Traditional personality perspectives have proved inadequate when it comes to understanding the makeup of the more unsavory characters among us. That’s why for years, many in the behavioral science field (myself included) have advocated for a more comprehensive conceptualization of personality.
For sadists, making someone else grovel is not only the major way they secure a position of dominance in their relationships but also an activity they truly enjoy.
Human aggression is most often manifested in the unscrupulous and undisciplined will to power.
In sound cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), the focus is always on behavior and in the here-and-now.
Legitimate, genuine, potentially lasting change – always manifests itself in the here-and-now moment.
Traditional frameworks can be not only ineffective but also frighteningly enabling sometimes when it comes to understanding and dealing with character dysfunction.
What most people really mean when they (therapists and lay persons alike) say that there’s no real hope for personality and character-impaired individuals is that they’ve tried traditional approaches only to have experienced the truly frustrating results.
Aggressive personalities cause the greatest problems both in the conduct of interpersonal relationships and for maintaining the social order.
The nature and prevalence of human aggression is generally poorly understood. This is especially true when it comes to differentiating reactive vs. predatory aggression. To avoid victimization, you really must heighten your awareness about the kinds of aggression disturbed characters exhibit.
For a lot of reasons – mostly media hype and lots of misinformation – there’s now more confusion than ever about the nature of character disturbances.