Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Not death, but Life-sentence of Psychotherapy for Borderline Jodi Arias.

Regardless of the evidence that Jodi had pathological symptoms that appear to be in what is known as the Cluster B category of personality disorders, whose central characteristic is a chronic fragmented or confused sense of identity, does not warrant the possible decision of having her executed. Her case is entirely different from one such as the mass Colorado murderer James Holmes, or Newtown mass murderer Adam Lanza who slaughtered children, both of whom would be deserving of the death penalty. Jodi Arias was/is a woman with obvious psychopathology whose core issue is the pervasive lack of emotional, identity and personality stability. She got involved with a man she saw as one who would redeem her from her painful identity instability. Accompanying that pain of unknowing who one is, is a deep sense of fear of being abandoned, one that is at the root of that fluctuating identity, one that can be observed in Jodi's fluctuating personality video before interrogated by the police. The reason for fluctuating identity and personality really is because of the fear of being abandoned, thus a person with this Borderline psychopathology acts or creates every imaginable personality gesture to win over the other they find themselves attracted to, in hopes of the other redeeming them, giving them a sense of purpose, that stability and love they so crave. However, when the other fails to stabilize them, those Borderline tendencies can/will evolve to Antisocial psychopathology. Travis got involved with this person, and due to his own Narcissistic traits in repeatedly extracting sexual gratification from Jodi, then glorifying his ego by breaking up with her, then again sex-making up with her knowing she would easily comply, then again breaking up with her with abusive, degrading language, then again sex-making-up with her, taking her to lower levels of sexual degradation, continuing down a dark tunnel deeper and deeper into sexual and personal and undignified morbidity, then breaking up with her, abandoning her with even more horrible insults, then again sex-making up with her -, would ultimately spiral into an ugly climax of unbearable trauma. Just as Travis got involved with the wrong person, so did Jodi. Instead of giving Jodi the love and stability she so desired, he manipulated her for his own gratification. Even though he got rid of her repeatedly, he wasn't man enough to abstain from enjoying her sex repeatedly. He abused her. She does not deserve to be executed, but committed to a life-long treatment that may give her some sense of identity, however doubtful, due to the magnitude of her violence. Her life should nonetheless be spared, and given a chance to find her self.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Life-imprisonment vs Death Sentence for Jodi Arias.

In considering life-imprisonment over the death penalty for J. Arias, it should be taken into consideration, that regardless the evidence of psychopathology, her lover Travis Alexander met his deadly fate due to his selfish and irresponsible behavior in taking advantage of Jodi's weakness, low self-esteem and willingness to succumb to all of his debasing and degrading sexual desires. Her willingness to fulfill all and any of his debasing sexual fantasies, served to affirm her of her own degrading beliefs regarding herself, rooted in her chronic low-self-esteem and low-self-worth.

Jodi's pervasive lack of identity compelled her to adopt an identity devised for her by her lover Travis, to simply be a mindless vehicle of his sexual exploitation. The increasingly lower levels of debasement reached, sacrificing more and more of her personal boundaries and limits for the sake of fulfilling her lover's' sexual desires, emanated from her simple desire to be found acceptable to him, to be loved. Jodi's compliance with her lover's wishes stemmed from her motivation to win his favor, to be appreciated by him. She would do anything for him not to abandon her.

It is a great tragedy that Jodi was manipulated to favor fulfilling her lover's sexual gratification, than to attend to her emotional needs. It is her emotional dimension she ignored, offering her physical body in desperate hopes of not being abandoned by him. It is that emotional dimension, pervasively ignored throughout her life, that would later pathologically erupt in the wake of her abandonment. Thus, at him abandoning her, the trauma of losing one she excessively depended upon to maintain, however low, some sense of identity, may be understood as some experience to be excessively painful in the extreme.

