Crazy, Not Insane

I just finished this documentary about forensic psychiatrist Dorothy Otnow Lewis’s work with serial killers. She spent years trying to work out what makes a killer, including looking at the neuroscience and brain scans of murderers. 

She discovers evidence to support the idea of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, that is, extreme parts in a person’s system. The documentary shows live footage of murderers being interviewed and them referring to their sub-personalities, changing posture, the way they speak and their level of confidence as these personalities would ‘take over’ at different times in the interview process.

One thing she touched on over and over again was the consistent and often severe trauma history of the murderers. This all fits in with my model of trauma (the structural dissociation model – see Janina Fisher’s work – @drjjfisher). And it offers insight into the power of ‘parts’ that we work with in Internal Family Systems. In this model, we get to know the different parts and the burdens they carry. We help the parts heal, integrate and relieve their burdens. 

It is an interesting watch if you are interested in human behaviour and development.