to treatment this lacuna in either the forensic and psychodynamic literature. within the procedure, she calls into query triumphing ideals approximately legal personality and motivation.  For Stein the early trauma to which grownup criminals are subjected is still unformulated and, as such, unavailable for reflection.  opposite to universal trust, those criminals, specifically intercourse murderers, don't dedicate their crimes in a rational or absolutely awake way.  they don't seem to be pushed via deviant fable, their psychopathy isn't really inborn, they usually not often dedicate acts of violence "without conscience."

Stein’s interdisciplinary research of her info infuses modern relational psychoanalysis with the insights of neuroscience, traumatology, criminology, and cognitive and narrative psychology. a strong problem to criminal remedy courses to deal with the shaping influence of early life trauma instead of only to "correct" the cognitions of violent offenders, Prologue to Violence should be both compelling to researchers and lecturers investigating baby abuse and grownup violence. Its psychological overall healthiness readership could be large and deep, ranging past clinicians who paintings with criminal populations to all therapists who strive against with studies of dissociation and competitive enactment in daily life. 

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Additional info for Prologue to Violence: Child Abuse, Dissociation, and Crime

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METHODS AND SOURCES I am always astounded by the absence of narrative that enfeebles many crimi­ nals' recitation of violent events. At one time, this kind of cognitive or emo­ tional vacancy was ascribed to the inherent human tendency to repress knowledge of threatening experiences once they had occurred. In recent years, however, neurological and psychological paradigms have begun to shift, sug­ gesting that much of our interaction with the world, rather than being known and then somehow "unknown," is simply not attended to in the first place; it is archived as raw biological data rather than as symbolized, articulatable expe­ rience.

In his review of the attachment literature, Siegel (1996) found that the infants of emotionally rejecting parentsS have a "unique paucity in the content of spon­ taneous autobiographic narratives" when reassessed at the age of ten. Notably, the parents of these insecurely attached children often exhibit a steadfast inabil­ ity to recall their own childhoods (p. 517) and show little evidence of reflective capacity during interviews (Main, Kaplan, & Cassidy, 1985). Siegel concludes in his review that there in a robust-enough association between and among early relational conflict, mental schemas, linguistic disorganization or incoherence, and clinical indices of dissociation to warrant further investigation.

This may account for the chameleon like effect of cer­ tain psychopathic individuals [po 144J. What we are dealing with here is not a complete man at all but something that suggests a subtly constructed reflex machine which can mimic the human personality perfectly (Cleckley, 1988, p. 369). In survivors of maltreatment, disembodied voices become ahnost hypercon­ scious, positing reparative images to countervail abuse and death symbols. The images have been termed incipient personalities in the trauma literature (Fagan and McMahon, 1994), but they usually do not exhibit the complexity, variation, and depth of true personality constructs.

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