The levels of moral degradation he brought upon her was acceptable to her only while she was acceptable to him. Therefore, when Travis no longer found her acceptable, Jodi at finding herself unacceptable to herself, plummeted to even lower levels of pain and indignation. Jodi sacrificed her own identity for the sake of Travis' identity desires, her choosing him and depending upon him for the meaning, purpose and direction of her life. By his rejection of her, she is thus rejecting of herself.

The only way then to annihilate that disgusting sense of shame, debasement, and worthlessness was to eradicate from existence he who reminded her of all of it, to put an end to the one keeping that dysmorphic idea of her alive, as she sees it in her own mind. As unforgivable as her crime was, it was brought upon by manipulation, sexual exploitation, debasement and intentional defamation of her character. She should thus be found guilty of man-slaughter, be sentenced for life-imprisonment, but dismissed from the death penalty for reasons of exacerbation of her cluster B personality psychopathology at exposure to chronic emotional trauma involving extreme sexual harassment, degradation, humiliation and exploitation.

Monday, December 24, 2012

"ECHO OF NARCISSUS" by Sha-Ron Kushnir  iTunes & Amazon.

    According to ancient psychology as was presented by the Greeks in their mythology, Echo was the dependent lover of Narcissus. According to the myth, Echo falls to the charm and spell of the egocentric youth Narcissus. The love Echo develops for him does not weaken but consumes her even when Narcissus displays clear signs of rejecting her. Nonetheless, Echo persists after Narcissus, unable to relinquish her attachment to him, fading into oblivion longing for him. Giving up her own sense of identity, she mirrors every word and action, opinion and desire, never contradicting but succumbing to mirroring Narcissus back to himself, increasingly leaving herself behind.

    Echo Personality Disorder (EPD), was first used by British psychoanalyst Patrick Hurst to describe a variant of Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD). Besides possessing the fear of self that disables the dependent personality to live, move and breathe freely without depending on another for giving them reason to enjoy their lives, a central feature of EPD behavior is a pervasive habit of attracting individuals that are unable to requite their love. EPD individuals by default mirror, echo, and compliment all the desires of another individual continually sacrificing their own desires, self-worth, value and dignity. The nucleus of the EPD is most intensely revealed when the attraction is toward a Narcissistic individual, or one with NPD.

    The tragedy of Narcissus and Echo © 2012 is a Ballet/Film work in progress with music by Sha-Ron Kushnir.  on iTunes & Amazon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Insights into Adam Lanza's psychopathology.

It is clear that Adam Lanza's mother, as well-intentioned as she was, smothered him to the point where she felt she needed to accompany her 20 year old boy to the bathroom. She utterly robbed her son of his own sense of control and self-worth. It was during this time she sought to transfer her boy, who was reportedly brilliant, to a different college. This case is strangely reminiscent of British Brian Blackwell (2004) who slaughtered both his parents, and then went on a nice date that evening. Brian's mother smothered him to such a degree, that she bathed him through his teens, totally demasculating and depersonalizing him. He was diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, making NPD the first diagnosis used in a court of law to excuse the insanity of an unfeeling, unempathic. chronically self-absorbed criminal. Adam Lanza was reported to feel a lack of emotion or physical feeling to such a degree that college football coaches sincerely warned team players to be careful falling on him, since he was known not feel pain. It was told that if a fire hit him, he wouldn't feel it.

This smart Aspergers autistic boy had symptoms comorbid with Cluster A and B personality disorders, Antisocial and Avoidant exacerbated by an Adjustment disorder. By the fact that he was in a public school system indicates he was forced to adjust his disordered genetic disposition to a norm, one that clearly traumatized him. The traumatic force of adjustment and enculturation was most probably his mother's will, one that he slaughtered. The root of this pervasive, unresolved, residual trauma occurred when he was around the age of 5, which is the group of kids he also slaughtered. During puberty, during the critical and potent Oedipul mechanisms operating to assert his masculine aggression, he was exposed to terrible, turbulent interactions between his parents, that consequently resulted in a nasty divorce when he was 17. During, before and after, his dominating mother exposed him to many guns she collected as a hobby. His mother's "gun" hobby, he internalized together with the rejection he experienced from his peers, the trauma he underwent in integrating himself with society, and the volcanic aggression he had toward his rejecting mother, for failing to value and prize his differentness in first stages of life. The violence he externalized is an expression of pervasive rejections he experienced from the beginning of life coupled with exposure to acceptable violence modeled by his parents and media. The event's painful externalization reflects a painful internal fracture within his personality, rooted in a desperate desire to annihilate his existential torture, hence an externalization of violent annihilating mechanisms projected onto children around the age his own development was traumatically arrested. 

