Women Therapists and Impulsive Violent Patients

  • Lenore A. Boling


Several approaches to violence are common to most cultures. Among them are punishment, containment, and channelling of aggression. Retaliation, protection, and sometimes hope of change are elements in these interventions. In our own individualistic society there is, historically, a good deal of ambivalence concerning expectations and sanctions in regard to harming others. It is generally accepted that an individual has choices; but if he wants to get anywhere he has to search out opportunities, make his presence felt, compete and win. There are moral and legal constraints on the degree and methods of competition, but also an unspoken admiration and envy of those who circumvent these limits. Just one example of this is documented in Matthew Josephson’s book, The Robber Barons, which describes the careers of a few men who amassed great fortunes and power on the fringes of dishonesty and public acceptance. We balance on a fine line between the use and misuse of aggression. However, uncontrolled aggression, and particularly physical violence, is not generally accepted and is considered “bad” except under certain ritualized circumstances. Yet we are aware to varying degrees of the potential presence of aggression in ourselves. Each, according to his biological and environmental experience, makes what peace he can with this valued and devalued attribute. For the most part, it is kept out of conscious awareness. Nonetheless, violence is a subject which has been attracting an increasing amount of attention in recent years.


Personality Disorder Violent Behavior Mental Health Worker Female Therapist Woman Therapist 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lenore A. Boling
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.McLean HospitalBelmontUSA
  2. 2.McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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