Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chapter 3 Blog

In this chapter, Ronson explores the methods of Canadian psychiatrist, Elliot Barker, and recalls how his program slowly fell apart. One of Barker's ideas he was influenced by a psychotherapist named Paul Bindrim. Bindrim's psychotherapy sessions required patients to remove their clothing so their new sense of physical nakedness would facilitate emotional nakedness. Barker applied this idea to help psychopaths inside the Oak Ridge hospital for the criminally insane. He started to build a stronger connection with much of his patients and patients proved to be more gentle. This is an important point in this chapter to demonstrate the different ways of dealing with psychopaths. Another concept in this chapter is how even doctors become "patients". Ronson uses several examples to show that doctors tire and put involve themselves so much into their projects that they eventually become a patient themselves. Barker retired from his job when a younger prodigy took over named Gary Maier. Maier continued Barker's work but it was also found that their idea of therapy was only worsening the psychopaths. Many of the psychopaths that were released soon committed more crimes. Ronson's idea of this chapter was to illustrate different perspectives of how to treat psychopathy and it's potential outcomes.

I thought this chapter was very detailed, but I actually enjoyed it more than the other chapters. I found it extremely interesting how psychotherapists suggested their patients no to wear any clothes during therapy and how this made patients more comfortable and open up easier. One thing I didn't understand from this chapter is why the government allowed Barker to supply his patients with LSD. I know if I were a Canadian citizen I would not want my tax money paying for drugs for psychopaths. I also didn't think of LSD as a treatment, it mainly distracted the psychopaths from their daily routines. I also thought it was interesting how much freedom some of the psychiatrists gave their patients, like the woman whom they let paint with her own poop. Overall I found this chapter entertaining and it was kind of cool to learn about what kind of treatments were used on psychopaths.