Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Psychopaths Dream in Black and White"

In Chapter 3, Jon Ronson talks about a psychiatrist named Elliot Barker, who discovered something called nude psychotherapy sessions while on a year-long odyssey. He also visited a therapeutic community for schizophrenics called Kingsley Hall. When Elliot returned to Ontario he got a job at Oak Ridge hospital for the criminally insane and started the first ever marathon nude psychotherapy session for criminal psychopaths. The sessions were sometimes up to 11 days long and consisted of no distractions. After these sessions many of the patients were said to be cured and were released from Oak Ridge.  But it turned out that 80 percent of the psychopaths involved in the program went on to re-offend, so the capsule actually made the psychopaths worse.

I found this chapter of the book to be very interesting and disturbing at the same time. The idea of making psychopaths strip down to nothing and sit and have a therapy season together seemed really odd.  I also found it strange that after these LSD-fueled sessions, many of the patients were said to have been cured but I wasn’t really sure how that could be possible. Making psychopaths sit naked with other psychopaths doesn’t sound like a great treatment plan to me. I also found the accounts of Kingsley Hall to be very interesting. Although all of the patients had schizophrenia, they acted so differently and had such unique behaviors. 

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