Sanctuary for the Abused

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Basic Description of Boundaries
by Pia Mellody

There are four types of boundaries that develop in human beings: physical, sexual, emotional and spiritual. Physical and sexual boundaries are external, while emotional and spiritual ones are internal mechanisms. Each of these may be characterized by a position statement.

Physical boundaries: I have the right to determine when, where, how, and who is going to touch me. I have the right to determine how close someone is going to stand next to me.

Sexual boundaries: I have the right to determine with whom, where, when and how I am going to be sexual with someone.

Emotional boundaries: What I think or feel or do or don't do is more about me than it is about you. Conversely, what you think and feel or do or don't do is more about you than it is about me.

Spiritual boundaries: I have the right to think and believe as I do. I need only face the consequences of my thinking.

Boundaries may be visualized as an inverted bell jar that exists around a person. It is flexible and permeable. For instance, if I choose to hug someone, I choose to allow them into my physical boundary, as they choose to let me into theirs. If I choose to be sexual with someone, I choose to let them into my physical and sexual boundaries. If I choose to share my deepest feelings, I allow a person to enter my emotional boundary.

Allowing a person access to ourselves, inside our boundaries, is a gesture of trust and intimacy. We make ourselves vulnerable. We can either experience affirmation or be wounded to the core. Boundaries offer protection from the emotional or physical assaults of others.

Healthy boundaries though not perfect, allow a person to experience a comfortable interdependence with other people, resulting in generally functional relationships and positive self-regard.

Damaged boundaries operate inconsistently and often dysfunctionally. They are the result of mixed messages and abuse, and are usually related to abusive relationships in the individual's family of origin and/or relationships of choice.

Walls protect the person who has constructed them but do not let anything in or out. This person lives in a state of loneliness, possibly protected from the assaults of others, but also prevented from establishing trusting and intimate relationships. People with walled boundaries have generally been deeply hurt by others and have erected barriers to prevent being hurt again by others' actions, thoughts and feelings.

No boundaries is the opposite extreme from walled ones. A person with no boundaries is unable to prevent unwanted intrusions and may be unaware that it is possible to do so.

At the very least, sexual assault and abuse are violations of a person's boundaries. People with healthy boundaries can have them damaged during assaults. Sexual assaults have repercussions on all levels of a person's boundary system. It is for this reason that healing from sexual assault and abuse is a slow and painful process.


Appropriate trust

Revealing a little of yourself at a time, then checking to see how the other
person responds to your sharing

Moving step by step into intimacy

Putting a new acquaintanceship on hold until you check for compatibility

Deciding whether a potential relationship will be good for you

Staying focused on your own growth and recovery

Weighing the consequence before acting on sexual impulse

Being sexual when you want to be sexual--concentrating largely on your own
pleasure rather than monitoring reactions of partner

Maintaining personal values despite what others want

Noticing when someone else displays inappropriate boundaries

Noticing when someone invades your boundaries

Saying "NO" to food, gifts, touch, sex you don't want

Asking a person before touching them

Respect for others--not taking advantage of someone's generosity

Self-respect--not giving too much in hope that someone will like you

Not allowing someone to take advantage of your generosity

Trusting your own decisions

Defining your truth, as you see it

Knowing who you are and what you want

Recognizing that friends and partners are not mind-readers

Clearly communicating your wants and needs (and recognizing that you may be
turned down, but you can ask)

Becoming your own loving parent

Talking to yourself with gentleness, humor, love and respect

Adapted from a lecture by Pia Mellody, Wickenburg, Arizona 1990. Rape Crisis
Center, 1991.used with permission by from the Coordinated Community Response for
Sexual Assault web site of Dane County Wi.

© Copyright 2003- 2004 David Bruce Jr. unless explicitly
denoted as copyrighted by others. All rights reserved.
Contact: David Bruce Jr.
Baltimore Maryland
410 719-9270
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Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Canadian develops test to measure those with psychopathic personality on a 40-point scale

Diagnostic tool was used in Brampton courtroom this week to declare man dangerous offender


In everyday parlance, people may refer to a "psycho neighbour" or "psycho boss," but the real measure of a psychopath is "the Hare" — a diagnostic tool developed by Canadian psychologist Robert Hare, the world's foremost authority on psychopaths.

Technically known as the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised or (PCL-R), the Hare uses a 40-point scale to score its subjects. A result of 30 or more usually indicates a person with a psychopathic personality disorder.

The Hare was cited in a Brampton courtroom this week as Jeffrey Michael Campbell was declared a dangerous offender, putting the 26-year-old behind bars, perhaps for the rest of his life.

Mr. Justice Casey Hill called Campbell an "incurable, untreatable psychopath" in his judgment, which followed Campbell's conviction two years ago in the "thrill kill," hit-and-run death of 65-year-old Frank Groves as he cycled to a Brampton coffee shop.

A passenger reported the Windsor native smirked when the car hit Groves.