His core was surrounded by a core belief that he was absolutely worthless rooted in the first stages of life, first precipitated by a mother failing to prize him, and instill in him a firm foundation for the development of a solid and healthy autonomous personal identity, and second, pervasively by people around him affirming his self-loathing beliefs. Absolutely tragic on many levels.

Sha-Ron Kushnir
MS Clinical & Counseling Psych. (2013)
Capella U.

The Narcissist vs. Antisocial.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder NPD is rarely comorbid with Antisocial violent conduct. However, if in childhood, violent conduct tendencies, and unempathic self-absorption behaviors are apparent, then yes, the NPD person can be extremely dangerous. Antisocial Personality Disorders ASPD previously referred to as psychopaths, are always Narcissistic, but unlike NPD have no regard whatsoever for the overseeing general value system or the Law, similar to NPD no regard for anybody around them. ASPD are absolutely primal, governed by drives and impulses and lives with the sole purpose to feed these instincts. NPD individuals however, may have internalized the general Law or their cultural value system that is abstract and coldly thus comfortably distant from them, however they utterly disregard the values and principles of people directly thus uncomfortably around them. So, there is a thin line between Narcissism and Antisocial Personalities. Murder is quite different from merely breaking the law, and  may of course be terribly hurtful to someone. But taking someone's life is the ultimate in exerting control over someone, utterly disregarding their life and in fact become exhilarated in removing it . Taking someone's life is exerting the utmost control over them in annihilating their existence, in this very way APD experience a godlike mania in extreme beyond a shadow of any doubt. They have no one to answer to, no guilt what so ever, completely unempathic, devaluing existing laws and creating their own they feel are much superior and surpass any other that interferes with their own, since these their own laws are in place to directly feed their own instincts, drives and desires.  They are utterly selfish and self-involved and of course extremely dangerous. But their most dangerous characteristics of all is not the obvious, but the unobvious. They are very often strikingly attractive individuals.

Monday, May 14, 2012


The amount of hatred or dislike is directly proportional to a falsified identity threatened. Amount of love is directly proportional to a true identity embraced. Obsession is a result of hatred and love in conflict with solidifying and defining themselves. It seems to me that the epitome of hatred would be Hitler, and love a self-actualized figure such as one I know of in one own culture, the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The hypothesis is that the truer one is to ones true self and identity, meaning the stronger the embrace between ego self-gratifying instinct and the inner altruistic self, the more love one is able to impart toward another, whether on one level a partner, next level up family, with the next levels of community, society and ultimately world. A level beyond that of course could stretch beyond the uni-verse into inexplicable realms of G-dliness. The danger here however is that ones relationship with the undefinable can result to lower levels of self absorbment cutting off family, partner, and ultimately self.  

The more one is distanced from ones true self, the more one is limited in their capacity to love altruistically. One could view this aspect of the inter-relationship between ones identity and ones self to be directly proportional to ones socialization, in other words the amount of love one imparts to ones family, next level community next level society, then world, nature, earth etc.  Hot and cold variant behavior is a trait of the borderline personality, where identity for some reason experiences difficulty in being established. It is a luke warm identity where a master once said, is really the most hellish of any type of existence. I hypothesize that obsession is directly proportional to the in-acceptability of love in ones own self that results from early abandonment. In other words, the object of obsession is an outward manifestation of the abandoned fragment of ones own self, in fact a truer more significant part of ones identity. It clothes itself in love to an external object, only because it is the most lovable part of ones own identity that one has turned against long ago for some or other reason. The more intense the obsession, the more intense is the self abandonment. 

