7. Comparing Cho and Jim - RonaldMah

Ronald Mah, M.A., Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist,
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7. Comparing Cho and Jim

Therapist Resources > Therapy Books > How Dangerous

 How Dangerous is this Person? Assessing Danger & Violence Potential Before Tragedy Strikes

When the seventeen criteria are examined with respect to Cho, his profile fits very closely to that of someone with paranoid personality disorder (this will be examined more in depth later).  On the other hand, Jim’s profile with these criteria is most similar to someone who is frustrated.  And, within the frustration profile, Jim’s characteristics are not very extreme, thus not strongly indicative of violent potential.  The following is a comparison of Cho and Jim looking at each criterion.  And also, a chart with the two individuals' criteria as a group compared as two profiles.

Cho or Jim: Characteristics, Criteria, or Elements for Aggression & Violence Potential
-- Code: NO=not applicable; YES=applicable; DEPENDS= Depends on other issues or occurs sometimes

Cho: NO, Specific Triggering Event -- Jim: NO, Specific Triggering Event
Cho: YES, Opportunistic Behavior -- Jim: NO, Opportunistic Behavior
Cho: YES, Sense of Entitlement -- Jim: NO, Sense of Entitlement
Cho: YES, Self-Righteous Attitude -- Jim: DEPENDS, Self-Righteous Attitude
Cho: YES, Ego-syntonic Perception -- Jim: NO, Ego-syntonic Perception
Cho: YES, Self-Esteem Gain or Loss -- Jim: YES, Self-Esteem Gain or Loss
Cho: YES, Intense Emotional Arousal -- Jim: DEPENDS, Intense Emotional Arousal
Cho: YES, Pleasure -- Jim: NO, Pleasure
Cho: YES, Resentment -- Jim: YES, Resentment
Cho: NO, Functional Reinforcement (positive or negative) -- Jim: NO, Functional Reinforcement (positive or negative)
Cho: YES, Characterlogical Behavior/Perceptions -- Jim: NO, Characterlogical Behavior/Perceptions
Cho: NO, Transitory Behavior/Perceptions -- Jim: YES, Transitory Behavior/Perceptions
Cho: YES, Isolation/Avoidance Behavior -- Jim: NO, Isolation/Avoidance Behavior
Cho: NO, Social -- Jim: YES, Social
Cho: NO, Remorse -- Jim: YES, Presence of Remorse
Cho: NO, Empathy -- Jim: YES, Empathy
Cho: YES, History -- Jim: NO, History

Jim is not triggered to be aggressive, nor is he opportunistic looking to be violent.  He does not feel entitled to be violent.  Although he feels wronged, his self-righteousness about injustice does not become self-righteousness validation to hurt others.  Most critically, he does not see himself as a violent person. Hurting others would be ego-dystonic.  Jim gets aroused at times, but he can self-soothe and can eventually calm himself.  He does not get pleasure from hurting others. Although, he does feel some guilty pleasure that someone who he has resentments about gets into trouble, he is conflicted.  Jim does not get any practical reward for being violent or aggressive.  In fact, in losing his temper and acting out, he gets into trouble he would rather avoid.  Any aggressive urges he has are not embedded as a personality style or pattern.  Such urges and any subsequent aggression are transitory.  Jim is not a social isolate.  To the contrary, he craves and enjoys social interactions.  Through being social, he gets a lot of positive feedback and appreciation. His friends also function as feedback mechanisms when he gets off base or starts to lose perspective.  When he has done things hurtful to others whether unintentionally or purposefully, he feels remorse as he identifies with others’ feelings.  He can empathize with others emotions as similar to his.  And, he does not have any history of inappropriate aggression or pattern violence from his emotional stress.  He tends to internalize with depression and anxiety, while also using his art to express himself.

There are multiple avenues to work with Jim effectively.  His remorse and empathy already cause him to restrain himself from hurting others.  He does not enjoy others pain.  Jim has a sense of self that makes hurtful aggression ego-dystonic, so prompting him to live up to his positive sense of self or ideal self should be effective.  He does not have a dysfunctional self-definition that he strives to live up to that the therapist has to work against or alter.  It matters to him to be with people and have mutually intimate relationships, which motivates him to find socially acceptable ways to express his needs.  While he has a dark side fueled by resentments, he is loath to indulge in those thoughts and feelings, much less take hurtful actions towards others.  If Jim has any vulnerability or potential to be aggressive or violent, it would be from frustration, which is one profile that the therapist can identify.  Frustration has to do with issues such as power and control, status, access, desire for intimacy, and mastery in important avenues, which are the meat and potatoes of most therapy, which may be recommended for Jim.

3056 Castro Valley Blvd., #82
Castro Valley, CA 94546
Ronald Mah, M.A., Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, MFT32136
office: (510) 582-5788
fax: (510) 889-6553
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