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An off-duty detective, James, was captured when he interrupted a robbery. When the robbers learned he was a detective, two of the gunmen shouted they were going to kill him. Then they placed a bag over his head and made him kneel down. The detective later stated, I was glad it was going to be in the head, because I thought it would be quick. Instead, he heard the robbers discuss him and then leave. He wasnt shot.
Regarding pathological transference, months later, one of the robbers was caught. James visited the man many times. A close relationship developed and the detective told the robber, If you need me, Im there for you, because you were there for me at the time. When the second robber was caught, the detective told his superior, Chief, this guy has really changed, and went out and bought lunch for the second robber. The third robber is still at large. The detective fantasizes, in therapy sessions, conversations he has with the third robber: James will say, Listen Otis, what went down, went down; turn yourself in. Believe me Ill work with you. Im not looking for revenge.
Ask yourself if James... were your client, ethically, would you define this as pathological transference or not. Or, is this a case of ethical patient self-determination and autonomy? Studies indicate that pathological transference only occurs when someone threatens a persons life, deliberates, and then does not harm him. The victim, as in the case of James, doesnt dwell on the threat, but rather the feeling that the criminal let him live.
Pathological transference usually does not occur when the criminal harms the victim. What are your feelings on this point of ethics: pathological transference, patient self-determination, or both?
The key to transference... here is the terrorists use of the victim as leverage. This leverage sets the groundwork for intense pathological transference. The transference is both accelerated and heightened when the hostage has already been psychologically traumatized by terror.
When treating victims of violent crime, my colleagues and I have found the following four intervention techniques to be most effective. See how these compare with your current practice. As you listen to these four you might think about how they relate to the Ethical Principles of respecting your clients self-determination and autonomy.
4 Intervention Techniques for Victims of Violent Crime
Using methods like those interventions described above to help nurture and restore
power are crucial to prevent the rescuers from causing even more injury to the
survivor. Also, you may have found it is important to allow the survivor privacy
without isolation. The basic ethical principles of genuineness, honesty, and sincerity
are, of course, applied here.
Online Continuing Education QUESTION
4: What are the two crucial elements of transference to the captor for individuals
held hostage by criminal terrorists? To select and enter your answer go to CEU Answer
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