Working with mental hackers and backroom thinkers

Nathanson, Ariel (2021) Working with mental hackers and backroom thinkers. In: From Trauma to Harming Others: Therapeutic Work with Delinquent, Violent and Sexually Harmful Children and Young People. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 64-78. ISBN 978-0367415570

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Although voyeurism is present in every backroom constellation, some backrooms are mostly voyeuristic; Patients come across as peeking from behind their eyes and fantasizing without much active real manipulation of others. Some patients focus on the omnipotent idea of possessing ‘special backroom powers’ and often use cartoon superhero metaphors to describe their experiences. In the superhero position, the patient presents as a conflicted character that manages his past trauma and his attraction to darkness by using his powers for the greater good. In the villain position the patient denies all conflict and fragility by a callous and sadistic excited use of his secret strength. The antisocial tendency according to Winnicott implies hope. Unlike other actions which might go unnoticed, an antisocial act induces an environmental-social reaction to it. As a result, some attention is called to the child and with it a hope that the child’s unmet needs would be noticed and attended to.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Criminology > Forensic Psychotherapy
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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