My views on psychopaths undergoing psychotherapy are controversial. I believe that therapy can be useful for the psychopath with the caveat that the psychopath wish to understand themselves better and/or shy away from their antisocial actions. I am not naive enough to believe that my experiences with psychotherapy can be the norm for the psychopath. I have an excellent therapist who is not swayed by the taboo and, most importantly, I try to enter each session with an open mind. Therapy can only be as good as the weakest element of the two: therapist or client.
My primary motivation for continuing therapy – and for even agreeing to continue treatment once the words ‘antisocial’ and ‘psychopath’ were mentioned – is to know myself better with each session. I do not have a strong identity and I find it difficult to gauge my motivations and thought processes. The guidance of a trained mental health professional can do wonders for answering the latter even if the former seems destined to always elude me.
Introspection is the greatest gift of life. What point is there in living if you do not get to know the person that you spend the time with most: yourself? This desire to know myself better ultimately was the dominant reason that I chose to take my psychotherapist up on her offer of administering the PCL-R. I wanted to know where I was different from the neurotypical and to what extent. I wanted to become more acquainted with the unknown – to me – person inside my head. And, this is something that I could not do alone.
Yes, an official confirmation of psychopathy could have devastating results if I ever end up in significant trouble with the law. However, a motivating factor in knowing myself better is to ensure that I keep my demons in check so that I am never in such trouble. I’ll discuss this point more in the next post.
Whether you choose psychotherapy or self-study, the end result should be the same: a greater knowledge and appreciation for oneself. Use this knowledge to your benefit or at least to quench your intellectual thirst. The meetings I will continue to have with my therapist will help guide me through the minefield of my mind and will ensure that I will continue to make progress in fleshing out my own mind, even if there is always the risk of hiccups along the way.