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Today, we're talking about Stockholm Syndrom
What is it,
and how does it apply in therapy?
This is one of the most fascinating topics
I've gotten to research thus far
so thank you to all of you who've requested it.
And in all honesty I knew what
Stockholm Syndrome was, but I didn't
really know the applications
or ramifications of it
within my clinical therapy practice,
so this was so interesting.
Stockholm Syndrome is named after
a bank robbery that happened in 1973
in Stockholm, Sweden.
There were bank employees that were kept
for six days.
They were first wrapped in dynamite and
thrown into the bank vault.
And the thing that happened that shocked
everybody, is that throughout
those six days,
those captive people wrapped in dynamite,
for some reason,
became eerily attached to their captors.
They felt bad for them.
They even turned away police
and assistance to get them out of there.
They were not helpful at all
and even once released, some of them
still kept in touch with their captors
and wouldn't testify against them
in court.
So everybody thought,
"What the hell is going on?"
"Why won't they tell us anything?"
"Why are they acting like they were caring
and nice and they cared about what happened to them?"
"What gives?"
What they learned is that,
psychologically, in order to get through
terrifying situations, we often attach
to our captors as a way to almost
survive it.
Thinking 'Well, I care about them"
"I understand what's going on with them"
"See, they're keeping me alive"
"They're really nice".
And in a way, by being nice to our captors
we're increasing the chances that we will
live through it.
So, oddly enough, it's like our brain's
way of helping us get through an abusive
or scary and traumatic situation.
This applies in a clinical therapy
practice, more along the lines of people
who are in controlling or abusive
For example, we find a lot of battered
men or women
will refuse to press charges against their
spouse or loved one who abused them.
Many even bail them out of jail after
the police have taken them in because
they've abused them.
Now let's get into the fascinating part,
and the reason Stockholm Syndrome
takes hold.
There are four factors that need to be
in place, and need to happen, so let's
talk about them.
The first, and the kind of obvious one,
is that we must feel threatened-
either physically or psychologically,
and we have to believe that the abuser
or captor will actually act out
on that threat.
The way that we find this happens
most commonly, is indirectly.
Maybe it's breaking things,
throwing things around,
they may even indirectly talk
about harming someone or something
that you really care about-
like threatening to get rid of a
prized possession, or to harm an animal
that you love and care for.
The abuser's goal is actually to get you
to believe that the harm that
they could do is possible,
and may be imminent.
The second condition-
and this is where it starts to,
you can see how it can psychologically
shift for the person being abused, is if
the abuser will then show some
small kindness.
In the instance in Stockholm, Sweden,
in that actual event,
the captors said "Well, they fed us and
gave us water, and they talked about how
hard their life had been as a child".
They will do something to show you
a little kindness to take care of you
a little bit, so that you believe that
they're not all bad.
What this does, is it gives the abused
person hope that the situation
could change.
This could be a small token like
a birthday card, or remembering to
bring dinner home-
any small thing.
A lot of abused spouses will say
"Well, they didn't abuse me when they
normally would."
So even the absence of abuse
with no positive thing added in
can feel like a small token
of kindness.
And you know how I talked about that
event in Stockholm, Sweden,
how they shared some events
about themselves,
that's another part of it-
and that goes into this number two,
that they'll share some hard times
they've been through,
or times they've been abused,
by a mother, or father
or caretaker.
And so that gives them, kind of,
it humanizes them a little bit,
and makes us feel kind of
bad for them.
The third condition
that needs to take place
is being isolated from other perspectives.
The way that this can play out in abusive
relationships, there are a lot
of examples that were given,
one of which is
"I don't like your friends because they
talk bad about me.
I don't want you hanging out with them anymore."
And if we do,
we get abused when we get home,
and so in a way, we're slowly being
conditioned against seeing our friends.
