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Are psychopaths untreatable?

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  1. Abstract.
  2. Introduction.
  3. The many distinguishing features of Psychopathy.
  4. The idea of relapse prevention.
  5. To examine the psychopath construct.
  6. Psychopathy as a socially devastating disorder.
  7. Professional override, the possibility that a clinician's judgment could be subjective or applied unevenly.
  8. Conclusion.

Psychopathy equals violence. Whatever rubric is used identifies a person with a greater likelihood of violence, often motivated by opportunism, sadism or material gain. Treatment responsivity and harm reduction as treatment success in high-risk or repetitive offenders seems overreaching. It would be ideal and even a ?magic bullet? to be able to predict dangerousness with absolute certainty but, currently, there's no successful model for intervention and a diagnosis of psychopathy mostly means that treatment is unlikely to work.

[...] D., & Harpur, T. J. (1991). Psychopathy and the DSM- IV criteria for antisocial personality disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 391-398. Hare, R. D. (1996). Psychopathy: A clinical construct whose time has come. Criminal Justice and Behavior 25-54. Hare, R. D. (1998). Psychopaths and their nature: Implications for the mental health and criminal justice systems. In T. Millon, E. Simonson, M. Burket-Smith & R. Davis (Eds.), Psychopathy: Antisocial, Criminal and Violent Behavior (pp. 188-212). New York, NY: Guilford Press. Hare, R. D., Clark, [...]

[...] standard prison programs have no beneficial effect on psychopaths, at least with respect to re-offending, the question is, It could be because, as aforementioned, psychopaths learn more about manipulation and deception than about themselves and that they are, or become, able to convince therapists or staff that they have made good progress when they have not or, as also previously discussed, it could be poor design and poor execution of the programs that are in place. (Hare at al p. [...]

[...] That's the crux of the argument and the only solution to the terrible problem: human beings can change in radical, permanent and significant ways, but they can't be forced to do it and the successes are few and, even though in certain ways it can seem disappointing to a psychologist who is trying to improve the situation rather than simply discipline and punish, psychopaths may not be properly equipped. The issues of the condition may, to oversimplify, wire the person in such a way that they are almost constitutionally unable to rewire themselves. [...]

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