Prosecutors told the court Campbell scored higher on the Hare than serial killer Clifford Olsen and sex slayer Paul Bernardo. Campbell, who set two playmates ablaze when he was 5 and has more than 40 convictions, scored 38 — compared to Olsen's 37 and Bernardo's 36.

Based on studies with small samples, an average Canadian would score no more than three or four on the test, Hare said in an interview yesterday from his B.C. home.

Any less than three or four is "sliding into sainthood," said Hare, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of British Columbia.

Hare estimates that about 1 per cent of Canadians would meet the "strict criteria for psychopathy ... if the PCL-R was administered," meaning they scored 30 or higher. But anyone scoring between 25 to 30 likely has enough psychopathic characteristics that "we would be concerned, particularly if he or she has a history of criminal behaviour," Hare said.

The average score for incarcerated male offenders in North America is 23.3.

Hare said Campbell's marginally higher score doesn't mean he is more dangerous than his infamous brethren, because other factors must be considered when assessing a person's capacity for violence or chances of rehabilitation. That information would include court transcripts, police reports, criminal records and previous psychologists' reports.

The Hare takes its subject's measure in 20 categories that include "glibness/superficial charm," "grandiose sense of self-worth," "pathological lying," "callous/lack of empathy" and "lack of remorse or guilt."

Administered by a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist, each category or "trait" is assigned a score of zero, (item doesn't apply) one (applies in some respects) or two (in all respects) with the sum yielding total scores, ranging from 0 to 40.

An interviewer aware of Campbell's post-carnage "snicker" would likely have boosted his score in the "callous/lack of empathy" category, for instance.

There is a substantial array of research backing its reliability, Steven Stein said in a separate interview from Toronto. He is CEO of Canada's Multi-Health Systems, which publishes Hare's manuals, rating booklets and "quick score forms."

But there is also a measure of error, Hare cautioned, similar to what pollsters refer to when releasing polling data. "It's conceivable someone scoring a 37 or 38 could be a true 30 to 34."

For example, if the Hare test is to psychopathy what the Richter is to earthquakes, Hare notes the Richter scale is a "physical measurement" and therefore more precise. "Any kind of personality trait you try to measure ... there is measurement error," and different clinicians can come up with different scores.

Hare also warns that test results should not — and they weren't in the Campbell case — be used as "the sole determining factor in assessing a court disposition. It is only part of a package of risk factors," he said.

He compares this to assessing a patient's risk of a heart attack based only on high blood pressure without looking at such things as cholesterol levels or lifestyle habits. "With psychopathy ... we're not quite sure, but we're beginning to believe you aren't either a psychopath or not a psychopath, there are gradations of severity of the symptoms that define psychopathy."

Hare began studying psychopaths in the 1960s and first published a manual in 1991 aimed only at assessing incarcerated males, either in forensic psychiatric hospitals or detention facilities.

Asked for a lay definition of a psychopath, Hare suggests someone "who lacks a conscience but (is) otherwise is intellectually intact, so knows right from wrong, but simply feels that the rules don't apply to them," he said.

He finds the term is often misused.

"Newspapers often have the headings, psycho boss or psycho this — well, psycho implies somebody is psychotic and this is not an appropriate term here," he said.

"But a lot of people have a pretty good understanding. These are not warm, loving individuals. These are people who are concerned primarily for Number 1.

"I think one of the essential characteristics is they seem to lack the capacity to construct an emotional facsimile of other people. They can't become socially or emotionally connected to other people in a really deep, meaningful way."

He likens it to a colour-blind person trying to understand colour. "You can explain ... what it's like to really feel fear, anxiety, remorse, and deep dejection, and things of that sort, basic emotions, but they don't understand except in some sort of verbal way because they themselves have not experienced this complete range of emotions."

In his 1993 book, Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us, Hare devoted a chapter to psychopaths in the corporate world. His latest research is taking him further into the executive suite.

Hare's upcoming book, co-written with a colleague, is called Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths go to Work.

Also coming soon is a screening program called the B-Scan, which tests for psychopathic tendencies in the office.

The individual being evaluated doesn't take the test — their superiors, subordinates and peers rate the subject in four categories: organizational maturity, personal style, emotional style and social style, with subcategories on issues like reliability and honesty.

Hare said the B-Scan can help identify employees with psychopathic tendencies, even though traits such as being impulsive and ruthless "are in fact valued in organizations," he acknowledges.

"We would say sure, up to a point — (but) how psychopathic do you have to be before it becomes really dysfunctional?"
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Monday, December 12, 2005

Married to a Con Man...and Bigamist
On Dr. Phil Monday, December 12, 2005

Tune in to Dr. Phil on Monday, December 12, 2005!!

ED HICKS will be featured as well as another con man currently in prison. Hick's story was profiled on this site last month. He is a bigamist, abuser & online predator.

Go to Dr. Saturday, December 10 for a synopsis of the show under This Week On Dr. Phil. Check the Local Listings for the time and channel in your area.

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