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Change and Psychopathic Traits – Can it Happen?

Change and Psychopathic Traits

Can it Happen?

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Can individuals with psychopathy change if his partner is understanding, nurturing, and loving? This is a common question for many who have fallen in love with a partner with strong psychopathic traits.

Many psychopathic partners can be “amazing” mates one minute and then terrorize their family the next. Hence, it is a fair question that one might wonder –

Is there is a way for the intimidating, callous, uncaring, arrogant, selfish, dangerous traits to be abolished?

Now that he is with his new partner, he seems so normal and kind.

Well …

In a review of the scientific literature of psychopathy, studies indicate that change is extremely difficult and unlikely – particularly when there is no intervention from experts who specialize in the area of psychopathy.

Given that this is a complicated emotional processing disorder the symptoms tend to remain unchanged. Therefore, treatment will have minimal impact on empathy, caring, moral reasoning, and their thought processes (which are geared toward using others, manipulation, and control).

Emotional processing is directly tied to several neurological processes that are dysfunctional for those with primary psychopathy.

Conversely, studies have revealed that some of the ‘antisocial behaviors’ can be modified. However, this is only after intense treatment and a willingness from the psychopathic individual to terminate certain behaviors.

There is evidence that traditional psychotherapy, tends to be an inappropriate route for psychopaths. Some psychopaths actually can use the therapy process to become more skilled psychopaths.

They will require a treating expert who is aware of the psychopath’s diagnostic status and as a result treats the disorder with specific strategies geared to patient’s who are callous, selfish, manipulative, and incapable of caring deeply for others.

Again, there is no treatment to date that modifies the manner they ‘process’ emotional information. We (clinicians) are not able to assist a psychopathic patient develop deep caring, bonding, and kindness.

[• Image credit: © 2011 nmarques74 | Canstock Photo]

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