There was an example of a woman who was speaking in one
of the forums I was reading-
where her mother would call just to talk to her,
and tell her that she
was worried about her
and the kids, and so because of that,
then the husband would find out
and would abuse her more for talking
with the mother, so she slowly
started telling her mom,
"Please stop calling, you're just causing
us trouble."
"You're ruining our relationship."
And so, since we're so isolated from any
positive person in our life
or any person who actually
has any insight and is loving
and supportive, all we can see
is that abuse cycle, and that abuse life.
Another way that this is described is
"walking on eggshells".
We will do everything in our control
to make sure that we keep the
abuse at bay.
That may mean seeing things,
and our whole life and perspective
from the abuser's perspective
to make sure that everything is
just the way they like it,
because if it's not,
we don't know what's gonna happen,
and we may fear that they will hurt us.
The fourth and final condition that must
take place, is that we actually feel that
we are not able to escape.
This can be in a lot of fashions,
but one of the most common,
is actually through money.
Many abusers will over extend them,
as a family, or as a couple
so that if the person that's being abused
tries to leave,
they actually can't afford anything,
and they may feel like they'll be out
on the street.
Another way this can happen, is kind of
through the emotional abuse avenue,
where they will know intimate
or embarrassing things about you,
or even threaten to shame you publically.
There was a woman who was speaking
in one of the forums that I've read,
saying that her ex boyfriend made her
do some sexual acts that she wasn't
comfortable with, and then when she
threatened to leave, he said that
he'd videotaped it and was going to
release it on Facebook to all of her
family and friends, and so that
fear, and that embarrassment and shame,
held her captive for another two years.
This can also play out in a threat of
A lot of the abusers will say to the
abused, that they will kill themselves
if they leave.
Or, they'll threaten homicide.
They'll threaten to kill a child,
or an animal, or a parent, or someone
else that we love,
if you leave.
And so, the person who's being abused
feels like they really can't,
because they don't want anything bad to
happen to the person because they
actually love and care about them,
or the other people in their lives.
I'm sure if you've learned anything
about the abuse cycle, you can kind of
see how this plays into it, and how it's
so eerily similar.
And the abuse cycle,
I'm looking down at my notes just to
make sure I get them in order,
is tension building,
and calm.
And we go around and around.
And so you can see how these
certain conditions,
as they play into it,
can be so similar to the abuse cycle,
and that's why people get stuck in it.
If you know someone who's in an abusive
or controlling relationship,
the best thing that we can do,
is just listen,
and try to be supportive.
Don't talk bad about the relationship,
don't get them to leave, and try to force
them to leave,
because that can only build on
the shame and embarrassment that they
may already feel due to that relationship.
And just being there to listen, and
support them, is honestly, at times,
what they need.
And encouraging them to get some
professional support.
You can talk about how, maybe, you're
in therapy, and it's really helped to
manage some of the things you're
going through, and you wondered if it
might be helpful to them as well.
And doing things kind of passively
is honestly the best way to continue to
have that relationship, so they don't cut
you out, and also be there to support them when
they are ready and strong enough to
make healthy decisions for them and their
And like I said, there is so much more
information on this topic.
I find it so fascinating.
I'll be doing a whole other video
on cognitive dissonance, and how that
plays into it,
but let me know.
Give it a thumbs up if you want more
videos about this,
I can talk about the abuse cycle more,
and as always,
share in the comments,
what are ways that you've gotten
out of these relationships?
What are things that you did?
How did you get support?
How did you see out of that
psychologically trapping environment?
And if you're a friend of someone,
how were you there, and how were you
able to support?
Even if something didn't work,
let us know what didn't so that we can,
as a community,
come together and figure out what may
help out,
because it can feel so isolating and so
difficult in situations like that, and
we're just here to help one another.
Am I right?
So let me know
Give it a thumbs up!
And I will see you next time!


What is STOCKHOLM SYNDROME? Abusive Relationships, psychology & mental health help with Kati Morton

104 タグ追加 保存
s41335 2018 年 7 月 8 日 に公開
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