“What is a Character Disorder? Part 2: Questions and Comments” Comments, Page 1

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6 Comments (One Discussion Thread) on “What is a Character Disorder? Part 2: Questions and Comments”

  1. Also looking forward to the rest of the series!

    I am not quite sure I put my point about dominant systems of thought/paradigms properly. I meant that I think the point at which change can occur is precisely the point which escapes the paradigm.

    To take the point “it’s only because most of the most demonizing and abominable tenets of Freudian theory have been soundly rejected and abandoned (though most of its tenets are still accepted) that it appears a much more a benign and humanistic paradigm than the paradigms that have emerged in recent years to address the phenomenon of character disturbance.”

    I certainly don’t regard Freudian theory to be either benign or humanistic :-) And I don’t know enough about character disturbance theory to comment. I suppose I meant that all deterministic systems laid over the world as a template are going to find some kind of correspondence in reality but as I see it these systems do as much harm to the individual as good.

  2. Interesting.

    Sometimes there are unexpected implications in our existing beliefs and ways of thinking.

    Other times there is a gap between our ‘experience’ and ‘understanding’ of it.

    I’m not sure how these relate to change. It puzzles me that who makes successful changes is not predictable (it’s not the depth of trauma or even the amount of support available in my experience).

  3. In my therapeutic experience it is the ability to be in and explore those gaps that is related to change…that ability is related to all the circumstances inside and outside the person and the particular quality of the support…

  4. As a child and family counselor, I find the information about character disorders very relevant and helpful. Children are hostages to the character disordered and these parents are the least likely to engage in dialogue about their children’s difficulties. If I were to meet some of these parent’s without knowing what they are like to their child, I don’t think that I would be able to penetrate their charming and manipulative mask. Yet the lack of empathy and the offhand way that some kids are treated indicates that the barrier to communication goes beyond communication skills and diplomacy.
    For instance, I was asked to see a little boy who had trouble concentrating. I found out that he had a tumour removed. The day after he was released from hospital, his mother had him back in kiddies hockey. She had neglected to find out the impact of the brain injury on the child’s learning or behaviour. She wanted to catch the ferry back home so she missed the brain surgeon’s debriefing.
    There could be several reasons for her lapse in judgement, including not wanting to know the impact of brain injury on the child. It is nevertheless hard to hear that she is spending two hours a night on homework with a child that is nine years old, drumming his timetables into his memory. As time goes by the pattern of behaviour becomes more apparent, and I dont have the luxury of a pyschologist’s second opinion, that the woman is tetering on the brink of a character disorder.
    I read your book and found it amazingly insightful and helpful. I work in a big bureaucracy and I am somewhat baffled about who leads and why. Who succeeds and gets promoted. It is not the worried well, that is for sure. Instead, it is those who are driven to be promoted. These are not the best campers around. They are often narcissistic and ultimately undermine real growth.

    I appreciate your blog and hope to hear more.

    1. Thanks so much, Bev. And you’re correct, many cultures reward and “enable” character disturbance in a way that let’s such folks prosper while other, more conscientious folks face a very uphill battle in their bids to survive and prosper. That’s why we not only need a psychological paradigm shift but also a cultural revolution.

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