8. Nine Types or Profiles - RonaldMah

Ronald Mah, M.A., Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist,
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8. Nine Types or Profiles

Therapist Resources > Therapy Books > How Dangerous

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

“Holtzworth-Munroe and Stuart (1994) outlined a meta-typology of male batterers that has been tested and generally supported (Hamberger et al. 1996; Waltz et al. 2000; White and Gondolf 2000). According to Holtzworth-Munroe and Stuart, three batterer subtypes exist and exhibit different profiles, particularly in terms of psychopathology and severity of IPV. Borderline/dysphoric batterers, diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), are thought to be ‘pathologically dependent’ on their partners, jealous, and volatile. Generally violent/antisocial batterers, diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD), have relatively positive views of violence and tend to view their partners as objects to be controlled. Family-only batterers tend to be the least violent and typically do not exhibit psychopathology, although some do show traits of dependent personality disorder (Holtzworth-Munroe and Stuart 1994)” (Ross and Babcock, 2009, page 608).  Categorization of types of male batterers has proved useful in domestic violence treatment.  Expanding upon these categories to include other types of people who become aggressive or violent can serve therapist or professional diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.  The nine types or profiles in following discussion are compatible with the three subtypes along with some additional distinctions.
Frustration is the first of nine types, origins, or profiles of violent or aggressive behavior from identifiable compositions of the seventeen characteristics- the profile most applicable to low violence potential Jim.  The nine types or profiles plus a tenth issue regarding Aspergers Syndrome and other special considerations are:

1. frustration
2. cultural issues
3. bullying
4. borderline behavior
5. narcissistic behavior
6. paranoid behavior
7. antisocial behavior psychotic violence
8. psychotic aggression or violence
9. substance abuse ignited aggression  
10. Aspergers Syndrome and other special considerations

If the therapist or professional already knows, identifies, or quickly diagnoses an individual with one of these nine profiles, conceptual descriptions immediately start to guide treatment or interventions.  The therapist or professional’s degree of concern and relative compelling urgency to take action become more evident.  The conceptualization of the issue or disorder implies further therapeutic or professional direction.  The layperson may find these conceptualizations useful as well when he or she has suspicions regarding an individual and is contemplating whether to seek professional assistance or request intervention by legal authorities.
The chart below allows the therapist or professional to identify how the seventeen criteria manifest in various common recognizable profiles or disorders.  When this chart is filled out, the therapist, professional, or other person can see how different profiles or disorders share common characteristics, differ among others, and how they suggest differential diagnoses.  Each therapist, professional, or concerned person for each profile or diagnosis will not fill the seventeen criteria out the same way... or for each individual of concern because of subjective and unique considerations of the causes and solutions.  The therapist, professional, or concerned person may work with bullies, aggressive individuals, or specific personality disorders in some distinctive context.  Variations and circumstances in school, work, church, team, neighborhood or "hood," or community organization may vary significantly and actions or remedies available to the therapist, professional, or other concerned person may be limited.  In addition to and compatible with current professional recommendations for therapy, treatment, or intervention, differences among the seventeen criteria for each profile or disorder is specific to each individual that the therapist or professional is assessing.  Nuances must be incorporated into assessment.  Not all bullies are the same for example.  They can have different motivations for bullying.  The experience of the victims may be the similar and the behaviors seem relatively the same, but the intent and driving forces can be significantly varied.  In addition, two bullies with similar motivations may express their aggression differently.  In some cases, another profile or disorder may be a more appropriate diagnosis or an important additional diagnosis for an individual.  Or, there may additional perspectives beyond this tool that shed critical light upon the individual.  

Multiple additional factors can combine in provocative manners that cannot be predicted through this process or any other process.  These qualifications are applicable to other the profiles or disorders as well.  For example, the therapist also knows that several individuals may show characteristics and behaviors that result in a borderline personality disorder, but lash out in distinctive ways.  These can be affected by culture, context, and temperament. Examining the seventeen criteria for each of the nine profiles helps the therapist, professional, or concerned person determine the violence potential of individuals with comparable profiles.  The therapist, professional, or concerned person is encouraged to fill out this chart according to his or her conceptual beliefs.  It would not be surprising that the conclusions would not be identical to how another therapist or professional will fill it out.  The differences in the therapists’ or professionals' thought and conceptual processes point to the many nuances of orientation, experience, and perspectives that affect theoretical determinations.  Any therapist or profession, in fact any person who uses this or any other process should not assume it is sufficient in of itself for a definitive diagnosis or for taking action that may affect anyone's civil rights.  Responsible response requires consultation with professionals with greater education, knowledge, experience, and expertise if one has concerns about the potential for violence of a particular individual.

link to pdf of profile chart

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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