In light of the above hypothesis then, Hitler would be a figure of extreme self abandonment. His pathology of hatred therefore is a direct result of his turning against an internal self-concept that in fact aches within him to be recognized and embraced, however, whose persistent ego and constructed identity finds itself unable to dissolve and resolve the issue of self abandonment. In other words, simply put, the Jew within Hitler's own self is abandoned by him to such an extent as to seek to annihilate it even in the external environment. Such an hypothesis also lends itself well to issues of homophobia where the homosexual is hated because of what he reminds or represents in the haters own inner self that has failed to be recognized and has been left abandoned, the hater seeking to annihilate the homosexual in the external environment what has failed to be annihilated or rather resolved within. Indeed, the resolution is simply too threatening, yet all it requires is an embrace that totally dissolves it into non-existence freeing the ego and the false identity.

Love acts in the same way, and truly the figures exemplary of love from ancient to modern times do not seek to annihilate at all, but rather to embrace and welcome. The figure of G-d has all too often been used for power, and has been corrupted and distorted to resemble more the variable of hatred rather than love. Truly loving human beings find themselves unthreatened and freely giving regardless of race, color, sexual orientation, culture, or creed. Their outer self identity is in accord with their true inner core, their Self of selves. Their personality and individuality are in embrace rather than disgrace. The proportion between that union of true self and identity manifests itself in their altruism and effect on their social as well as natural environment. A figure such as Moses is utterly in embrace with his true Self, thus we find he argues for the well-being of lives of even the gravest of all sinners, whose sin is to an extent so unimaginable to us. A figure such as Jesus, I find more difficult not because I am a jew, but because his is a story of the most complex variables that differs from Moses who possesses an almost limitless capacity for forgiveness, even though the founders of Jesus' faith have attributed to him the quality of an even higher order of forgiveness and limitless capacity for love. Unfortunately, it simply hasn't manifested that way with thousands and thousand of years of blood shed, particularly against the Jew whose loss of life culminated in his holocaust of global proportions. In other words, the evidence of that love and forgiveness is lacking in the epic of Jesus, as much as it gleams with beautiful and profound concepts of an ultimate forgiving and altruistic man, it falls short in its admixture with undeniable idolatrous falsehood that has lent its support to exercise its hatred and slaughter of countless Jewish lives. 

Yet, yes, Love in its ultimate form is all of our destiny, that is to say that ultimately all false identities will dissolve and the ego and the true self will eventually arrive at an all-time embrace. The proverbial "on that day G-d will be One and His name One" is synonymous with the hypothesis laid down above. That the proportions between the relationship of identity with true self will be experienced to such a degree that there can only be imagined an abundance of such proportional magnitude immeasurable by the altruistic kindness that will be spawned of such a union. In other words, a time when all human beings will absolutely without a doubt will be their own true shining identities, the only identity that ever desired to exist within them. There will be absolutely no filter or guise to hide that true identity, for it is the life of lives, the Self of selves, one and unique within each and every one of us, as unique as the sum total of all of existence.

~ SR.

Rogerian Client-Centered Therapy and Self-Actualization

Date: May 14, 2012 12:30 PM

This quarter has been one of the richest and rewarding educational experiences for me here at Capella. I was eager to delve deeper into the writings of Carl Rogers ever since I was initially exposed to his orientation in my 1st quarter while I was enrolled in the counseling course. It was also a pleasure to discover that indeed his ideas penetrated basically every realm of the psychotherapeutic approach that exists today, namely the ingredients of the optimal therapeutic environment consisting of genuine congruency, reflective listening, empathy, trust and unconditional-positive regard that is elaborated upon in our text (Cormier & Hackney, 2011).

