In 2006, I was the first and sole therapist for a start-up Residential Treatment Center – a therapeutic home for delinquent adolescent boys – in rural Ohio. I wrote the following guide* for the support staff whose job featured relating in a personable way to the boys and preventing and stopping their violent behaviors. (I forget what this staff’s title was at this center; in other places they’ve been called “crisis techs” or MHA’s – mental health associates. It wouldn’t be unfair to call them kindly bouncers.) Though the guide was quite psych- and theory-heavy, I wanted these workers to understand something of the inner natures of these boys, beneath the stigma and tendency to see them as corrupt or simply immature. With some built-in embarrassment, the material was titled –
I’d like to add that this information won’t apply to the true psychopathic (“callous and unemotional”) child, except at the purely theoretical level, as my thinking goes. That is, these are children who have been psycho-biologically injured pre-birth and perinatally, are holistically damaged – on fire, essentially – as the blueprint of their lives, and therefore cannot be receptive to nurturant-authoritative or other healing approaches.