My greatest inspiration that hopefully will be sustained throughout my psychological career is to slowly go through all of Carl Rogers writings and professional career, gleam and learn as much as possible. I find, as he has expressed in his book "On becoming a person" (Rogers, 1961) that the therapeutic relationship is a genuine friendship where both client and therapist are affected and transformed. My greatest difficulty with this concept is my own negative experience of the transference and counter-transference dynamic that has always seemed to throw some of the more potentially rewarding relationships right off the tracks. This can manifest to various degrees whether the client (or friend) is physically attractive or not, or simply liked or not, and whether I have my own self egoic desires invested in the relationship. The true healer, as much as they can take on the sufferings of another and transform another's darkness into light, has to be truly whole, comfortable and grounded in their own self. The work of developing a transparent non-identity while still emanating genuine empathy for another is as much scientifically viable in the field of psychology as it is in every true spiritual or religious work. In fact I think that any person in a religious (and political) setting that does not develop a transparent non-identity in dealing with another may ultimately cause havoc in another individual whose malefic effects may spread into their community, and eventually society at large and the rest of the world.

Although I am observant of ancient Jewish law, I am continually strengthened by the force of my individual power that I am simply a human being like any other, a member of the human race and not some marginalized community. Given the quest, every individual through a series of trials and tribulations that come from confronting the make-up of ones internal and external environment, will discover that the only G-d that should rule over them, is ultimately within their own self, perhaps the light of that one self, the life thereof. In this sense, Carl Rogers rose to become the president of the APA to establish this very truth in scientific jargon yet, as one can observe in his writings, strongly maintain a humble voice that only simply points toward something quiet and magnificent that for a lack of a better word, means "soul".

Every organism has a tendency to self-actualize. This profound statement is the beginning and ending of existence, circumventing every creature regardless if somewhere arrested or accelerating in their process. Every organism is carried and maintained by a life force way beyond its comprehension. Indeed, so is the entire universe, together with time that accompanies it. Since our own life force is beyond our comprehension, when we enter into a therapeutic alliance with a Rogerian therapist, the therapist makes comprehensible what is not, meaning, the therapist is the manifestation of what exists internally within the client itself. That is why the process of congruency and reflection and especially non-identity in the therapist is supremely important. Within the client itself is the incomprehensible, non-idenity that allows for freewill, genuine and unconditional positive regard, all accepting etc. The therapist is simply the external representation of that undying soul of the client filled with love, compassion, empathy, unconditional positive regard, total acceptance that presents itself, reflecting genuinely back the client back to him/herself, mirroring in order to facilitate change and growth and above all, a choice that only the ego must by itself make. But just as those special qualities in the therapist continue in non-judgment, to allow the client to unfold and realign with their truth, so does the supreme self within the client allow for that process to occur - only if the client knew that it was so, but then again that's why a therapist appears to make what is unobvious obvious, and incomprehensible comprehensible. On a yet deeper level, that is the reason there are relationships, societies, communities - to allow the unmanifest to be manifest and what cannot be experienced when hidden, experienced with another revealed.

It is indeed a profound process, where as Rogers (1961) states that the therapist itself is changed. Given the right conditions and genuine heartfelt approach, this process allows for a what we can for a lack of a better word call a "religious" experience. Which really only means, a celebration of the union between self and non-Self, and re-ununification of the fragmented into the whole, an experience of experience as Rogers (1961) expounds upon.

Sha-Ron Kushnir


Cormier, S. and Hackney, H. (2008) Counseling Strategies and Interventions (7the Ed). Boston, MA; Pearson Education, Inc.

Kirschenbaum, H., & Henderson, V. (Eds.). (1989). The Carl Rogers Reader. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Containing 33 of Rogers' most important articles and book chapters from 1942 to 1987.

Rogers, C. (1961) On Becoming A Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotheraphy Boston: Houghton Mifflin.